Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bosnian Evening 2017

When I am in South Africa, I like to share a little bit of Bosnian food and culture (and talk a bit about what I am doing there) and this year was no different! On the 18th of February, we held the 9th Bosnian evening at my home church, Claremont Methodist.

This year I decided to make "Ćevapi"  (pronounced "chevapi")... They are skinless sausages and in Bosnia you just get them in a restaurant or buy them at the butcher to fry yourself, so making them from scratch was a bit of a challenge, but the Bosnians that came along to the evening said they were amazing! (so I obviously got it right!).

There was a great turnout of people: My official photographer, Keren, did a great job and got pictures of all of the tables so you can see them all. It was a mixture of church members, old friends, family and as I have already mentioned, Bosnians that live in Cape Town.

To kick off the evening, we had a great "sampler" plated by our great kitchen team: The little pita breads filled with ćevapi and šopska salad (made by my friend Kristi and I the day before). They did get more ćevapi later on!
I mixed the ćevapi meat mixture over two days to make sure it was all mixed well and the flavours blended together and then I spent the Saturday morning rolling the ćevapi with the aid of a ziplock bag like in this video... They were ably cooked on the night by my chefs Dave and Nils and yes, there were a lot, I may have over-catered! (or actually been a typical Bosnian, haha)
 Pat also helped cook, but I didn't get a pic of him, so here he is with his ultra-cute daughter Rose:
 Rose (pictured here with her mom, Tina) also enjoyed looking at all of my photo books:
As did other people, including my cousin's children (well at least one of them did!)
After eating our fill, it was time for me to do some sharing of what I do in Bosnia Herzegovina:
After the presentation, we all learnt to sing a song in Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian (it is "What a mighty God we serve"). It isn't often that you can learn to sing in 3 languages :)
Then it was time for the kitchen team (aka Mom and her Home group - thanks guys!) to swing into action for the desserts (all made by people from my church!!)
There are actually only two recipes represented here, but everyone made them a little differently :) And they were all YUMMY!!
Before the end of the evening, we had the Quiz, which was great fun. I didn't get a pic of the winning team (there were actually 4 who got all the questions right - I may have made the quiz a little easy! - so we had to do a tie-breaker question). I did get a pic of all the people who were there who are in my support group: They get together and pray for me once a month - there are a few people who are missing, and I am really blessed by all of them!!
As you can see it was a great evening and everyone had a wonderful time :) Thanks to everyone who made this evening possible!! 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

6 weeks in South Africa...3 to go!

I have been in South Africa since the 1st of January, catching up with my family and friends here. I arrived with my friends Ljilja (from Bosnia Herzegovina) and Sina (from Finland). We had a great 3 weeks while they were here. Here we are joining the "Awesome Aunties" (my mom, Sue, aunt Janny and my mom's best friend, Lee).
We all went out for dinner before enjoying my high school friend's great comedy show: Here we are afterwards with him: I love seeing him perform!
My sister was also still around, so we got to spend some time with her and her family. Here we are celebrating Serbian Christmas eve before they left:
 We went to fun places, like the Milnerton Fleamarket :)
 The views from Milnerton of Table Mountain are really stunning!
We took a red topless bus tour of Cape Town and it was great fun!
 We also enjoyed a walking tour of the Bo-Kaap:
We went around Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, including going up on the tree canopy "Boomslang", with stunning views of Cape Town:
Before heading to a concert in the natural amphitheatre there. It is such a lovely venue! And the music was very good!
We did see some wild animals: here are the lesser known Sina and Ljilja-beasts surrounded by penguins at Boulders beach:)
 Also at Boulders, Mom lost her banana to this little thief: the rock rabbit or "dassie" was pretty sweet, but we didn't dare try to get the banana back from him!
After a whirlwind two weeks in Cape Town, it was time to head to see the Garden route - we did 1800km in 5 days, but it really was a lovely trip! We decided to go down route 62 - the inland route (and return along the coast) and it was a great decision...
We stopped off near Barrydale at Ronnies sex shop, which is not a sex shop but a bar/cafe!
 Ljilja channeled her inner farmer:
 And this is just a taste of some of the stunning scenery along the way:
It is very beautiful!
There were all little towns along the way with funky places to eat - and we managed to resist until Kareedouw and the Sweaty Dutchman... the pancakes were delicious!!
We made it to Addo Elephant park and it lived up to its name - we did see a lot of Elephants, including this little one with its mum - so cute!
We also spent a long time looking at two cheetahs eating the zebra that they had killed and the warthogs that were trying desperately to get a look in... but the cheetahs were having none of it! It really was so special to see the whole circle of life happening in real life!
On the way back from Addo, we stopped off in a place called Monkeyland which is a sanctuary for 11 different types of monkeys - all kept outside in a fenced in area where they can live as naturally as possible. They are pretty cute, especially the babies:
We also stopped off in the beautiful Knysna:
And Wilderness beach - both of these showing why it is called the "Garden Route" - everything is very green because of year round rain: It is so beautiful!
And here are some of the paragliders which were above the Wilderness Beach.
There is a drought on in the rest of the Western Cape, there has been very little rain, and you can definitely see it on the National Road: this part is usually green too!
Then it was time to say goodbye to the girls and enjoy the rest of my stay in Cape Town... Getting to hang out with good friends: here having a braai (barbecue) with the group of people who pray for me once a month:
The kids (and some others!) enjoying the pool:
Enjoying a birthday dinner of my friend Sarah:
Mom and I organised to have a family reunion for part of my dad's side of the family. Here I am with some second cousins:
 And here we all are: 35 of us altogether. It was great to see everyone again!
Mom and I try to go once a week to the beach... We normally go to St James and now the school holidays are over it is pretty quiet:
This is what it looked like when Ljilja and Sina were here with us...
I also managed to play live scrabble with my friend Nils (I have been playing almost 25 years - now we usually play on Facebook).
And I went to the library and took a lot of books out to read! YAY! I love reading and having access to a library is so amazing!!
But it isn't all play and no work - I am still in touch with things in Europe by email and Skype. I am involved in things in my church - including preaching in both services today. And this week I will be organising a Bosnian evening... looking forward to it!
I hope you enjoyed a look at my 6 weeks in South Africa. In just over 3, I will be heading back to Bosnia and Herzegovina... It goes so fast!! 
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