Tag: thank you

Pain in the butt

The last day of May is World No Tobacco Day.

Luckily I am too young to have to quit smoking because I’ve never started – but I know it’s a really hard habit to kick.

Truth is that smoking‘s bad for you. Not only can it cause lung disease, it can also cause heart problems and can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body too.

Luckily it’s now illegal to smoke with your children in the car – because second hand smoke is almost as bad for you as the real thing. At least people who smoke choose to do so. The kids who get to breathe their parental agents smoke have no choice. That’s just nasty!

Not only is smoking bad for people, it’s bad for environment and the animals.

Lately scientists have figured out that cigarette butts are one of the most abundant types of litter found around. That means there are plenty of butts out there. (Studies estimate that 4.5 trillion cigarette butts find their way into the environment each year.)

Worse, it’s one of nastiest, deadliest forms of waste.

People who would not dream of pitching a cool drink tin out of the car window will happily chuck a burning butt out. Not particularly caring that it can set fire to something. And they do too – burning butts are often the cause of serious veldt fires.

People also drop them on pavements or into gutters, where the wind will blow them into storm waters and all sorts of other places.

Beaches are ideal for putting out butts. One huge ashtray – right? Wrong.

Or… they flick butts casually into water – dams, the sea and rivers.

Cigarette butts are tiny little bundles of toxins. In other words… poisonous. They get into our marine ecosystems and cause havoc with the wildlife and the quality of the water.

And we all know that water is extremely precious – right?

You know what is also really scary – even those people who put their cigarettes out in the designated places have no guarantee that their butts won’t also end up in the water. The bins get emptied. Butts are chucked onto rubbish dumps. Then they get blown around and it’s highly likely that they also end up where they shouldn’t.

Take care where you put those butts please people.

Sibo

 

Random Acts of Kindness

I’ve been reading things about kindness lately and I was thinking that we sure could use a little more of that stuff in our world to make it a better place.  It usually only takes one person to start a domino effect.

It’s not hard to be kind – but it does take a certain mind-set. You can start small. By smiling – and we all know that it takes only 26 to smile and 62 to frown!

Smile at random people for no reason at all.  Usually 9 times out of 10 (unless that person is having a really bad day) they will smile back at you. And then you both feel good.

It’s contagious. You walk along thinking about the person who smiled at you and usually you are still smiling. So you end up smiling at somebody else too … and so it goes.

Of course, remember – it’s okay to smile at random people but kids should not stop and chat. And if anybody ever gets too friendly and makes you feel uncomfortable – feel free to tell your parental agent.

If you are at home, or in a shop and somebody drops something. You can bend down and pick it up for them. It takes just a little bit of effort.

You can offer to help your mum or dad without being asked. They might fall over and faint – but try it sometime – I bet they would really appreciate it.

Or maybe if you see somebody at school sitting by themselves looking all sad and lonely you could go and sit with them – even offer them a snack out of your lunch box if you have enough to share.

This is going to sound a little crazy but engaging in acts of kindness actually acts a bit like a medicine chest in your body…

Did you know, it is said that kindness stimulates the production of serotonin. This is a chemical that not only makes you feel-good but it makes you happy and calms you down.

Even better – doing acts of kindness produces endorphins—the brain’s natural painkiller!

They say that people who are always kind have 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) and don’t get as old as quickly as the average population.

Research has even found that being kind lowers blood pressure.

Go out people and commit random acts of kindness!

Lots of love,

Sibo

Pledge a Book Please!

We all know that South Africa has terrible road safety stats. 

The Minister of Transport Mrs Diplou Peters is always saying that children need to learn about road safety.  It’s true. They do. The Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga is always saying that children must read more. That’s true too – they should.

Here we are… pleasing two ministers with one book!

Sibo Looks Right is a book that contains all the rules of the road, including cycling – in a fun, easy to read manner.

Best of all – you don’t have to take our word for it – you can click on the link and read the book for yourself. Free!

Our plan is to get as many companies and people to pledge books – once we have reached our target of 3000 books (we’d love to get more than this too) we will ask people to honour their pledges and deposit the corresponding amount so that Lets Look Publishers can print these books and we can distribute them to the children.

Science Centres in South Africa have kindly agreed to help with distributing the books.

Here’s the crunch – we’d really like to do this BEFORE Easter!

So we need you to dash off and pledge a book – or two – or as many as you want to.

Challenge other people to pledge books too.

Of course, if you pledge more than 50 books  we can put your name/logo in the back of the book. If you pledge 1000 books – we can put your logo in the front of the book. There are great advertising and marketing aspects to sponsoring books.

If you read Sibo Looks Right you will see that Nash Nissan sponsored a large quantity of money towards our initial crowdfunding campaign and so their logo was featured in the front of the book. If you look on the back cover – there are more logos and names – these are all the lovely people who helped make this book happen in the first place.

Now we need to print more books and get them out to schools and children – FREE.

Let’s make this happen. Please! Pledge now.

A million thanks

Sibo

PS – The Sibo Series is already being read in schools and libraries around the country. In fact, The North West Province Education Department has just ordered more than 500 each of 10 Sibo titles and they are being delivered as we speak!

Letters… and not the alphabet ones either!

Sibo gets a letter

When last did you get a letter? A real letter! Not a window envelope from the bank or an bill that needs to be paid.

Unless you received some Christmas cards in the post, I bet you can’t even begin to remember.

The art of letter writing has gotten lost in this modern day society. Very few people write letters these days. Email is so much quicker and easier. More environmentally friendly too I suppose.

Kids don’t even write notes to each other and pass them under the desk anymore because they rather WhatsApp each other or use some other form of social media.

People would get love letters. They were things that you could read and re-read even when they got so crumpled that you could hardly read the writing anymore and the paper was falling to pieces. My gran still has letters that my grandpa wrote her a million years ago.

Of course, once you write something you can’t take it back. No matter how badly you want to. Although that still applies today – if you write a message on your cell phone or on some other social medial – you cannot take it back. Sure, you can delete things, but once you have read something – you cannot un-read it… so be nice with your words people!

Most people claim that the Post Office does not work very well anymore – but honestly – that isn’t exactly true. They do actually get pieces of post from A to B. My friend Ginny uses the Post Office all the time. Last year she posted her mum a birthday card – from Pretoria to Cape Town – regular mail. It was a really fancy one that she had specially made and was quite thick. She wondered if maybe somebody might think there was something interesting inside the envelope and if it would reach its destination or not.

But guess what. It did. Just a few days after she posted it too!

Sometimes it is a bit frustrating to stand in line at the Post Office to buy stamps (and then find that they don’t have any) but they will always be able to put a sticker with the right amount on your envelope if you have the letter with you.

Go on people – write a letter to somebody. I can guarantee that you will make their day!

Sibo

Sibo visits Nash Nissan

A couple of weeks ago we – as in Uncle Pete, Ginny and I, went to visit Mike Ward, Dealer Principal at Nash Nissan. The aim was to hand over some copies of Sibo Looks Right – our road safety book published by Lets Look Publishers.

Uncle Pete and Mike Ward
Uncle Pete and Mike Ward

We had crowdfunded (via Thundafund) to raise money to publish this book and Nash Nissan was our main sponsor.  With their wonderful help to the tune of R33,600 we managed to raise enough to have an e-book as well as print a few hundred real books as well.

There’s a nice story behind the funding too. The Nash Nissan team (and Mike personally) had won the money as a prize in a national golf tournament and whilst they could have spent that cash on any other charitable organisation – they decided to back our story book and help kids in South Africa learn about road safety in a fun manner.

So off we went to visit.  We were going to hand over some of the real books to Mike – so that he could pass them on to local schools and also share some with his staff and other corporate people.

What a fabulous place Nash Nissan is.

It’s right there on Vootrekker Road in Alberton. Big, shiny and impressive looking!

The best thing about the place though, is that everybody is so very friendly. It felt just like a family atmosphere.  From the guy who operates the boom to let the cars in for a service, to the lady who keeps all the cars looking so shiny bright to the workshop staff… to Mike the boss!

Florencia and Mike
Florencia and Mike

He took us around and introduced us to lots of people. Each time he waved my book under the person’s nose and explained about the project. We took lots of pics.

I felt a bit like a movie star at the end of it all.

The lady mechanics I was telling you about - Lydia, Lazarus, Paul and Thuli
The lady mechanics I was telling you about – Lydia, Lazarus, Paul and Thuli

Mike showed us everything at Nash Nissan – from the new cars to the second hand cars to the workshop. We even went into the basement and checked out where they store their stock of new cars waiting to go onto the showroom floor.

He explained that these days it’s actually really easy to buy a car. You can do most of it online. They also have lots of special deals – crazy ones like you can get insurance free for the first few years.  They want everybody to be able to afford a car – none of this waiting for the bus or having to drive in dangerous taxis stuff.

Mike and Ginny
Mike and Ginny

You don’t even have to live in Gauteng to buy a car from Nash Nissan – you could test drive one at your local Nissan dealer and then actually buy it from Nash – they’ll deliver your brand new car to your doorstep.

How’s this for seriously cool… Nash Nissan employs lady mechanics. That’s right. Not one, but two ladies!  They did their apprenticeship there and turned out to be such great mechanics that they were given permanent employment as soon as they finished – quick chop chop – before anybody else could snap them up.

The sad thing was that not one of the other car dealerships was interested in giving lady mechanics a chance to do their apprenticeship. How silly is that? Don’t people know that we girls can do anything we put our minds to – even if it is traditionally a boy thing.

Yay for Nash Nissan for being so proactive and promoting gender equality!

Mike, George (from Nissan South Africa), Paul and Shoabe
Mike, George (from Nissan South Africa), Paul and Shoabe

All in all Pete, Ginny and I were bowled over by the awesomeness of Nash Nissan.  (And we’re not just saying that because they gave us money for the book – we were truly impressed.)

If you are looking for a new car please consider buying from Nash Nissan. Such awesome car dealers are few and far between.

Their tag line is “Committed to earning your trust” – you sure can bank on that!

Thanks Nash Nissan for caring about the safety of children all over the world.

Much love

Sibo

Lucky - the guy in charge of the boom.
Lucky – the guy in charge of the boom.

Mothers Day is Special

Sibo and mum

Our Mothers (or the people who act as mothers) are really special people in our lives – right? They love us unconditionally, listen to us, dry our tears, feed us, look after us and be our private taxi service whenever we need to get somewhere.

Often we don’t even remember to thank them for all the things that they do. Shame on us!

Yes – they also can drive us nuts, nag us to keep us on the right track (no matter how old we are) but they only do this because they love us and want the best for us.

They care.

Like I mentioned last week, Sunday 8th of May is Mother’s Day. This is the one day of the year that we can give back to our moms.

Spoil them like crazy. Make them feel loved.

We can buy flowers and fancy presents, but if we don’t have lots of money there are still things we can do.

Here are a few ideas that just cost time – mostly.

Make a lovely Mother’s Day card. Go crazy – decorate it with anything fancy you can find – glitter, dried flowers, bits of fabric, wool – get creative. You love your mom – show her how much time you are willing to spend on her.

If you don’t have money for a gift you could make her vouchers. Little cards or papers that say things like:

“Please would you do the washing up?”
“Please would you make me a cup of tea?”
“Please will you bring in the washing?”
“Please will you pick up the dog poop?” (This only works if you have a dog).
“Please will you wash my car?”
“Please will you bring me my glasses from my room?”

You get what I mean? Anything that you think could be useful for your mom – each family has different needs.

Write the vouchers nicely, decorate the cards or papers and put them all together in an envelope. Or make little holes in the side and bind them together with string or wool.

The cruncher with vouchers is… we have to be prepared to do the job when mom presents it to us.  With no moaning, groaning or whinging! Otherwise they are pointless.

We could also make a meal or a cake – and be sure to do all the washing up afterwards.

Whatever you choose to do – do it with love!

Sibo

Smile and wave!

Miss Ball and Sibo

Our teacher, Mrs Ball, gave us a teensy tip in class the other day.

She said we should smile and wave when cars stop to let us cross the road at the zebra crossing. She was specifically talking about the one outside our school – but then she said that any old zebra crossing would do.

We all looked at her.

Why?

Cars are supposed to stop at a zebra crossing to let people go safely across the road. But they often don’t. In fact, they speed up and zoom over it without even looking.

Wayne piped up that this really was true. He nearly got squished as flat as a pancake last week – expecting somebody to stop and they didn’t.

But Mrs Ball stood her ground. When somebody has the courtesy to stop and let you cross the road safely – it costs you nothing to look the person in the eye, smile and wave thank you. It’s a nice, kind gesture.

She reckons the world is often sorely lacking in basic human kindness.

People are so caught up in their own lives, with their own problems that they have forgotten how to be nice – for no reason at all.

That reminded me of the little smiling experiment I did at the mall a few months ago. I remembered that had worked too. When I smiled at other people – most of them smiled back at me. It also made me feel good. Plus I noticed that many of the people carried on walking down the mall, still smiling.

We had the chance to try out her idea later that day. A few of us were waiting in a group at the zebra crossing. A car coasted to a complete halt and let us all walk across.

I looked up, smiled and waved. Some of my classmates were also in the group. They did the same thing.

The people in the car smiled and waved back. They only carried on driving after we were all on the other side of the road.

Some kids that were also crossing (who’re not in our class) asked why we were waving and smiling at strange people. I explained to them what Mrs Ball had said to us.

They had just seen what a positive reaction we had received and agreed that it was a good idea.

Smile awhile!

Sibo

Your new word for the week:

Word:  gesture

Meaning:  movement or sign

Example… Smiling and waving when you cross at a zebra crossing is a nice gesture.

Mind your manners!

The other day mum and I had been shopping in the mall. I was tired, my feet were sore and actually I was a bit fed up watching her try on gajillions of clothes.

Mum suggested that we stop for a break and a bite to eat. I wanted to go to McDonalds. Mum wanted to go to another little tea shop.

Obviously, because I’m the small one and mum has the money – we ended up going to Mum’s place.

I was not very happy and started to pout.

Look said mum, they have chocolate cake and milkshakes. I did not want chocolate cake or a milkshake. I wanted a cheese burger and a coke.

I was really miffed. I plonked down at that table and sulked. When the waitress came to take our order I did not look at her, nor did I say please or thank you.

Mum said I’d been really rude.

Really rude? Me? I didn’t think so.

But mum insisted. She said just because I was having a bad day I should not take it out on other people. They were just doing their job.

“Please and thank you are the cornerstones of politeness”, she said. And a smile does not hurt either.

Mum went off to find the Ladies room and left me sitting there – thinking.

Hmmm… probably I had been a bit rude hey? Come to think of it – I was not very proud of myself. I don’t ever like it when people think they can be rude to me, just because I’m a little kid. I guess it works both ways. One can’t just be bad tempered and mean when we don’t get our own way.

Even if it is something important like going to McDonalds!

Sibo 5In fact you could say that my behaviour had been downright dodgy.  The next time I saw the waitress passing our table I smiled at her and said I was sorry for being rude.

She patted my shoulder and said it was okay. She thanked me for apologising and said she also found it tiring going shopping with her mum.

I said sorry to  mum when she came back to the table.

The chocolate cake was delicious.

……………………..

Cool word for the week:

Word:  nook

Meaning:  a corner or a small recess

Example: Sibo and her mum found a nice little nook in the restaurant and sat down to have a snack.