Left or Right

I vividly recall never being called on to write on the backboard in school. I remember the disappointment, feeling like I was not good enough. I also blamed my terrible writing on being left handed.

Notes for my Masters course

I was not always left handed. I was actually ambidextrous, and would write half the page with my left hand and then hand the pencil over to my right hand and continue the sentence. I would play tennis with both hands, I had no backhand.

Apparently I was told to choose. Who knew why I went for the pain that is being left handed. My dad is left handed too, so maybe I wanted to be like him.

Being left handed has the following results :

  • People going “oh, you are left handed?”
  • People going “how did I not know you are left handed?”
  • Rubbing off everything you write on white or black boards.
  • Always having a black hand after writing due to rubbing over your writing.
  • Not finding suitable scissors.

I was able to overcome the last thing by learning to cut with my right. I play hockey right handed.

My writing as a child was seriously terrible, but I like to think by the time I got to my masters, it at least resembled something legible.


Sir David

Image result for david attenborough

“I just wish the world was twice as big, and half of it was still unexplored”

Sir David Attenborough is someone that I have admired and looked up to throughout my life. He cultivated my love of nature. He showed me it can be possible to make a difference. Human planet, Blue Planet, Planet Earth, The Hunt, Deep Blue, Africa, The Private Life of Plants – all these series provided me with an education, exposed me to the awe-inspiring world of nature in minute detail, and alerted me to current issues facing our planet.

My favourite aspect of Sir David is how he stumbled upon his success, he did not go looking for it. A young, eager man, he worked at the BBC, and happened to become the star of Zoo Quests. Even though some of the actions taken on Zoo Quests – like stumbling across an abandoned bear and bringing it back to the UK – would be frowned upon by conservationists world wide these days, with Zoo Quests he was able to bring an awareness to the people in the cities.

He is the person with the most honourary degrees in the UK, at least 32, which is a true representation of the academic world’s appreciation of him.

Sir David is agnostic, a “belief” that I share. Being agnostic means that you believe the existence of a greater being, like a god, cannot be proved or disproved.

He is a fascinating man, that has lived a fascinating life. He is someone I want to read about, talk about, watch on TV. His voice lulls me to sleep. I would love to be able to witness him presenting a talk, and maybe grab a bite to eat after.


The One with the Friends

Writing about my favourite TV show of all time is not hard. It is a no-brainer, actually.



I watched Friends with my parents when I was a wee little girl, around primary school age. In high school, it re-surged, and I was hooked (although I kept wondering – how did my parents allow me to watch this??). At university I made it my mission to get my hands on the entire series – all ten seasons.

For those of you reading this who has never seen Friends, I will try my best to describe it here:

  • It is about, you guessed it, friends. Six of them, to be exact. Although, technically, two of them are siblings, so they are maybe not friends by choice.
  • The show has a nice gender balance with three guys (Ross, Chandler and Joey) and three girls (Monica, Rachel and Phoebe).
  • The show lacks racial diversity, however it features a lesbian couple, although it often pokes fun at them.
  • It follows these six friends through their mid-twenties, struggling for jobs and love. (Very relatable as I am currently in the same situation)

Sure, if a show like Friends were to come out today, the pasty-white cast would certainly raise many eyebrows, but if you look past that and look at the essence of the show, it is light-hearted, funny, consuming, and takes you on a ride with the characters.

It has been the inspiration of many memes, buzzfeed quizzes, facebook and instagram pages, and even rumours of a reunion movie (which is fake, by the way).

I grew up with these characters, I went through tough high school years with them, I had hour-long conversations with my friends about them. I can recall episodes and quotes in an instant. I can do trivia on them.

So, although I watch a lot (and I mean, A LOT) of different series of different genres, Friends will forever be my go-to, favourite, series.

We don’t need no Education



Graduation, 2013.

Education (noun):

  • the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university.
  • an enlightening experience.

Personally, I prefer the second definition.

My thoughts on education has certainly differed and fluctuated over the years. Do I think everybody needs a formal education? No, probably not.

I was lucky to go to a good school, and be awarded the chance to graduate from a great university and earn my masters. Yes, I got a formal education. But do I think it is a necessity? No. You hear of many people that are successful business people, politicians and project managers, with little to no formal education. I must acknowledge that foundation phase education is probably a bonus, as it does jump start the whole reading and writing aspect of being a functioning human, but as for a tertiary education, I don’t believe it is necessary.

Even though I am currently working in the field I did my masters in – Environmental Law – the experience I gained through doing the actual work has been much more valuable than what I learned from books and exams. I got an education in how to do my taxes from my dad. I got an education on how to feed myself from my mom. I got an education from behaving in social situations from my friends.

So I repeat, I prefer the second definition. We don’t all need formal education. We need an enlightening experience.

15 Things to know about Me

This is me, Adri:

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, dog

These are 15 things to know about me:

  1. The thing I love most in the world is my 7 year old, house-elf/jackal/whipped dog, Xena.
  2. I have two older sisters, Corlia (28) and Tina-Mari (30).
  3. I have a degree in Conservation Ecology and a Masters in Marine and Environmental Law.
  4. I am terrified of birds, but got my first job working with wild African Penguins.
  5. I hate the feeling of velvet.
  6. My favourite movie is The Lion King.
  7. I am addicted to chips (aka “crisps) – my favourite being Lays and Fritos.
  8. I am vegetarian.
  9. I have provincial colours in Track and Field athletics and Cross Country, and competed at nationals against the now-famous Caster Semenya.
  10. I have a stuffed dog-teddy named “Snuffles” (Sniffles) that I got when I cut my arm and needed stitches 22 years ago. I still sleep with him every night.
  11. I hate the feeling of paper – especially warm, just-photocopied, paper. It gives me goosebumps. My sisters used to rub paper on me to tease me. It was THE WORST.
  12. I had a goldfish for almost 9 years, in a bowl. His, or her, name was Vis (Fish). He/she had a great personality, and was my favourite pet before Xena.
  13. I don’t really like sweets and chocolates.
  14. At the age of 3 weeks, I still did not have a name and was called “The Baby”. Both Grandmothers’ names were taken (Cornelia – Corlia; Tia-Maria – Tina-Mari) so my parents were useless. Eventually got named vaguely after my grandfather: Abraham Andries – Adri.
  15. I recently got a minimalist tattoo of a wave followed by three ellipses, on my ribs. The wave symbolises my love for nature, for the ocean, and for healing of the soul. The three dots are for the three sisters. With eldest sister relocating to Dallas, Texas, “we may be oceans apart, but I carry my sisters close to my hear.


Travel Bug

If I could go anywhere in the world, where would I go?

I have been fortunate enough to enjoy travelling from a very young age. When I was around 5 years old, my parents bundled me and my sisters into the car and carted us off across Southern Africa, where we game viewed and 4×4’d our way through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and a quick jump over the border into Zambia.


Fast forward a couple of years, and I find myself in a much more exotic location – Asia. Nine year old me enjoyed the beaches of Phuket, the chaos of Bangkok, the orderliness of Singapore.


Jump another couple of years, and off we go to the Great United States of America. Standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon and experiencing the heat of Las Vegas, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, riding a fanboat in New Orleans, witnessing Fourth of July in Times Square.


Then, my parents took a liking to Europe, and by age 19 I had seen the Big Ben, The Giant’s Causeway, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, Viking Towns, the Harbours of Hamburg, the Old Town of Prague, The Matterhorn Mountain. “This was the last one”, my parents would threaten. And for the most part, I knew it was true.


Writing my name in snow for the first time in Germany

At the age of 21, seven friends and myself headed back to Thailand. This time, for a much different holiday than I enjoyed twelve years prior! We partied all night, visited Koh PhiPhi, drove scooters, and enjoyed the street food. I was hooked. As much as I appreciated all the amazing travel experiences awarded to me in the past, I knew visiting different cultures and avoiding tourist traps were my preferred method of seeing the world.


James Bond Island in Thailand

Just last year, five of us visited Java, Bali and Gili Trawagan in Indonesia. We went with only plane tickets and a vague plan, and backpacked our way across, finding accommodation and transport as we went.


Dieng Plateau, Indonesia

Last year I also had a brief visit to Barcelona, where I lost my heart to the city and the people.


Barcelona, Spain, during independence protests

So, if I could go anywhere in the world, where would I go?

I have seen so much of the world. 18 countries, to be exact. Next on my travel itinerary is doing a trip through some of the Greece Islands. Then there is my need, not just a desire but a real need, to see India, Nepal, Mongolia. I want to explore the jungles of Vietnam, ride horses in the Himalayas,  dive in the Philippines, explore the world of the Incas, have vodka in St Petersburg, savour food in the Caribbean .

I can’t choose just one place. I want to see culture and meet communities and stuff my face with local cuisine. So if I could go anywhere in the world, I would go everywhere.


Ideal Job

Working hands in with penguins in conservation

As a child, I wanted to be a jockey. I remember drawing a picture in grade 4, titled “what I want to be when I grow up” and it was me winning a horse race astride a beautiful palomino horse. This dream quickly vanished when I did not stop growing and soon surpassed the height limit acceptable for a jockey.

After giving up on my horse-dream, I decided to become a chef. Despite the constant “never trust a skinny chef” jokes, I did a very extensive research product in Grade 10 regarding where to study, the requirements, and potential job opportunities.

Fast forward two years, and I decide dietetics is for me. After applying, getting in, and shadowing a dietitian at a hospital, I realised working with sick people was not my calling.

Right now I am an environmental consultant. It is a career path I am passionate about. However, my ideal job would probably be something that makes more of a difference. I worked in conservation for two years, and even then I felt unfulfilled in terms of making a real difference.

So my ideal job? I really don’t know. Perhaps being paid to travel, paid to sample good food and good wine. That would be a pretty perfect job.