Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Against all odds

Asha Motala cuts a demure figure as she poses with her trophy. This diminutive thirteen year old managed to take on thousands of kids around South Africa and beat them all with a 100% test mark in the national science Olympiad. Asha comes from a humble family in Chatsworth. Mom is a refugee from Burma and her Dad was in exile in India. Asha said she started reading books at a young age and took on science as a special project. She would like to be a doctor one day. In her home there are the bare necessities. An old fuzzy TV and a tiny book shelf with some old encyclopedias . No computers or internet links just sheer hard work and a gifted brain. You go girl.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Birds of a feather

The only place in South Africa where they breed. White-naped Cranes are native to northeastern Mongolia, northeastern China, and adjacent areas of southeastern Russia. Habitat loss and degradation are critical problems throughout the range of the White-naped Crane. Destruction of wetlands due to agricultural expansion in the breeding range poses the most significant threat. Critical habitat is also threatened by a proposed series of dams in the Amur River basin and the Three Gorges Dam in China. Fortunately for Durban residents we now have five of these rare creatures. Two babies were succesfully hatched this spring at the Umgeni bird park and mom and dad are proudly showing off their chicks to the public. The "teenage" first born has been relegated to his own pen and will eventually be swopped out to breed with other captive cranes.

July 2009 Update. Seems like Durban's famous bird park will be shut down due to lack of funds. A sad day indeed!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Justice for All?

A man is accused of offering woman jobs for a fee. Together with his girlfriend the woman are then murdered and dumped in sugarcane fields. The first clue was when a dog was seen carrying a human head. Searches then revealed the bodies over a period of months. Finally the couple are brought to court. A contingent from the ANC womans league are on hand to protest the abuse of woman and children and lend their support to the victims families. A few are proudly wearing Jacob Zuma T shirts. Some might wonder at the irony of this.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fatal Sequence of Events

It all started with a tanker parked on the side of the freeway just past the Ballito turnoff on the N3 north. At about five thirty in the morning a small pick up drove into the stationary tanker killing the driver. Polive arrived on the scene and began directing traffic. Unfortunatly the police car had no flashing blue lights and a further vehicle ploughed into the scene. The policewoman redirecting traffic was hit head on and died at the scene. A further two vehicles were then involved before road traffic officials were able to block off the freeway.Two dead and five injured some seriously.