A magic coffee moment with a “Bush Latte”

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Those of you who like their daily cup(s) of the dark brew know about the coffee moment. Even on safari I would not want to miss it. Being out the whole day to get the perfect shot can be tiring. So a coffee stop now and then is more than welcome. At home we are quite picky about the coffee we drink. Freshly roasted beans are ground and brewed into a perfect espresso by a serious espresso machine. Topped with freshly foamed milk it is turned into the perfect latte for our coffee break(s). On safari the ritual and the ingredients are somewhat different. At first you have to find the perfect spot: scenic, shady and not too windy. Then you hope that all the necessary items have made it into the picnic bag at four o’clock in the morning. Mostly the choice of coffee is: from the thermos, instant, plunger or espresso cooker. Milk can be powdered or fresh, sometimes even frothed. Whatever you choose, it tastes great. The coffee moment is magic, because you are in the middle of a wide open plain, having a bush latte, accompanied by freshly baked cookies (or dutch stroopwafels). We are looking forward to our next safari!

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Voorlezen als belangrijk ritueel en -bonding-moment

IMG_4834Op woensdag 21 januari begonnen de Voorleesdagen met het Nationaal Voorleesontbijt. Bekende voorlezers op scholen waren onder andere Prinses Laurentien en Eric Corton. Dit jaar was er extra aandacht voor vaders. Deze lezen doorgaans een stuk minder voor dan moeders. Dit blijkt ook uit de cijfers van het onderzoeksbureau Nielsen, dat veel onderzoek doet naar Story-telling and Story-selling. Kinderen in de leeftijd van 2 tot 8 jaar worden vooral ‘s avonds voor het slapen gaan voorgelezen. Als ritueel en -bonding- moment en ter ontspanning of om een onderwerp te onderzoeken. De (papieren) boekverkoop voor kinderen in deze leeftijd is dan ook stabiel. Gedrukte boeken hebben nog iets magisch, laten kinderen tactiel leren en verhogen de concentratie. Op latere leeftijd lezen kinderen steeds meer digitaal. Digitaal lezen is vooral gemakkelijk en onafhankelijk. Al is er grote concurrentie van games, app’s en you tube. School, vrienden, ouders en de bibliothecaresse hebben een belangrijke invloed op de keuze van tijdverdrijf van jonge kinderen. Wij van twikga staan open voor digitale ontwikkeling al zijn wij groot liefhebber van het gedrukte boek, omdat het de fantasie van kinderen stimuleert. De beelden die kinderen door lezen in hun hoofd vormen zijn van onschatbare waarde voor hun persoonlijke ontwikkeling en daarmee voor de ontwikkeling van de wereld. De foto is genomen in de Kinderboekwinkel aan de de Rozengracht in Amsterdam. Een winkel vol draken, prinsessen en prinsen, weerwolven en vampiers, kennis over de natuur, Matilde en Jip en Janneke.

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Tata&Squack are having a siesta

TS-Siesta-blogAfter a muddy time chilling out by the river, Tata&Squack look forward to having a siesta under the lush trees on the riverbank, together with their friend Harry’s and his family. They hope that Harry’s big ears can cool them down. Then Squack rummages around in Tata’s bag and miraculously he pulls out a ‘pretty wild’ parasol. “Safi, Squack.” It is a peaceful, sleepy time of day. With the sound of insects humming and the sun at its peak, they stretch themselves out on the grass under the parasol. Wet elephant ears flap gently, as they fan a cooling breeze across their mud-plastered bodies.

More information about Tata&Squack Mission Elephant on our website.

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Duvel and the 3irds celebrate the one-day-winter

Duvelsnow-Blog“Whoa, snow. I love it. Much better than all that rain. Not to mention the stupid toweling afterwards. Come on Funny Bird, throw that snowball, I want to chaaaaaaaaase it! No, not too high. Yes, like that…” “Duvel, I am cold. We have been doing this for hours. I want to go home and eat. Then I would like to have a nice nap under a pile of blankets. Look at my poor bird friends, they are freezing.” “Pah, you couldn’t care less for them. All you think about is food. Come on, one more. This snow will be gone in no time, we have to celebrate this one day of winter!”

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The crossing of the bewildered beest

crossingThe Great Wildebeest Migration, is one of the most impressive events in the natural world, whereas more than two million animals migrate back and forth from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya in order to find fresh grass to eat. On their trek their path is cut several times by rivers. Watching the frantic herds crossing can be very spectacular; there are often scenes of great panic and confusion. The wildebeest fear the water and the creatures that may hide in or near it. Sometimes tens of thousands gather and wait to cross and for no apparent reason, they turn and wander away from the water’s edge. Other times herds may cross back and forth, because they see others of their kind either in the process of crossing the river or grazing on the lush grass on the far side. Hence a lot of people call them “bewildered beest”.

In the twikga books Tata&Squack – The Big Journey and Phanhabs Savanna, the crossings of the wildebeest have been portrayed in an adventurous, yet child friendly way. 

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Royal mud bath with Tata&Squack

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After a refreshing dip into the river Tata&Squack join their new elephant-friend Harry and his family for a mud bath on the riverbank. “Afraid to get dirty, Tata? A mud bath is so much fun and it protects your skin from the sun and stops the bugs from biting you.” “I know that in the wild your skin needs protection, Harry. It looks funny, but this muddy stuff is not my thing.” “I love this wild life,” she hears Squack say with a mischievous grin. “Don’t you dare…,” she starts, but Squack already has his muddy monkey hands around her face…

Curious? Flip through the book on our Flip Pages. More information about Tata&Squack Mission Elephant on our website.

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Duvel und die 3 Vögel essen Leberwurstkekse beim Friseur

Kapper-B“Duvel, bist du krank?” “Nein, aber lass mich bloss in Ruhe! Meine Trimm-Frau pflückt schon seit einer Stunde an mir rum. Manchmal versuche ich sie mit Schmusen von der Arbeit abzuhalten, aber das klappt auch nicht immer. Jetzt ist sie kurz weg und ich versuche ein bisschen zu schlafen. Ist ja toll, diesen alten Mantel auszuziehen, aber irgendwann habe ich keinen Bock mehr. Meinen Bart will sie auch noch schneiden. Das gute ist, sie hat tolle Leberwurstkekse.”  “Ach das wird schon wieder alter Kumpel. Gleich gehen wir an den Strand und düsen eine Runde. Aber, habe ich das richtig gehört, du sagtest irgendwas von Keksen…?” “Du gefräßiger Vogel! Diese Leckerli verdiene ich mir mit meiner sanften Geduld! Vielleicht gibt sie dir ja auch was, wenn du mal den Schnabel hältst.”

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Ein Adventsmarkt für die Elefanten

Weihnachtsmarkt-RissenFrüher wurde die afrikanische Savanne bevölkert von hunderttausenden Elefanten. Heutzutage werden sie vom Aussterben bedroht. Warum? Weil sie gejagt werden im Auftrag von Händlern, die großes Geld damit verdienen. In Asien sind die Stoßzähne der Elefanten Gold wert. Sie werden verarbeitet zu Statuen oder Medikamenten deren Wirksamkeit nur im Aberglaube der Menschen existiert. Alle 15 Minuten wird ein Elefant getötet. Die Elefanten brauchen unsere Hilfe! Wir alle können Helfen! Verschenken sie eine Elefanten Patenschaft zu Weihnachten, oder unterstützen sie eine Organisation, die Elefanten hilft. Heike Henderson-Altenstein organisierte einen Stand für die Elefanten auf dem Adventsmarkt in Rissen bei Hamburg. Sie führte interessante Gespräche mit Menschen, die das Thema in Schulklassen oder anders aufgreifen möchten. Neugierig? Machen Sie mit, helfen Sie den Elefanten! Mehr Info gibt es auf unserer Webseite.

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Duvel and the 3irds dance with the leaves

HerfstBirdsB“Duvel, these leaves are like golden snow, not as cold though. Swirly and floaty, nice and fluffy. Fallen leaves, fallen leaves, fallen leaves on the ground. Jupeeee, I am dancing with the leaves! “Silly bird. Yes, let’s run. Maybe I can hunt some squirrels, a there goes a fuzzy tail. Quick, before the boss catches me. She feels sorry for the little tree rats. Bugger, that squirrel is much too fast. Look at it, jumping from one tree to the next. And up it goes. Maybe next time. Let’s dance with the leaves some more…”

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Green savanna – resembling a golf course

Green-Meadow-BlogHome again from a two week trip to the Mara, Kenya. The rains have turned the planes into a green meadow, resembling a golf course. Although the big migration has moved on to the Serengeti, there was plenty of game left to see. We had some great sightings. A cheetah with four cubs, amazing lions, beautiful sunsets and massive thunderstorms. One afternoon we saw The Big Five within 30 minutes after leaving the camp. And the good thing was that we did not have to share what we saw with lots of other cars. The advantage of being in the Mara off-season. We took some great pictures, some of which we will post on the Wild Picha Facebook page and on our website in the coming weeks.

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