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August 16, 2017 – 2:31 am

Good eating, an eclectic Toastmasters group, hospice training, Zen meditation, depression, social phobia, orgasmic meditation, tears — and laughter — all come into play in Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir about sensual pleasures, freedom from dark places, and living and eating with abandon (Say Yes Press), an insightful gem of a memoir: writer, editor, foodie and adventurer Wanda Hennig’s first.

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Karl Marx City: Filmmaker Petra Epperlein’s personal journey

July 17, 2017 – 8:07 am
Documentary filmmaker Petra Epperlein

Petra Epperlein grew up in a city—and during a time—that are no more: Karl Marx City (now Chemnitz) during Stasi and DDR times in East Germany. Her film, which has notched up 90%-plus ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, is a personal journey with a global message. She spoke to Wanda Hennig before the screening of Karl Marx City at the 2017 Durban International Film Festival.

Germany in focus at 2017 Durban International Film Festival

July 7, 2017 – 1:19 am
Still from movie Fritz Bauer

German films including Karl Marx City and Goodbye Berlin, women in film, German directors and a masterclass by German film industry professionals are on the program at #DIFF2017, the 38th edition of South Africa’s prestigious Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) where the theme is Transit Tales and a major support focus is developing the South African film industry and fostering talent.

Why Sunshine’s Felicity Vonmoos is a good egg

July 3, 2017 – 1:19 am
Felicity Vonmoos has chickens that scratch and bath in dirt.

Felicity Vonmoos has stuck her finger up more chicken a-holes than she cares to remember. Hey, she’s a good mom! “Nine times out of 10 if a chicken looks unhappy, it’s because there’s an egg stuck in breach position. I turn it, make it easier for her to lay. Then she dashes off to eat.” Hens are great little creatures, she adds. “They just ask for food, love and water and in return, they work really hard and earn their keep. They lay an egg a day.”

South African chef John Moatshe cooks for more than compliments

May 29, 2017 – 11:51 am
John Moatshe chef

ICC executive chef John Moatshe has cooked for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, the late President Nelson Mandela and recently, for several thousand delegates attending Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban. When you quiz this urbane, unpretentious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs-awarded chef about highlights threading through his illustrious culinary career, you discover there are many.

South Africa launches ‘I Do Tourism’ at Indaba 2017

May 17, 2017 – 2:17 am
Indaba 2017 collage

South African Tourism launches ‘I Do Tourism’—a new responsible tourism initiative—at Indaba 2017 in Durban. The strategy is geared to showing South Africans the relevance of tourism in the greater scheme of things. How ‘everybody’ benefits from tourism.

Dwor Sierakow: for the wine, Polish vodka, history and Slow Food

April 27, 2017 – 7:35 am
Dwor Sierakow dining.

British-born Caroline Grabowska and her Pawła Gąsiorek (Paul) have turned Dwór Sieraków, near Krakow in Poland, into a four-star historic hotels listed establishment. Chef Janusz Fic is the man culinary travelers will seek out at the restaurant, recognized by Slow Food Poland. Paul’s wine cellar is one of Poland’s finest. And their Dwór Sieraków vodka is now a label of note.

Poland, France, German winners on European Film Fest 2017 Nouveau South Africa line-up

April 23, 2017 – 12:21 pm
EuroFilmFestSA Poster

The fourth European Film Festival (2017 edition) for South Africa will screen at Cinema Nouveau in Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg beween May 5 and May 14. The films include award-winning entries from 12 countries: Austria, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Netherlands, and Ireland and Croatia for the first time.

Portugal’s queen of tarts: where to eat them

April 22, 2017 – 9:59 pm
Pastéis de Belém

Portugal is known for its pastries. The most famous is the pastéis de nata. The original version of the famed pastéis de nata dessert was created more than 200 years ago. If you are in the Belem district of Lisbon and see a line of eager people as the author of this piece did, they’re likely waiting outside Café de Belém, better known as the Pastéis de Belém, home of the pastries and where 19,000 are sold on an average day.

Hare Krishna Festival of Chariots Durban

April 18, 2017 – 3:18 am
Goddess at Hare Krishna parade in Durban.

Singing and chanting Hare Krishna devotees of all ages—and the interested and curious—gather in Durban over Easter weekend to pull their three lofty chariots that sail along the beachfront festooned with thousands of flower garlands and billowing brilliantly colored fabric canopies. Travel blogger Wanda Hennig joins the devotees, who also prepare fresh vegetarian meals for the hungry. It’s a celebration.

Zen, mindfulness and overcoming depression

March 19, 2017 – 1:24 am
Buddha at San Francisco Zen Center

Current brain research and the discovery that neurons that fire together, wire together is producing concrete evidence for something Buddhist practitioners have maintained for centuries: the sustained practice of mindfulness can change the workings of the brain at a molecular level and allow people to achieve different levels of awareness. In light of this the San Francisco Zen Center has been offering mindfulness and depression workshops for the past ten years.