Days Have Names Too!

Sibo hands

Last week we talked about names that people have – but days also have names and I’m not talking about the boring old weekdays or the lovely weekend days either!

For instance, the 27th April is Freedom Day. It’s a public holiday and I’m sure you were all as glad as I was that we did not have to go to school or work on that day.

Some public holiday days are always the same – like Christmas, New Year and Woman’s Day. Easter moves around because it is defined as being the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox (in simple terms – that’s some moon event). Ramadan is the same – it also moves around.

Then you get other days that have been declared things like “World Wildlife Day” (3 March), “World Water Day” (22 March) or “World Malaria Day” (25 April) by the United Nations or some other body.  There are lots of these days. Just last week we had “Earth Day” (22 April) and we made my book on global warming – Sibo Makes a Difference – available on the website for people to freely read. It’s still there if you want to go and have a look.

On the 1st of May we have “Workers Day”. This is a public holiday in South Africa but not necessarily everywhere else in the world.

These days, if a public holiday falls on a Sunday – we get the Monday off. Yay!

There are also a number of other days in May but they are not public holidays. Things like “World Press Freedom Day” on the 3rd, “International Day of Families” on the 15th, “International Day of Biological Diversity” on the 22nd and “World No-Tobacco Day” on the 31st.

There are a lot of other day’s in-between too – but most of us would not easily relate to the topics. If you want to know when and what all the different days in the year are, you can visit this website – it lists them all in a really easy way with clickable links.

Of course the most important day to remember in May is Mother’s Day on the 8th. We all know that our moms are the most special people – no matter how old we are or they are. Make sure you spoil yours.

Happy Days!

Sibo

What’s in a name?

Sibo hands

The other day I read a quote that went like this… “People’s names are the sweetest sounds they hear. You should make a point of being good at learning and using them.”

Sjoe! I started thinking that it’s sometimes quite a problem in South Africa because we can’t always pronounce names the way they are supposed to be pronounced.

Sometimes people even get called other names that are easier to say. I wonder if that makes the person sad and if they maybe lose a little bit of their identity.

I started thinking some more – what do names actually mean.  My full name is Sibongile. If you google “The meaning of the name Sibongile” you will find that it means thank you and it originates in Africa. But if you go to one of the American “what does your name mean” sites and type in Sibongile it will (a) tell you that this is not a very common name and (b) maybe you should try the shortened version.

Did you ever!

There are a couple of different sites that you can try too – some of them go into great detail about the meaning of your name. Others have the different meanings for every letter – and then you can sort of summarize all of them and see if it fits.

Then you get some people who make up their own names. Like my friend Luan for instance. He was named after his paternal Grandfather, Lucien and his maternal Grandmother, Anna. It’s not a very common name either.

Some people are named after people that their parents know – like my friend Ginny. She was named after the singer Virginia Lee – not that she can sing a note! The only time Ginny gets called Virginia is when her mother is cross with her! I guess that’s true with all of us.  Ginny wanted to name her elder daughter after her Grandmother – Laura – but her granny really hated the name and was rather called by her second name Margaret (shortened down to Peggie or Peg) for most of her life. So Ginny named her daughter Lauren instead.

She didn’t really think that Lauren could be shortened – but it could – Lolla!

Let’s not even talk about the funny names that people call their animals – or why. That would keep us busy all day.

Try googling your name to see what it means  http://www.names.org/  (for the short version) or https://www.kabalarians.com/cfm/what-does-my-name-mean.cfm – for the long version.

Have fun!

Sibo

Tricky Trash

Recycling

Hearing about the Pikitup troubles started me thinking about rubbish.

We all generate lots of trash every single day.

How many people do actually recycle their stuff? I know that some places have bins that are easily accessible for people to throw their paper, plastic or glass in and all it requires is a little bit of effort. Other places provide special bags for recycling stuff and it gets specially picked up every week. That’s also relatively easy to do.

Then you get the places are not so jacked-up and it actually does require a fair amount of trouble to recycle properly.

If your area does not have good recycling habits there are other things that you can do to help out.

Most places in South Africa have people who trawl around the bins in residential areas on rubbish day. They take out all the plastic, glass and paper to be recycled. They get money for this stuff – and often this is their only source of income.

I know some people whinge and mutter because they don’t always leave the bins nice and tidy as they found them, but actually they’re doing the earth a service.

Why fill up the landfill more when we can recycle?

So… the nice thing to do is to help out and try and segregate your own rubbish.

Save all your glass bottles and jars and put them into a separate bag in the bin.

Do the same with tins, plastic, paper and cardboard. Make sure you wash out tins and plastic containers first. It must be really horrible for the people who collect this stuff to have to grovel out yukky miffy old disgusting cans with bits of mouldy dogfood or baked beans clinging to the sides.

You could also find out if any of the play schools in your area need stuff – like the inside cardboard roll in the toilet paper, cereal boxes, plastic trays, jars etc.  They often use things like that for craft projects or for storage.

If you have batteries, bulbs or ink cartridges you can usually recycle those in the bins in Pick ‘n Pay. They know how to properly dispose such nasty things. Some batteries have mercury in them and you really don’t want those to end up in the landfill.

All it takes is a bit of time and organisation.

Give it a go!

Sibo

Antics

Sibo with ants 2

The other day our house was besieged by ants. Long columns of them marched around our kitchen. At first we thought somebody had left something sweet by the sink and that’s what they were attracted to, but then we realised that they were going for the water.

Mum wanted to spray them all with Doom. I thought that was a bit harsh and convinced her to leave them alone for a while to see if they disappeared as fast as they had arrived. Lucky for them, they did.

This got me wondering about ants. I googled to find out some more.

Turns out there are three kinds of ants in a colony: The queen, the female workers and males. The queen and the males have wings. The workers don’t have wings. (The workers are the ants that we usually see scurrying around the place.) The queen is the only ant that can lay eggs. The male ant’s job is to mate with future queen ants and they do not live very long afterwards. Once the queen grows to adulthood, she spends the rest of her life laying eggs!

Ant colonies also have soldier ants that protect the queen, defend the colony, gather or kill food, and attack enemy colonies in search for food and nesting space. If they defeat another ant colony, they take away eggs of the defeated ant colony. When the eggs hatch, the new ants become the “slave” ants for the colony. Some jobs of the colony include taking care of the eggs and babies, gathering food for the colony and building the anthills or mounds.

Did you know…

  • There are more than 12,000 species of ants that can be found all over the world?
  • An ant can lift 20 times its own body weight.
  • Ants do not have ears. They “hear” by feeling vibrations in the ground through their feet.
  • Ants also don’t have lungs. Oxygen enters through tiny holes all over the body and carbon dioxide leaves through those same holes.
  • When ants fight – they usually fight to the death.
  • Some queen ants can live for many years and have millions of babies. Queen ants shed their wings when they start a new nest.
  • When searching for food, ants leave a pheromone trail so that they know where they have been.

Sjoe! Ants are actually quite amazing.

Let’s not step on ants.

Have a great week.

Sibo

A little consideration goes a long way

 

Rude Sibo

I know I am a kid and am not really supposed to have strong opinions about stuff but sometimes I do get mad.

Like yesterday… some dude came and stood right next to where I was sitting outside and blew his smelly cigarette smoke all over me. He could have easily stood somewhere else – away from me.

I made coughing and choking noises but he carried right on. So I had to move.

Isn’t it against the law to make kids smoke?

I know you are not supposed to smoke in the car if you have children – so shouldn’t that apply to other places as well?

Then I nearly got flattened by a bakkie that did not stop at the pedestrian crossing. The cars on the other side had stopped and people had started to walk already, but he just screamed through without even looking. He was talking on his cell phone.

One of the other ladies who also nearly got smooshed yelled something rude at him and shook her fist.

It’s against the law to talk on your cell phone and drive – isn’t it? For exactly that reason… you don’t concentrate properly. Zebra crossings are supposed to be a safe place to cross. What is the point if cars don’t bother to stop?

I watched a lady pushing a wheelchair try to manoeuver through a door. First she opened the door and was about to push the chair through when the door blew shut.

So she had to squeeze around the chair and try and push it open again. It blew shut for a second time.  There were lots of people sitting near the door but they just watched her struggling.  In the end I leapt up from three tables away and held the door open for her. She was very grateful and gave me a big smile.

What is wrong with people?  Why can’t they help each other and be nice.

We all live in the same space and yet everybody is just rushing around, swamped in their own lives, too busy to take time out to smell the daisies or take note of when another fellow human being needs a bit of help.

It’s so sad.

Be nice people.

Sibo

World HIV AIDS Day

Face Book 13

On the 1st of December it is World HIV AIDS Day.

Hai Sibo! I hear you say. What does a little girl like you know about HIV AIDS?

It all started when I found out that my friend Lizzie’s brother is HIV positive. Strangely enough – because her brother is positive – a lot of people thought that it was bad to be friends with Lizzie.

What a lot of rubbish!

It’s okay to be friends with people who have family members who are HIV positive. It’s also okay to be friends with the people themselves who are HIV positive. In fact they really need friends – lots of them. It can be seriously depressing to find out that you have been diagnosed with such a thing and having all your friends run away from you is the last thing on earth that you need.

It’s terrible to think, in this day and age of social media, television, radio, cell phones and goodness knows what else – that people still think that they can get sick just by being in the same room as somebody who is HIV positive. Or by sitting on the same toilet, or using the same dishes. Or drinking from the same water fountain or using the same gym equipment. You can hug or kiss a person who is HIV positive and hold their hand too.

Sometimes when the person’s employer finds out that they are HIV positive they even go so far as to fire them – just when they need their medical aid and all the support that they can get.

You need to eat the right food – good nutritional stuff that builds up your body – no junk food. We shared our veggies with Lizzie’s family. It’s important to eat lots of fruit and veggies. But then it’s important for everybody to eat fruit and veggies – not just those who are HIV positive.

Okay – so Lizzie’s brother was stupid. He’d been doing drugs and got the virus from sharing a needle with somebody who was HIV positive. Doing drugs is wrong – we all know that. Not only using needles but sniffing, snorting, smoking – all that stuff is just silly. Plus it’s a waste of your good hard earned cash and it messes your life up so much more than you could ever imagine.

Visit my website and join our readathon on 1st December. You will be able to read Sibo Thinks Positively – free of charge. On your computer, cell phone, tablet or whatever!

Be nice people,

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.

Adults acting worse than kids

Sibo 5Eish!

I have been feeling rather agitated just lately. All these people throwing coloured paint on statues and messing them up makes me sad, mad and just plain fed up.

It’s worse than littering.

I understand that not everybody is happy with their lives, and that things have not worked out the way they wanted them to, but destroying stuff is wrong.

And it does not fix anything. You might feel good or happy for a little while, but soon you’ll be looking for something else to mess up.

If you think about it, it’s a bit like stealing.

I’m just a little kid and one day I want to be able to go and visit history. Check out what people looked like, read up on what they did. All people – no matter what colour they are.

Even if I maybe did not agree with what they did in the past – I still have the right to know about them.

If they get rid of all the statues – how long before they get rid of all the information in the history books that we have at school?

It’s not like you can change things that have already happened.

But you can learn from mistakes and make sure that they don’t happen again.

I thought big people were supposed to know better. It seems to me that some of these big people are acting worse than little kids.

Seriously! If a kid destroyed something just because he or she didn’t like it – they’d probably get a fat smack and be in serious trouble.

Imagine if you stole your neighbour’s angel statue and broke it just because you don’t believe in angels?

I listen to a lot of adults moaning and whinging that they wished their lives were different. That they had a better job… or earned more money. Or they wished they were thinner… or whinge whinge whinge. But I don’t really ever see them doing anything to help themselves and change things.

This seems a bit odd to me.

It’s up to you, yourself, to change stuff that you don’t like.

But this does not mean that it’s okay to destroy things.

……………………..

 

Cool word for the week: Tolerance

Meaning: A willingness to recognize and respect the beliefs or practices of others

Example: We have to show tolerance for what other people think – even if we don’t agree with them.