Ten More South African Books To Devour

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Linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday – a freebie! I thought I had a whole host of lists about South African books, but it turns out I only ever did one. I have a soft spot for supporting local (to me) authors, and I do think we have some awesome authors so I like spreading the word.

A note on the links used in this post: I don’t have an affiliate link program. I include links to purchase the books only because I really want to encourage reading these books, and sometimes South African titles can be hard to source. In the titles, I have linked to my reviews where they are available, otherwise to their Goodreads pages.

1. Kwezi by Loyiso Mkize

30349900A brand new South African superhero comic, starring authentically South African characters. Such an important step in having representative books, but also a really fun comic that I would recommend widely. I intend on buying every issue, and buying some to donate to the children’s wards at my hospital too.

You can read the first issue online here. Continue reading

Product Review: Subz Reusable Sanitary Pads

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*Disclaimer: this is NOT a sponsored review. My sister and I decided to review Subz because we think it’s a cool product that could use some marketing and some constructive feedback.

About a year ago, I first heard of a product called Subz Pads. These are reusable sanitary pads, produced in South Africa. They are for sale to the general public, but also have a plan for free distribution to financially needy girls.

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that sanitary products for women have received a lot of publicity recently, worldwide. In South Africa, the cheapest sanitary pads work out to about ZAR1.40 per pad, and can reach as high as ZAR4.00. In March this year, New York revealed that the city would launch a pilot product to provide free sanitary products to girls. Continue reading

Two Oceans Ultra Part 2: Race Review

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It’s a week since running the Two Oceans Ultra and it still feels like a life-defining moment. I’m already looking forward to next year’s marathon, although my foot is still protesting. I figured I’d offer a few concise lines about particular aspects of the race:

Signing up:

For me, the process went so smoothly. I thought the interface was user-friendly and easy; but I do know that some people had big problems with signing up. The entries do fly, so for future reference, waiting is probably not the best idea. Especially if you’d rather enter for the half-marathon – those entries fly like hot-cakes!

Marketing:

The marketing team did such a great job of hyping everyone up and keeping one up to date. The OMTOM Magazine was superb and the social media pages well-maintained. The biggest flaw was a lack of interaction on social media with people who had complaints.

12924415_10153946065180661_3973261936145693581_n Continue reading

Two Ocean Ultra Part 1: My Race

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This past weekend I  ran the Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon. It was 56 km and the biggest race I have ever entered. (Both in numbers and in distance! The marathon I ran had about 700 participants and 500 finishers. This ultra had 11 000 entrants!) I’ve only been running semi-seriously for a short while now so it was probably a bit ambitious too.

Well, I finished it, but not before the cut-off time of seven hours. It was a bit of a disappointment but I had 14 km during which to prepare myself for the inevitability.

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In the months leading up to OMTOM, I had many nightmares. I dreamed that I overslept, that my running shoes broke during the race, and that I got lost on Chapman’s Peak.

I never dreamed that I didn’t finish within cut-off. I guess partially because seven hours honestly seemed like enough time, but also because finishing in cut-off was not the important bit. It was entering it, getting there, doing it, finishing in any time whatsoever.

I must admit that I vastly underestimated OMTOM. My first marathon was actually pretty easy, and I though, “Hey, maybe I’ve finally got the hang of this running thing.” So, I may have been a little over-confident. Continue reading

You guys! I ran a marathon!

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In September 2015, after reading Tom Foreman’s My Year of Running Dangerously, I got it in my head to run the Two Ocean’s Marathon. For some reason I didn’t click that it was actually an ultra at 56km, and that I would need to run a qualifying marathon first. What can I say, sometimes I’m a little inattentive.

ANYWAY. Today I ran my qualifying marathon, the 43rd Buffs Marathon in East London (South Africa) – and my first marathon ever.

What an experience. Continue reading

A Thousand Naked Strangers by Kevin Hazzard | Book Review

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25111005Medical memoirs are a dime a dozen, but I’ve never read a medic’s memoir and the title, “A Thousand Naked Strangers” is just too good to pass up.

A Thousand Naked Strangers is an Atlantan’s chronicle of the decade he worked as a paramedic in the city. I’ve never really known much about Atlanta, except for the stories my dad told of the month he worked there in 2000 – before Hazzard began his journey.

Hazzard’s narrative is genuine and unpretentious. There is no, “I always knew I’d be a great medic” kind of spiel. It is a story of a career that found him, and ran its course. Continue reading