11 May 2012

A to Z April Challenge reflections post.

Aardvark (source)
Most of you already know that I took part in Lee's A to Z April Challenge, so now I need to do a blog post about what I experienced while taking part. It's called a reflections post, or something like that. Well, even though I've got quite a lot to say, I've been tardy in writing about my time in April. Why? I suppose it comes from not having to meet deadlines, not on top of each other anyway. But it's time to tell my story.
Last year I also joined up to try the challenge out and, as far as I can remember, things were going smoothly until  I got to about to about "F" for forgiven and lost all access to the Internet. I missed "G, H, and I" and then went to an Internet Cafe` to see what I could possibly do. There I managed to post "J" for Jesus and that was the end of it. Oh well 2011 is long gone and this is 2012, right? I learned my lesson last year. I wasn't going to try again, no way. And then a whole bunch of my blog followers decided to join up. Not fair! I finally submitted on about the 23 rd of March, and the race was on.
I think in the first twenty four hours after signing up, I wrote eleven post and saved them in draft format but couldn't get them to schedule properly. Help! A chap from the UK eventually helped me get it sorted out and I was back on track. God is so good. Because of my struggles I actually gained a follower, one not even taking part in the challenge, Gill, who was struggling with the same issues. How about that?
Anyway, back to the challenge. Last year I didn't schedule any posts, but this year I decided to get as many written beforehand as possible, my aim was to have all posts written before the first of April, didn't quite happen. I think I got as far as "W" before I was stumped, which isn't too bad considering I only had a week before the challenge started.
Quiver tree (source)
Most of the posts I wrote were about subjects that just popped into my head, but there were a few that I got help with. The first was "Q", What on earth begins with "Q" in Africa? I wrote about what happened as far as help is concerned in the introduction to this post. Check it out by clicking on the link, I won't bore you with the details again, but I will say God is amazing.
Oh, by the way, all the highlighted letters and names are links.
And then came "W" for wild dogs. I Google'd African W and in the preemptive text African Wild Dogs was displayed, I had a topic. My friend Wynand suggested the topic for "X", Xhosa speaking people, as did he for the letter "Y", Ystervark, the rest I came up with myself, so to speak.
Now I must tell you I have what is known as a capped data bundle, essentially what this means is, I'm allowed  2 gigs of data a month and because of the amount of research I did for each and every post I published, I used up the whole bundle during April. Near the end I almost ran out of data to complete the challenge. But hey, I did it.
OK, so now you know a little about what I went through, but I must admit, I learned an enormous amount about Africa and the African continent. For example, did you know the whole of the United States of America, including Alaska and Hawaii fits into the Sahara desert with room to spare? Africa is huge. My research has taken me to places and revealed aspects of Africa I could never have known. Another thing I learned, people are fascinated by Africa, it's so different and so unknown. Way too big to write about in twenty six short posts.
As far as blogging is concerned, I've missed the blogs I follow on a regular basis simply because I've been a bit overwhelmed and the number of comments I've receiver and left has left me not knowing how to cope. I do still have a life outside of blogging that needs my attention too. Neglecting that leaves me kind of broke, if you know what I mean?
I've decided I like Blogger more than Wordpress, not that there's anything wrong with Wordpress, I just don't like all the e-mail notifications. My e-mail is full enough already. As far as the new Blogger interface is concerned, I hate it. Why change what is already working excellently? Now I have a huge struggle to find things I'm trying to accomplish and things that were simple and reliable are all screwed up. Not cool.
Back to Lee's challenge. It would be nice if there were some sort of category addition so we could know where bloggers usual thought train is displayed. What I mean is, Humor, Philosophy, cooking, art and so on. Oh well, I suppose it is a social networking thing and we are bound to experience life through the eyes of everyone anyway. Will I take part again next year, absolutely not, no I won't, no never, no, Ok, if you insist, argh rats.
Lee, I want to let you know that it has been an absolute pleasure taking part in your A to Z April Challenge, I learned a lot and, despite my reticence, I'll probably take part next year. It was a good idea, well done, Geoff.
Sunset on the Zambezi River (source)


  1. Amazing to think that there is actually something out there bigger than Texas! Loved exploring Africa with you Geoff! Thrilled to derive from your comments that you are a brother in Christ. And find your closing photo to be so serene and awesome! Excellent effort! - Barbara
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

  2. I enjoyed your posts, too! I'd like to know what brought you to Africa, or were you born there? It's such a beautiful and interesting country!

  3. Notes4neta hi.
    Born and bred. 100% African and very proud of it. My grandparents emigrated to South Africa in about 1910 on my mother's side. As far as I can tell my Fathers ancestors arrived here in about 1680 or so, not too sure about that though.
    Africa, despite what some people may think, isn't a country, it's a continent, sort of like Asia and Europe combined, very big with lots of countries. An interesting place but a bit neglected and abused.
    Now you know, I'm African, white but African all the same.
    Blessings and thanks for the interest, Geoff.

  4. Hello Geoff, I've been on vacation at the beach and so missed a lot of post. Did I miss the candy factory?

    Good job on completing the A-Z Challenge - I might have managed it if I hadn't lost Internet for so many days in the middle... I could have picked up where I left off - but my motivation was gone.

  5. Bozo hi.
    No I haven't written about my experiences at Wilson Rowntree yet. I need to do a bit of photography first so you can see what I'm talking about. That of course means I've got to buy a whole lot of yummy products and then, after taking pictures, I'll have to eat them. Yum, looking forward to it.
    As far as the Challenge is concerned, the same thing happened to me last year, this year I scheduled posts just in case it happened again. And it worked.
    I'll get to the photography for a sweet post within the next day or two, so be patient my sweet toothed friend, it's coming.
    Blessings and laughter, Geoff.

  6. Barbara hi.
    You Americans are so funny, yes the world is much bigger than Texas, ha, ha, ha.
    I'm glad you enjoyed my African Safari, I did too. I must tell you there is way too much to tell about in such a few blog posts. Each topic could fill a whole library of books and I had to be very choosy with regards to what I could include. The research was amazing and very enjoyable, to say the least.
    Yes, I'm a Christian, don't really know any other way to live, well not one that makes sense to me.
    I felt that since the A to Z April challenge, in my case, started with Africa and ended with Zebra, I would include a few pictures I didn't include before. I chose Aardvark, one subject I wanted to include but "A" was already taken, and Zambezi river, also taken. I thought a sunset would be particularly fitting for an end post.
    Hope to see you again through the year, Blessings in the name of Jesus, Geoff.

  7. Stopping by to wish you a great week-end and to hand you an award ;)

  8. Geoff, I learned a great deal about Afrika, and I didn't even read all of your A-Z posts. You did a great job.

    I hate the new Blogger platform also--agreed--why change what was working???

  9. Lol! I'll try and be patient! But it's such fantastical place to work that I'm so curious!

  10. I found you through the A-Z Challenge and I just wanted to say hello :) Many blessings to you!

  11. Great job! An interesting parameter only doing subjects connected to Africa. I'm slow on getting around to checking out all the other bloggers. Looking forward to reading some of your posts. I've never been to Africa so I'm going to live vicariously through your posts.

  12. Hey you. I've changed my name from Bozo to Lady in Red - I've also giving you a blogging award. Please stop by any time to pick it up!


  13. I think that giving an idea of the train of thought of the blogs would be great.

    On the other hand, not knowing expanded my horizons quite a bit.

  14. But if you hadn't joined the April challenge, I would not have found you! Such a serene photograph. Africa is an amazing place, full of wonders that have to be seen first hand--it is on my wish list.

  15. So many people have mentioned the desire for categories both this year and last year. I made an attempt to do something like this but I wasn't able. To do it right it would require programming knowledge that I don't have. But I'll be posting about all of this in an upcoming evaluation on the A to Z Blog.
    You had a great theme for the Challenge and presented it very well.
    Congratulations for completing the alphabet with us.

    I've never heard of the capped data bundle. I guess that's something that we don't have here.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  16. So understand the frustrations with Blogging now....go where and where is that and how to do what when why and where????
    Love to visit your blog and see a portion of the world I shall never see except through the lens of your camera...thank you for sharing with me your world! Have an amazing Weekend!

  17. I never had the confidence to do an A to Z Geoff, so good for you and writing all those posts in that time period is a great feat in itself.
    So good for you, that is amazing!
    Love Di ♥

  18. Hey Geoff. Great post! I didn't get a chance to follow you on A-Z as I kind of got lost along the way. However, to make up for it, I'm giving you and award... drop by http://justermie.blogspot.co.uk to collect it. :-)

  19. Hi Geoff, I just found your comment on my Blantyre Street blog. Yes, I am not sure why there is not a Follow link on that. There is for other blogs I write. I will look into it. I know one cans subscribe via feed. Thanks for your comments. Ros

  20. I simply changed the template Geoff and it allows followers.