Saturday, August 31, 2013

DANNY AND THE SECRET TEMPLE - SHORT STORY


Hello Everybody,

Trust you are all well.

I am going to share a short story with you. This story was written a few years ago. I hope you enjoy.


DANNY AND THE SECRET TEMPLE
"Get up," Susan shouted at little Danny as he lay on his bed sleeping. Danny sat upright, rubbing his eyes, greeted his aunt, and jumped out the bed. Before he could say another word, Susan yelled, "It is Saturday, the vicar will be here to fetch you in a few minutes."
"Sorry Aunty, I will be downstairs shortly." In his timid voice, he replied.
"Get going then," she shouted and walked away.
Danny got dressed and ran downstairs to the kitchen. Debbie and Carol were sitting at the table eating breakfast; they ignored him. He sat down. He ate the cold porridge in silence, when finished, got up, and said, "Thank you Aunty, can I please be excused?"
"Wait outside for the vicar," she screeched.
Danny went outside; it was a warm day, only a few clouds in the sky. He sat on the porch steps and looked up. He thought about his life with the Jones family.
Danny orphaned at the age of seven, both his parents died in a terrible car accident; Susan his mother's sister became his guardian. Heartbroken by his loss, was saddened even more living with his aunt.
Susan had two daughters, she had not married, and found life to be a considerable burden, living in the small council house and trying to make ends meet. She was a difficult and ungrateful person, carrying the world on her shoulders, reminding everyone how unnecessarily burdened she was with another child, her nephew. Her daughters were just as rowdy and feisty as their mother was.
The vicar arrived, and Danny ran toward the car, and jumped in. "Morning Vicar," he said. The vicar greeted him and drove toward the church. When they arrived, he told Danny to meet the other children in the playground area, where they would show him what to do. Danny obeyed and ran toward a group of boys.
"Hi, I am Danny, and I am here to help," he said.
"I am Joe, and this is Chris, pleased to meet you, here take this spade we are going to dig up some weeds," Joe answered.
Danny took the spade, and followed the boys to a rose garden, where the three of them began lifting the dirt. It was warmer now, and after working for a while, he was thirsty. "Danny would you like something to drink? Joe asked.
"Yes, please I am rather parched."
"Come with me, at the back of the church building, is a table with refreshments for all the children," he said.
They left Chris, and walked toward the back of the church, sure enough there was the table with juice and sandwiches, for the youngsters. While eating, Danny saw a small temple at the far end of the building. Being inquisitive he asked, "It that temple part of the church building?"
"It is, I have heard we are not allowed to go there, it is sacred, or something like that," Joe answered.
"Well, I would like to take a look, want to come with?"
"Why not, no harm can come from this."
Joe and Danny walked toward the far end of the church building. The small temple locked with chains had two tiny windows barred with steel fittings. Danny looked into the window but could not see anything. Now more than ever he was determined to find out more.
Walking back, they promised one another they would find a way to enter the temple. Danny asked Joe what he knew about the temple. Joe told him a foreign king from a small island, built the church and the temple was for his private devotion. When he died, the new king buried him in the temple, and kept it locked. Danny was intrigued.
Danny as calm as ever did not say anything to his aunt and spent the rest of the weekend cleaning the house and garden. Monday at school was surprised to see Joe there. Soon they became best friends and often discussed the church.
Three weeks later, before the vicar came to collect him, he asked his aunt if he could sleep over at his friend's house. Surprised, she agreed, and he was extremely pleased. "Off you go, and come back tomorrow before it is dark, I don't want any trouble, do you hear me," she told him in her usual authoritative tone.
At the church grounds, he told Joe his aunt had agreed and was glad that Joe's mom agreed to let him sleep over at his friend's house. Just before they were finished for the day, the two of them went to the vicar and told him they would be walking home today. The vicar, pleased Danny had a friend, agreed.
They left the church grounds pretending to walk home, often glanced back to make sure nobody followed. When they saw the vicar leave with the other children, they turned around and went back. Once inside the grounds, walked to the small temple and hid behind the wall, waiting for the night to approach.
Excited at the possibility of discovering something exciting they waited. Danny stood up and peeked around the corner, it was silent not a soul in sight. He went back to where Joe was sitting and opened his bag and took out a few sandwiches. Handing one to Joe he said, "I am glad that the weather is clear, it would be awful if it was winter with rain and snow." Joe while eating his bread nodded in agreement.
As the dark of night approached, they stood up and walked around the temple. Joe held his torch while Danny tried to break the lock but could not. They decided to cut the chain. Joe took out a steel cutter and after a few attempts, managed to cut the chain. The door would not open; they pushed and kicked but to no avail. Danny took a screwdriver, inserted it into the lock, and tried to turn the knob at the same time. Without much effort, the door opened. Joe shone the torch into the temple as Danny shoved him into the temple. Danny took out his torch and shone it around. He saw cobwebs in the corners and a small altar with only two seats, the floor was marble with different painting hanging on the wall. He did not see a cross, like the one hanging in the main church and wondered why. While walking toward the front altar, he saw a large painting leaning against the wall. It must have fallen down he thought. Joe and Danny stood at the back of the altar and looked at the two empty seats. Joe asked, "Well now we are here, what do you think is so special about this place?"
"It looks that way, but where did they bury him, I wonder, he said and moved the painting behind him.
"Look here, Joe, there is a small door way, perhaps it leads to the king's burial place,"
Joe screamed.
Danny looked at him, inquiring what was wrong.
"The moment you moved that painting, the front door slammed shut."
"Let's check out the small door," Danny said.
Without any struggle, the door opened, and they saw a stairway. Shining their torches the two boys walked cautiously down the stairs. At the bottom, Danny shone his flashlight up the stairway and saw the small door close. He screamed. Joe grabbed him in fear and asked him what he saw. He told Joe the door had closed and together they both screamed. After realising that they were alone and that nobody had heard their screams, they walked around the new room. It was large; Danny shone his flashlight around the walls and saw the most remarkable artwork framed in gold. Next to a huge frame of the king he presumed, he saw a small switch, walking toward it, he pressed it, and the room lit up.
Blinking their eyes while becoming accustomed to the light, were speechless, the whole room filled with treasures of all sorts, gold, jewels and rare stones laying about the floor. Joe was delighted, he told Danny they should get some and leave.
"No, we cannot go now; we must first find the king."
"Let the king rest in peace, we have what we want," Joe said.
"Look, Joe there is large chest under all the gold, I am going to take a look," he said and walked toward it.
Joe followed him and watched as Danny pushed the gold to one side. Danny tried to open the chest, but it was too heavy, he motioned Joe to help. Joe came over and gave him a hand. As the chest began to open the room suddenly went dark. Danny tried to get his flashlight and Joe yelling at him for not listening, could not get his.
They both ran toward the stairway, Danny did not notice Joe putting all sorts of treasures in his pocket. Before they reached the stairway, the room lit up again. Relieved they decided to go home. Danny turned around again and while looking at the large crate he screamed. Joe standing behind him screamed.
A man, not an ordinary man stood in front of them. He was towering, well built like an athlete, dressed in a white robe with gray hair, and a long white beard. The man stood with folded arms and watched the two boys standing still, full of fear.
"What might I ask is your reason for being in this forbidden place? The man said without batting an eye lid.
The boys, watching this guy, were speechless.
"Amazing, you cannot speak now yet I heard you say quite a lot when you thought you were alone. Answer me or else you will feel the wrath of the ancestors." He said in a stern voice.
"Sorry, we were curious and decided to check out this small temple," Danny answered in a quivering voice.
"Curious, mm I see," he replied and walked toward them.
Frightened they started screaming. "Stop that screeching immediately, nobody can hear you." He said, and placed his hands upon their shoulders. "So what do you think is going to happen now?" He continued.
Danny still frightened managed to say, "Please sir, we are sorry, can we please go home, we will never come back here again."
"Go back home!" He said, "Do you really believe that you can?"
"Please sir, we are sorry," said Joe.
"Sit down on the stairs and let me tell you a story," he said.
They sat down and looked up at this strange man.
"So you want to go home, well that is impossible," he said.
"Sir, if we don't go back, our families will come looking for us, and that could mean a lot of trouble." Danny replied and feeling a little more confident.
"Your families, how pathetic, Danny the orphan, your aunt Susan doesn't give a hoot about you. And you Joe, your stepmother Anna, wanted to get rid of you many years ago."
"How did you know our names and our family history?" Asked Danny feeling more frightened now than before.
"I know everything, and soon you will understand there is no return," he said.
"Sir, who are you?" Asked Danny.
"My name is Klensula. I am from the Klensa Island, a magical land with plenty of children."
"Are you going to take us there?" Asked Danny.
"Yes, soon we will leave for the Klensa Island. Tonight you can sleep in the vault," he said, and turned around, waved his right arm, muttered a few unfamiliar words. Danny and Joe watched as two small beds appeared from nowhere. Stunned by the power of this stranger, they stood up and asked if that is where they must sleep. He motioned them to go ahead. They walked over to the beds. Once comfortable on the bed, they asked Klensula if he was the king who built this temple. He told them that he actually was the king. He continued and told them about his death and burial in the temple. Being a magical creature overcame death and managed to go back to his island. Unfortunately, the people of the island appointed a new king, and he had no choice but to return to the temple.
Danny yawned and lay down he said good night and quickly fell into a deep sleep. Joe looked at the old man and asked him if they would be safe. Klensula assured him they would be.
The next morning, the boys woke up in the vault and rubbing their eyes saw Klensula watching them. Danny was hungry and asked for some food. Klensula gave them a sandwich. Sitting on the edge of the bed, they ate. As soon as they were finished, Klensula waved his right arm, muttered some strange sounds, and made the beds disappear. He walked over to the boys and holding their shoulders guided them to the front of the large cast. He lifted the lid and told them to get in. Apprehensive and afraid they looked at him, questioned him about the risks. He assured them that they would soon be in a wonderful place. Trusting him, they climbed in and stood at the top of another stairway. They walked down the stairs and at the bottom, stood in front of a solid gold door. Klensula muttered a strange sound, the door opened.
Klensula ushered them to move forward. They took a few steps into the unknown and stood still. The room, filled with the most beautiful scientific toys. Looking around this amazing room, shelves packed with most unusual toys, and rows of entertaining equipment. Danny thought this was better than the biggest toyshop he had ever seen. Klensula watched the boys and smiled, feeling satisfied, he had created a mirage of joy.
"Come on boys, we must go to the next room, you can come back here tomorrow to play." He told them as he walked in front of them toward another golden door. The boys followed him and continued to look around this wonderful room. Klensula opened the door by muttering another strange sound, the boys followed and were delighted with what they saw, they felt their short life was only just beginning to feel better in every way. They forgot about the sad depressed life they lived up above the small temple.
Many beds and side tables decorated with lamps and reading material were available. The beds looked comfortable. The room was clean, and the smell of fresh linen, brought back memories of his mother. He was happy. The boys walked over to the first two beds and sat down. Watching Klensula, they wondered why there were so many beds and what would happen now.
"Klensula, how long must we stay in this room?” Danny asked.
"Until tomorrow, there is plenty of food and lots of reading material. Enough to entertain yourselves, I will be back later." He said and walked away.
Danny and Joe watched him leave. Once he was gone, Danny looked at Joe and asked, "What do you suppose is going to happen now?"
"I don't know, but I think something strange will happen!"
"Like what?" Danny said and walked toward the far end of the room.
Joe followed him. On a table was a bowl of fruit and other delicious foods. They sat down and ate. Feeling satisfied, they walked toward the first two beds and lay down. They boys chatted about all the possibilities and the game room brought a lot of joy to them. Soon they fell into a deep sleep.
Klensula came back into the room and stood by the door, watching the boys sleep. He muttered his strange words, waved his arm, and walked out the door.
Danny was cold; he tried to pull the bed covers up, and could not find them. It was dark, he felt the bed was hard, not the one he fell asleep on. The pillow was gone. He wondered what happened. "Joe, Joe, wake up," he called softly.
No sound from Joe, he decided to find him. In the darkness he walked toward the next bed, it was empty. He continued walking toward the other beds, only to find them empty. He screamed as loud as he could for Joe. The only reply was the echo of his voice. He cried. He sat on the bed, scared and alone. Feeling sorry for himself, he fell asleep again.
Danny woke up feeling ill, he could not see much, the room was still dark. Again, he looked around for Joe. At the far end of the room, he saw someone curled up on the last bed. He walked toward the bed and called Joe. No response, he called again. Joe would not wake up; Danny walked toward the top of the bed and pulled the flimsy cover off. He screamed. It was not Joe; a dead dog lay on the bed. Danny ran away from the dog and back to his bed. He sat down and cried.
Still crying and shivering from the cold, he did not hear Klensula enter the room. He walked up to Danny and sat down next to him. He put his arm around the boy and asked him why he was upset. Danny still sobbing told him he was in a different room, Joe was gone, and there was a dead dog. Klensula still holding the boy said, "Danny, it is the same room, only the decor has changed. Joe is still here. He tried to run away. I turned him into a dog, and he died in his sleep last night.
Danny shocked, looked at Klensula and screamed. He was not the same man. His features were dark, his eyes drawn into their sockets, he had no nose, and his mouth was larger, with teeth missing and large veins running all over his head.
"Danny, be quiet, you are only seeing me as my true self. I am still a decent person."
"No, you killed my friend, and I know you are going to kill me as well!"
"No, Danny, I won't hurt you, I like you. It is sad about Joe, but he would not listen, he stole my treasures and wanted to leave you here alone," he said.
"I don't believe you; Joe would never do something like that!"
"Danny, you saw Joe take treasures in the vault, you cannot deny that!"
"He wanted to but he did not!" Danny defending Joe said.
"Well, if he means so much to you, I can bring him back."
"Please, Klensula, bring him back. He is my best friend and I don't have anybody else in this world!" Pleaded Danny.
Klensula got up and walked toward the bed with the dead dog on. Danny followed him. At the end of the bed, he muttered a few words, waved his arm and within minutes Joe was laying on the bed sleeping. Danny ran up to him and shook him, calling his name. Joe feeling tired wiped his eyes and looked at Danny. "What is the matter, I am tired, let me sleep!"
"Joe, I love you," he said hugging his friend.
Joe sat up; puzzled by his sudden affection asked him what was wrong. Danny said all was well; he just wanted to say how happy he was for having him as a friend. All the awhile Klensula stood at the bottom watching the two boys. Joe looked at Klensula and screamed. Danny tried to calm him down and told him, not to be afraid
Joe got up and together with Danny stood in front of Klensula. Looking unusually serious, he told him to tell them the truth. Klensula sat on the bed and looked up at the boys.
"I have told you the truth, I am the King, but I am not dead. The new king, together with a few sorcerers, poisoned me and buried me in the temple. I have lived here for many years as a prisoner, with only my magic to entertain myself. The vicar of the church knows the truth, but will not let go because of his greed. The new King of Klensa bestows many gifts to him."
"I am so sorry, is there anything we can do for you?" Asked Danny.
"It is all right, don't be sad, we will help you," said Joe.
"The treasures are real, they are mine, and I am going to give them to you, for helping me," he said.
"Tell us what we must do?" Danny said.
"You must kill the king."
"Kill the King, how we are supposed to do that!" Joe cried.
"I will give you instructions."
"Fine, we will try, and once that is done, what will happen?"
"Come back to the temple and we will all return to the island."
After Klensula instructed the boys, he let them out of the temple. Both Danny and Joe were relieved to get out of the horrific temple and go home. They agreed that living with the ugly stepmother and unruly aunt was better than living with the dead. Danny walked with Joe to his house and said goodbye. While walking home, he decided not to return, he wanted to help Klensula. He walked back toward Joe's house and saw him sitting on the front step, crying. "Joe what is wrong?"
"My father is dead, and my stepmother told me not to come back, I have nowhere to go."
"It is going to fine, come with me, we are going to Klensa Island."
They went to the harbour and made enquiries. There was a boat leaving in an hour. Happy not to wait too long, they boarded and enjoyed the trip to the island. After arriving at the Klensa harbour, were surprised to see how small the island actually was. The local people were friendly and spoke broken English, which both of them found difficult to understand. After several attempts, they managed to find the king.
The king a little vindictive man with dark brown hair and scary eyes allowed them into his palace. Danny and Joe gave the king a gift and politely told him that they had to return before the boat left. The King took the box and bade them farewell.
They ran off toward the boat. The boat would leave in three hours time. From the deck, they watched this strange and mysterious island. Without any warning, a huge siren rang out, and people gathered around the palace. They knew the king was dead. Relieved when the boat started moving out into the ocean, they were safe. Arriving back, they went straight to the church. Klensula was waiting for their return, looking wonderful, with his long gray hair. They were pleased.
Once inside, Klensula closed the door, and they sat in front of the altar, where Danny and Joe reported to him that the evil king was dead. Klensula cried.
“Klensula, why are you crying," asked Danny?
"I am happy, I can go home now," he said, "and you boys are coming with me, to live in my palace as my sons, I will make you happy and teach you magic."
"Come back with you!" Joe said.
"Yes, don't you want to," he asked.
"Of course we want to, there is nothing here for us, and you can be our father," Danny said, hugging Klensula.
The next morning the three of them went to the docks, boarded a ship and enjoyed the trip back to the island. Klensula bend over and kissed the ground, he was happy to be home. He got up and muttered some strange sounds. The people ran toward him and started dancing and singing.
"I Klensula am back, with my two sons, Danny and Joe."
Danny and Joe amazed by the reaction of the people, who held onto Klensula, and watched as the citizens worshipped this strange man.
A short walk toward the palace was inspiring, they enjoyed the view, the lovely layered village, with shimmering gold dust in the streets, pavements of marble, decorated with radiant flowers and trees. The villagers seemed happy as they walked about. Soon they arrived at the palace. Guards stood erect at the massive wooden door, carved with stunning artwork and golden handles. The door opened, and a reception of people bowed at the sight of Klensula, moving away as he entered the grand reception room with the boys beside him.
Once inside they stood still and looked at this magnificent room, with portraits of people they did not now, golden and silver drapes tied with a bright red cord covered the large windows. Red and black carpets patterned in the shape of diamonds were scattered over the marble floors. They looked up at the huge chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, glowing in the bright room. Klensula noticed their excitement and tugged them on the arm. Danny looked up at him and asked, "Klensula, is this real or another one of your tricks."
"No, Danny this is real just as the island is real, you will have plenty time to explore, but first, go with Harman, he is your personal assistant, and he will take you to your quarters."
Harman stepped forward, bowed and they boys followed him, up a spiralling stairway to their rooms. Klensula spoke to his staff and soon they dispersed. He walked toward the middle window and looked out at the ocean. Staring at the vast sea, watching the waves break on the beachfront. He was happy to be home.
Danny and Joe lived a successful happy life with their new father Klensula, on the Klensa Island.

THE END


Take care and have a good week.

Your friend
Laura

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Angry Birds and Blood Moon

Hello everybody,

Hope you are all well. It is Sunday again, and it is such a beautiful day here, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Summer weather, fabulous day for outdoors.

I want to share a true story about angry birds and the blood moon.
On Friday night August 23, a friend of mine, while at home, heard a commotion outside and went outside to investigate. The birds were flying relatively low and screeching as if to arouse attention. He looked up and surprised he noticed the moon was red. A blood moon, he took some photos, which we are sharing with you.
Wondering what this could mean as it is quite strange, although the moon did not stay red for long, a few minutes at the most. Then changed back to its normal color and brightened up the sky.
Perhaps the birds were screaming at the color of the moon, and raised our awareness to some bizarre incident that will possibly take place in the near future.
Especially since the people of the rainbow nation seem to be agitated and annoyed with the foreigners here. Several xenophobia incidents have occurred in recent weeks. Reports of how the locals burned down the foreigner's shops and attacked the individuals.
It is the angry rainbow nation and perhaps the visible blood moon is a reminder of a bloody nightmare that can take place in our country.

Well I do sincerely hope you have a wonderful week, filled with blessings.

All the best,
Your friend
Laura

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Evil and Corrupt Masterminds of Rhino Poachers

Hello everybody,

Today I want to share an article about Rhino Poaching. This article was posted on the guardian Express and this is the link should you wish to comment or read updates to this article - guardian 1

This is a link to a follow up of this story.

Guardian





South Africa – Rhino poaching is an ongoing story that seems to have no end. There is absolute evil and corrupt masterminds behind the rhino poachers and many people have lost their lives trying to protect the Rhino.
A nature reserve owned by private investors and government departments situated in Kwazulu, Natal is one of the various affected areas of Rhino poaching. During 2010, a horrific murder happened to a young tourism assistant. The murder case attracted a lot of hype and her police husband was found guilty and arrested for the murder.
The husband denied the charge and pleaded not guilty, but to no avail. It has now been resolved that he is innocent and that his wife's killer is none other than a deranged person who has killed more than once but remains under the witness protection act. This man is a well-connected person with the political players of the country. This murder was unnecessary, and a young life was lost because of greed. One of the sad stories told surrounding the Rhino poaching in South Africa.
Several other people have suffered at the fate of the masterminds performing their evil operations. People who will not hesitate to kill anybody who dares to cross their path. The lucrative trade of Rhino horn remains world dominant and the constant campaign to stop this nightmare does not end.
During 1998, an incident occurred after a witness to the Rhino poachers approached the National Prosecuting Authority to testify about the Rhino poaching. He was warned not to speak, and did not heed the warning, and on his way home, a minibus crashed into his car, and the vehicle caught alight while he was trapped inside the burning vehicle. Fortunately conservation officers saw the blazing vehicle and sought help. The person who prefers to remain anonymous was admitted to the hospital and struggled for months to reclaim his life back. He told of how the personal attack happened and it would seem this was a way to get rid of him. No official reports have been made or arrests occurred regarding this matter.
Factual evidence was taken to the senior counsel and advocates offices, but they blatantly told the people they were not interested. We might ask why, and then we are told that this Rhino poaching traffic is enormous, it's not only individuals but also trusted companies that are involved in the horrific acts of killing our Rhino.
The Criminal Procedure Act, Section 25(2A) which allows a police officer to be freed from a serious crime has seen the young police officer released from prison and has been programmed to act in the interest of his minders. He will not talk, his children's lives are at stake if he does, so once again the law enforcement of this country wins.
This is a organization of horrors, people who once saved Rhino have defected and now joined with high profile people involved in the despicable act of killing our Rhino. Not just in South Africa, but the lucrative marketing is huge in East Asia, Vietnam and China to.
The scramble for Africa, the leading powers who do not stop until they win. Is there an end to the evil and corrupt masterminds of the Rhino poachers?
There are many links to interesting articles regarding this treacherous deed and here is one that we are sure you will read.


Well hope you share and let us all stop this evilness that is destroying our land.

All the best
Your friend
Laura

Coco Cola

Hello Everybody,

Sincerely hoping you are all well. It is such fabulous weather here in South Africa. Lovely sunny days but still a little chilly during the nights and early mornings. Winter is behind us again. Summer days are almost here and then it is time for fun and outdoor activities.

This week I want to share some amusing old photos with you. I have rediscovered a former project I started many years ago, a collection of over a million old photos and posters from advertising covering a huge number of different topics.
Coco Cola is a popular beverage worldwide and has been so for years, so have a look at these old photos, and I hopefully you will enjoy them.




They are still wonderful and I just love the bears, now for a good laugh and this is a coco cola ad.

You can drink a coca cola anywhere.

Have an awesome day and take care.

All the best.
Your friend,
Laura

Saturday, August 10, 2013

SIPHO AND THE GOLDEN NAILS - CHAPTER 16

Hello Everybody,

I sincerely hope you all had a great week and enjoying the weekend.

I have dedicated some of my weekend to writing articles for the Guardian Express and of course continuing the proof reading of the second book. Almost there, soon I will have it published.

Today I want to share another chapter with you. I have skipped a few chapters and here we will continue the adventure around Israel, visiting Ashdod and Masada with the hybrid children Sipho and Emma. Hope you enjoy.



Chapter 16
TRIP TO ASHDOD AND MASADA
The group set off for their trip to Ashdod. Sipho was pleased he had some company other than adults, and they chatted about the Cotswold "home." Emma brought him up-to-date on what had been happening there.
"David, please tell us about Ashdod?" Asked Sipho.
"Well, Ashdod is the fifth largest city in Israel and is also an extremely valuable industrial center. I will take you past the port of Ashdod, it is the largest port in Israel, and I know you will enjoy this. This city also has pleasant weather, exceptionally hot summers, a pleasant spring and fall, and of course cool, rainy winters."
"Are there many interesting places to see?" Asked Sipho.
"Oh yes, besides the industrial center, the modern city of Ashdod was built outside the historic settlement. There are many neighborhoods. You will see the wide avenues that help make the traffic flow quite easily. The neighborhoods have easy access to their own commercial centers, and urban parks."
"It sounds awesome, I cannot wait to see this," said Emma.
"We are almost entering the city, and as we pass some of the interesting sites, I will tell you about them." David replied.
They drove into Ashdod, and both Emma and Sipho looked out of the jeep’s windows and enjoyed the sights of this large city. When they came to the port, David stopped the vehicle, and they all got out.
David passed them some refreshments and told them to walk down to the harbor and take a look at the surroundings and the ships in the docks. Excited they started walking along with David and Zerydo and asked questions as usual. David felt their energy and willingly answered them honestly. All too soon for Sipho and Emma, they were back in the jeep and David told them they were going to go to an exceptionally exhilarating part of the city.
"We are not too far from the place where we have to be," David said.
As they drove, the two youngsters tried to get more information out of David, but he told them to be patient and to wait.
They drove up a steep road and soon arrived at Givat Yonah, a mound where David stopped the jeep. They disembarked and looked around, admiring the magnificent view of the port and the gleaming white Mediterranean-style homes and wide boulevards. The view was Spectacular!
"Sipho this is the place where a nail must be placed." Zerydo said.
"It is a terrific place. Please tell me it's history," he asked
"This is where it is believed that Jonah was swallowed by a large fish." David answered.
"I don't know that story," said Emma.
"Oh, that is sad as it is a wonderful story and I promise you tonight I will read the story to you." David replied.
"Emma you are going to place the nail," Zerydo said. "You might as well get some practice, and we can judge how accurately you position it."
"Ok tell me what to do."
"Here is the nail," Zerydo said and passed it to her. "I want you to walk to the top of the mound, and see if you can feel where it should be placed."
She took the nail and following Zerydo's instructions, she climbed the mound. Emma immediately found the exact place and knew exactly where to put the nail so that it was secure. As soon as it was done, Sipho told her to watch as the star pearl appeared on the top of the nail. She was amazed.
"That is exactly what happened when you put the nail in at Jericho!" An excited Emma said.
They walked around for a while and enjoyed the view. Back at the vehicle, David offered them some drinks and told them it was a pity they could not spend more time here as there were superb shopping malls, parks and restaurants to visit in Ashdod. He told them they had to leave for Masada as he wanted to return home before nightfall.
They left feeling satisfied, and happy they could enjoy and see such incredible surroundings. Emma told them that as soon as she was an adult she would travel around the world forever - and they all laughed.
The day was pleasantly warm, and the children enjoyed the journey toward Masada. Zerydo told them he knew they would like the trip as it would be an exceptional experience. Excited at visiting yet another city and learning so much about the rich history of this country, they kept asking questions. David told them Masada was located on a high plateau overlooking the Dead Sea. He told them about the Roman occupation, the fortress castle and continued to tell them all about the interesting history of this place.
Herod the Great fortified Masada as a refuge for himself in the event of a revolt by the Jewish people. Later on a Roman Garrison was constructed on Masada, but a Jewish sect called the Sicarii, attacked the Romans and drove them off Masada. The Sicarii remained and built temples and dwellings on the summit. They were joined by several Jewish families who fled from the Romans. They refused to surrender and harassed the Romans at every opportunity.
The Romans built a ramp to the top intending to force the Jews to surrender. Rather than submit themselves to slavery again, all seven hundred odd Sicarii committed mass suicide. This was a hollow victory for the Romans and inspired the Jewish people to resist them even more. Sipho and Emma were captivated by the story, listened in silence.
Soon they arrived and all they saw was desert and Rocky Mountains. The children felt as though it was going to be a dull place compared to Ashdod. David parked, and they all got out. The first thing Sipho saw was a cable car.
"Are we going up on the cable car?" He asked.
"Yes, we have to. The walk is far too tiring and I am sure you will enjoy the ride."
"It looks exciting."
They walked to the cable car entrance, paid for their tickets and waited for the cable car to depart. The ride up to the top of the high mountain was exhilarating and entertaining. Everyone admired the view and commented on the various features that seemed so small and far away.
At the top, they left the cable car and started walking around the palace and old storehouses, baths and other fascinating sites. They arrived at the area in front of the northern palace, and Zerydo walked along with Sipho and told him this was the place where the nail must be placed. Sipho got ready and together with Emma, they both placed the nail in the exact spot where it was meant to be. Watching, they saw the star pearl appear on top of the nail yet again. Excited that this was the final nail, they asked what the next part of the mission would be.
"Well, we will visit another city and try to find a man who lives in a cave. Once we find him, we will be able to continue," said Zerydo.
"A man! Who is he and why must we find him?" Asked Sipho.
"We have no choice, we have to find him as he has the last golden nail," replied David.
Sipho said, "I want to ask you more about the cave man and the last golden nail, but I truly think we should walk around Masada a bit more if we have the time. I think it would be fun exploring here."
"I am sure it will be alright," Zerydo said, "if David agrees and hasn’t run out of breath yet."
David chuckled at Zerydo’s comment and told them that he had already planned to take them on a tour to the rebel dwellings and the Byzantine monastic cave and then they would see the Snake Path Gate from the top of Masada. Excited to see and learn, they followed him as he guided them to the various attractions. The afternoon came all too soon, and David ushered them into the cable car, and once they had reached the bottom, they stood and stared at this historic mountain, knowing that they would never forget this place.
David told them they would be returning to his home now, and tomorrow they would leave for Eilat and would probably spend a few days there. He advised them to pack enough clothing for the journey, but said he would remind them before they left for Eilat.
The children were so tired that they soon fell asleep while David and Zerydo drove for home. By the time they reached David’s house, it was already dark, and the sky was full of dazzling stars. Soon they were all in the kitchen talking to David as he prepared a meal for the famished travelers. They ate, retired for the night and slept like logs.


Well that is the end of chapter 16 and will share more next week. Israel is a fascinating place, and a significant aspect of the story focuses around this country.

Wishing you all the best and have a wonderful week. Remember never to accept to be anyone's second choice. You are unique!

All the best.
Your friend,
Laura


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sipho 2nd book update, and sharing a story - Green Tea, the Good News Tea

Hello Everybody,

Here in South Africa, it is a fabulous Saturday afternoon. The weather is lovely. A perfect day, but it will soon grow cold as the day ends. We are nearing winter and can definitely feel the warmer weather approaching. Yeah summer is almost here.
Last weekend I had to meet a journalist and give him a tour of our beautiful city. He spent four days with my family and we enjoyed contributing to his visit. He is currently blogging the story of his visit to Johannesburg, and if you would like to follow the events, please click on this link –

http://mikesfilmtalk.com/2013/08/03/south-africa-my-personal-journey-schiphol-and-beyond/

I am sure you will find this exciting as he did, I too am enjoying the memory of the visit.

Before I share another story with you, I want to give an update on the 2nd novel. I am posting a picture of the cover. I love it and will probably not change this again. I have a copy of the book and busy proofing for the 2nd time, and I found a mistake. Hoping to finish this quickly and then can publish next month. I am excited and am sure you will enjoy the story as our little hybrid child Sipho continues with his adventures.


Well let me share another story that was published in the Guardian Express with you this week.

This is an article regarding the benefits of Green Tea, and I want to tell you that I took the test and can honestly say, the benefits are enormous.
The potent plant nutrient called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, found in Green tea is proving to be the good news tea and is the best medicine for a healthier life style.
The Japanese and the Chinese have been drinking Green Tea for thousands of years. The tea is not only for their pleasure but also for the health benefits. Green Tea contains ingredients that are more effective, antioxidants and vitamins than regular teas. It is low in caffeine, with a distinctive smoky and nutlike flavor. The tea can be taken either hot or cold, with lemon or honey.
During the production and processing of Green Tea, none of the active ingredients such as catechins and vitamins is lost through fermentation and oxidation as occurs in normal tea processes. The green tea leaves are either steamed or pan-fried to retain their active ingredients.
Cholesterol is a wide spread problem around the world, and research has found that the EGCG in Green Tea actually helps prevent fat build up in the arteries. The tea can help to prevent cardiovascular disease.
The Journal of Applied Oral Science tested the effects of EGCG against bacteria found in the mouth and it is proven effective against bacteria in the mouth. Several other journals have confirmed the antibacterial effect on harmful dental bacteria.
The active nutrient EGCG in Green Tea has proved to be an effective and natural inhibitor of the cancer cell metabolism in breast tumors. Further studies by the Cancer Prevention Research reported that the EGCG in Green Tea suppressed the lung cancer cell growth and can prevent and inhibit colorectal cancers. EGCG aids the body by killing prostate cancer cells.
The EGCG in green tea, similar to other catechins activate fat burning genes in the stomach and can speed up weight loss. Green tea is the overall fat buster. Energy levels remain stable, and the tea is found to balance the sugar levels. The blood sugar spikes and crashes that result in fatigue irritability and cravings for unhealthy foods are also controlled by the improved insulin use in the body from the Green Tea.
The active ingredient contains a potent antioxidant that can positively affect the skin cells. It can prevent skin damage and wrinkling. The EGCG is considered more powerful than vitamin E at destroying skin-damaging free radicals. It is reported that free radicals are increasing linked to many serious illnesses such as cancer, arthritis, and diabetes. Another benefiting factor from the tea is the protection of the skin against UV damage.
The research continues, and more health benefits are being discovered. Green Tea, rich in catechins, vitamins and minerals is a miracle from Mother Nature, a tea that boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation and improves health. The good news tea with an increasing variety of beneficial health factors.

You can read my other published articles from this link
http://guardianlv.com/

Be blessed and remember you are special.

Your friend,
Laura



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