Sunday, May 30, 2010
They were immediately released from prison, following a visit to the president from the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon. The president still said that homosexuality was illegal and not part of Malawian culture, but that Tiwonge and Steven were released on humanitarian grounds. The country has been criticized by international groups, celebrities like Madonna and Elton John and foreign countries.
Although the news was not met with great cheers from most Malawians it may just be the start of some much needed change in the country. And one can only hope this kind of change will spread to other African countries like Zimbabwe and Uganda and further into the continent.
* Full article at the New York Times
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
We fantasized about having an old second story flat above a shop in downtown Hsinchu, but knew that was kind of unlikely to happen. So we were preparing to settle for a typically bland Taiwan-style apartment— lots of white paint, tiles and neon light fixtures. The best we could hope for was to have it some place near the hills with a view of bamboo forest or that it would have a decent enough balcony to have a garden on.
But then, through some sifting through facebook, I got the email address of a person whose family has created a hip and organic community in the mountains close to town on what used to be a family farm some 20 years ago.
The community is called Casa Chile and it consists of various buildings with different styles of housing. There's plenty of lawn (a rare sight in Taiwan) and the property is surrounded by natural forest, hills and bamboo groves.
Six kinds of structures make up the accommodation with some of them in apartment styles with shared cooking facilities and some private apartments with more bedrooms. And it is not all hippy-like. Not at all. All the buildings are hip and stylish, some have small wooden patios with lawn views, others have views of the bamboo groves. One of the buildings have Japanese-style bathrooms in the apartment. Awesome!
Just the idea of living almost in the city but not and having a place that is stylish and fun was tempting. But then I discovered that the owners will be making some small plots available to tenants who wish to have their own gardens. Here you can plant veggies, fruit and herbs as long as it's organic. And...and...and... you can keep a hen for egg laying purposes! Ah yeah I think I am ready to sign that lease now!
We're hoping to find a place at Casa Chile. It might be a bit further from work and town, but I will gladly deal with driving the distance if it means I can return home to a sunny patio, some weeding and harvesting and watching my hen peck at chopped carrot tops. From my own garden.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
But now that it's late May I think it's safe to say spring has sprung! The spinach I planted on the day it snowed survived and I used some in breakfast yesterday, the day lilies in the garden are making buds again and we enjoy our afternoon coffee on the back patio. Glorious!
To celebrate spring Alexander and his sister decided we should have a dinner this past Wednesday with each of us contributing a dish that seemed spring-y.
We started the evening with rosemary gin fizz cocktails. They're actually supposed to be a Christmas drink, but sounded light and fun enough for the sunny days we've been enjoying.
For starters I prepared a frisee salad with some roasted mushrooms and radishes tossed with a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette and topped with a poached egg. Lovely!
Olivia prepared the main dish, a pan-seared halibut on a bed of green beans and topped with a tomato and caper sauce. Delizioso!
For dessert we enjoyed a decadent ricotta tart with strawberry and rhubarb jam that Alexander made. Everything from scratch, even the ricotta! I know I know, I married well.
I hope you're enjoying your spring, those of you in the northern hemisphere. For those in the southern hemisphere, happy autumn/fall!
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa, in delivering Tuesday’s judgment in a small courtroom in Blantyre, the country’s commercial capital, was similarly stern. He referred to the crime as “buggery,” using language from when Malawi was a British colony and the current law was written.
He found both men guilty of “carnal knowledge” that was “against the order of nature.” He said the two had been “living together as husband and wife,” which “transgresses the Malawian recognized standards of propriety.”
As the judgment was translated for them from English into Chichewa, the defendants barely flinched. Then they were hastened out of a back door, escaping a taunting crowd that already was celebrating their conviction.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
The first time I started thinking about raising some chicks was after I read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I love the idea of hens clucking around a yard, ridding it of bugs, and providing you with a supply of your own eggs. And now I am bombarded with articles and books about keeping them in your own backyard, making me really desire a hen to call my own.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
1) I totally have the hots for the large-ish redhead- OMG
2) Yet more reasons to move back to Taiwan from EatingAsia
3) Absolutely gorgeous things at Mon Petite Fantome
4) Love the food and love-love-love the styling in this post- Cooking Books
5) Make your own truffles? I think I just might- Dana Treat
6) Go around the world in seconds- Pret a Voyager
7) You did not just say that- Kenneth in the (212)
8) Dreamesh is playing house. Envy!
9) Lotta provides inspiration for all. I love it- Wisecraft
10) I want more- Primitive Culture