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Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Carike

I would like to wish my sister, Carike, a very happy birthday on this day. I miss you and I love you, sis. May the sun shine on you forever, except of course when you need shade.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


The village of Kasuo is about fifty to sixty kilometres to the West of here and can only be reached by means of terrible roads. I was there today with another UN official. This is the FDLR Foca stronghold.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


This morning 2Lt Fikizolo and Lt Malgas were on patrol when the one bridge being crossed broke under the weight of the Mamba. Fortunately there was another bridge nearby.

Kestrel Attack

I was lucky to get this photo a couple of days ago. It shows a Kestrel feigning an attack on a murder of crows. It does not really mean a lot; the Kestrels do this often, but never attack crows since they are too big. Actually the crows sometimes even feign attacks on Kestrels.

Monday, February 18, 2008

More of my Favourite Quotes

To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit.
- Stephen W. Hawking

Man can learn nothing except by going from the known to the unknown.
- Claude Bernard

To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.
- Copernicus

...the sense of being which in calm hours arises, we know not how, in the soul, is not diverse from things, from space, from light, from time, from man, but one with them and proceeds obviously from the same source.... Here is the fountain of action and of thought.... We lie in the lap of immense intelligence.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mystical. It is the source of all true art and science.
- Albert Einstein

You cannot see anything that you do not first contemplate as a reality.
- Ramtha

The birth of a man is the birth of his sorrow. The longer he lives, the more stupid he becomes, because his anxiety to avoid unavoidable death becomes more and more acute. What bitterness! He lives for what is always out of reach! His thirst for survival in the future makes him incapable of living in the present.
- Chang-Tzu

Consciousness is a being, the nature of which is to be conscious of the nothingness of its being.
- Jean-Paul Sartre

The spirit down here in man and the spirit up there in the sun, in reality are only one spirit, and there is no other one.
- The Upanishads

The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced.
- Aart Van Der Leeuw

Cease from practice based on intellectual understanding, pursuing words, and following after speech, and learn the backward step that turns your light inward to illuminate yourself. Body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your original face will be manifest.
- Dogen

Although each of us obviously inhabits a separate physical body, the laboratory data from a hundred years of parapsychology research strongly indicate that there is no separation in consciousness.
- Russell Targ

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
- Carl Gustav Jung

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up, walk over or around it, and carry on.
- Winston Churchill

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.
- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

If I could take all your words away and give you but a sparse few, they would be: ‘I now know, I am absolute, I am complete, I am God, I am.’ If there were no other words but these, you would no longer be limited to this plane.
- Ramtha

Know thyself.
- Socrates

I have yet to meet a single person from our culture, no matter what his or her educational background, IQ, and specific training, who had powerful transpersonal experiences and continues to subscribe to the materialistic monism of Western science.
- Albert Einstein

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness, in a descending spiral of destruction. The chain reaction of evil must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In the century now dawning, spirituality, visionary consciousness, and the ability to build and mend human relationships will be more important for the fate and safety of this nation than our capacity to forcefully subdue an enemy. Creating the world we want is a much more subtle but more powerful mode of operation than destroying the one we don't want.
- Marianne Williamson

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
- Galileo Galilei

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.
- Winston Churchill

We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
- T. S. Eliot

Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion.
- Democritus of Abdera

All great truths begin as blasphemies.
- George Bernard Shaw

What we are looking for is what is looking.
- St. Francis of Assisi

...many of you who do not know that [you are God] still think you must go through dogma and certain ‘mechanics’, as it were- rituals, prayers, chants, fasts, meditations- in order to connect with God and become enlightened. Yet the more you do these things, the more you convince your soul that you are not what you are trying to become...for you are having to do arduous things in order to achieve it... [Thus] practicing rituals and following dogma is not wrong. But it will never feel completely right, because the voice within you- that is God- says that you already are what you are struggling to reach. …there is nothing you must accomplish on this plane except being who and what you are. For the knowingness that you are God is achieved in a state of being- for God is beingness; it is the isness of all life.
- Ramtha

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
– Plato

I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong.
- Leo Rosten

Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.
– Schweitzer

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.
- James Oppenheim

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Gandhi

Intense love does not measure; it just gives.
- Mother Teresa

We don't see things as they are. We see them as we are.
– Talmud

When you know that you are eternal you can play your true role in time. When you know you are divine you can become completely human. When you know you are one with God you are free to become absolutely yourself ...
- Mother Meera

With a sense of humour, hate is all too funny and therefore it loses its power. Love, on the other hand, even with a sense of humour, becomes highly precious and large enough so that it can contain old hatreds quite nicely.
– Seth

To be desireless, there is nothing wrong with that at all. I will tell you why. Most that are filled with unquenchable desires never know who they are for they are too busy wanting. When you realize that everything you want is within you, then the Source brings a treasure at your doorstep and leaves it there every moment of being. And you have everything you ever wanted - YOU.
– Ramtha

It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.
- St Francis of Assisi

Every life needs a purpose to which it can give the energies of its mind and the enthusiasm of its heart. Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
- Francis of Assisi

The real reason you chose to be here - your purpose and mission in life - was to simply be who you are now. Good reason.
- The Universe aka Mike Dooley

All that spirits desire, spirits attain.
- Kahlil Gibran

First comes thought; then organization of that thought into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.
- Napoleon Hill

In this infinite sea of potentials that exist around us, how come we keep creating the same realities?
- Dr. Joseph Dispenza

You must be what it is that you're seeking- that is, you need to put forth what you want to attract.
- Dr. Wayne Dyer

I do not seek. I find.
- Pablo Picasso

You do not believe and that is why you fail.
- Master Yoda

The universe itself will act to move you to what you want, and move what you want to you. All you have to do is let go, while acting on your inner prompts. Let go of fear, doubt, worry disappointment, and any other negative emotion that might make you feel low.
- Joe Vitale, The Attractor Factor

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
- Calvin Coolidge

Nothing can come into your experience unless you summon it through persistent thoughts.
- Rhonda Byrne The Secret

Look upon every experience you've ever had, and everyone who's ever played any role in your life, as having been sent to you for your benefit. In this universe, which was created by a divine organizing intelligence, there are simply no accidents.
- Dr. Wayne Dyer

Staying the course should not be confused with clinging to the cursed how.
- Mike Dooley aka the Universe

Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood...Make big plans, aim high in hope and work.
- Daniel H. Burnham

Success is when I add value to MYSELF. Significance is when I add value to OTHERS.
- John C. Maxwell

Relinquish your attachment to the outcome. This means giving up your rigid attachment to a specific result and living in the wisdom of uncertainty. It means enjoying every moment in the journey of your life, even if you don't know the outcome.
- Deepak Chopra

All great things are achieved in a light heart.
- Ramtha

Everything flows from your own heart.
- F-Yen

Learn to follow the quiet voice within that speaks in feelings rather than words; follow what you hear inside, rather than what others may be telling you to do.
- Bob Proctor You Were Born Rich

All animals except man know that the ultimate purpose of life is to enjoy it.
- Samuel Butler

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.
- William James

Friday, February 15, 2008

Band of Brothers

"We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother."

South African soldiers of Platoon 1, Delta Company, 1 SA Infantry Battalion on Peace Keeping duty in the DRC. An impromptu photo opportunity.

Supper Time

Supper time at Lubero. This photo represents one of the nights when we actually had food. Many days we have to eat ration packs. Fortunately conditions are ever-improving.

Equatorial Sunset

Taken yesterday evening right on the Equator.

SAFI at Lubero

After two months we at last have our own SAFI shop here at Lubero. From having almost nothing conditions here have been steadily improving.

Platoon 3 Party

The UN has given $10 per person for the company to enjoy. We have decided to use the money to organise parties such as this one with Platoon 3. Do not think that this is the norm; it is probably the first good meal any of these guys have had since arriving here two months ago. Thank you to Mr Anderson for preparing the meals and making our stay here just a little better.

More Road Conditions

2Lt Fikizolo experienced these road conditions on his patrol towards Kasuo a couple of days ago.

Rifleman Malatsi

Rifleman Malatsi checking his FN MAG Light Machine Gun (LMG) before a patrol.

Fire Place

It is cold enough at Lubero for us to have to make a fire in the fire place on some nights. Here Lt Greg Mokone (my second in command) and Lt "Thabo" Rafedile are enjoying the warmth.

Escort Duty

This was Platoon 1 on escort duties a couple of days ago. The two armoured vehicles are Mamba Mk III's and the truck is a Samil 20. All are manufactured in South Africa.

Briefing Time

One of the activities I keep myself busy with are briefings to visitors. I think this was during the Brigade Commander's visit.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Foot Patrol

A Platoon 3 foot patrol uner command of 2Lt Fikizolo leaves our base to patrol the town of Lubero. Our patrols are divided into three categories: Short Distance (usually foot patrols in Lubero), Medium Distance (usually half a day) and Long Distance (usually a day or longer).

Road Conditions

This is an indication of some of the road conditions experienced over here. The best part is that the rainy season is still to arrive at the end of February. Negotiability and vehicle serviceability are two of the main problems we have here in the DRC. Thanks to Lt Rafedile for taking the photo.

Weight Lifting

Here Corporal Pop lifts a dumbell as Cpl Conradie watches. One of the ways we have of handling stress is by regular exercise. Staying busy is a good stress reliever.

Battalion Commander Visit

Our Battalion Commander, Lt Col Neethling (left) recently visited us. I picked him up at the helicopter landing zone.

Chopper Photo Opportunity

Rifleman Malherbe recently took this opportunity to pose next to the Indian Allouette II helicopter that brought the North Kivu Brigade Commander to visit us. Thanks to him for the photo.

Delta Company

This impromptu photo was taken a while ago by Lt Col Bath and shows many members of Delta Coy together one night in the Mess Tent. We are working together well and making the most of what we have.


At last Delta Company has DSTV. After two months of nothing we decided we had had enough of waiting for the painfully slow official process of obtaining satellite television and rather bought our own system. Maybe the official system will reach us before we end this deployment? Let's wait and see. Now at least the morale in this company is higher.