Sunday, February 28, 2010

Goodbye Africa

my small tribute to South Africa, my new friends @IBM, the city of Johannesburg and the warm weather I enjoyed in the last weeks :-) And of course to Jabulani!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I call it faith you may call it happymaking obsession but believe it or not I found some great signs of happymaking while in South Africa. Won't talk about the food (cause the closest I got from the African cuisine was a springbok sausage ^..^),the lovely weather, the green Joburg or the inspiring people I met, but about how wherever I go happymaking is my sole travel companion. And if you'll read further you'll also see that the chances of me finding out about this were pretty low...

So every morning I went for a swim and hurried downstairs just to stay longer in the sun (my driver has also contributed to this as he was late most of the time). Everyday the same nice person entertained me for about 20 mins, told me about Africa, asked me if I am doing fine and introduced me to Afrikaans (in case you were wondering how I knew about Sawubona ^..^). Was a pleasure to meet him and ...kind of... I was always looking forward to it.
As this blog post also happens thanks to him, here is the pic of me and Thamsanqa @Hilton in Sandton- a lovely guy and dedicated father.

And now you are probably wondering what Thamsanqa thaught me about happymaking :-) With my natural curiosity I was asking him about popular names in Africa (like we have Maria, Ana...). Learned some cool African names but also some very nice ones like Beauty or Innocent (actually the receptionist's name was Beauty). And I learned that the most popular name is JABULANI, which guess what, is related to happymaking :-)
Jabulani is a common name for both boys and girls (like most African names) and means "happy" for boys and "happiness" for girls. Thamsanqa told me it's a very positive, creative and lovely name and that also we could write pages and pages and pages about it. Unfortunately I can't show you the passion he was pronouncing Jabulani with and how excited was about it.

And also the ball for the World Football Cup in ZA this year is called Jabulani (and the mascot Zakumi= little lion). So pretty cool ;-) Actually Thamsanqa thinks anything can happen during the games and that any newcomer can win with the help of Jabulani, the playful and incredible ball.

Hope it was #happymaking like, for me it was for sure, still smiling now. If you're name your kid Jabulani let me know, would send Thamsanqa an email (yes I got his email ^..^) and tell him about it.

Thanks Thamsanqa and keep making visitors like me @home in Johannesburg!

the Happymaker

Monday, February 22, 2010

How Vacations Affect Your Happiness

A nice post in the NYTimes :-) And funny done in...the Netherlands :-)) reg the previous A'dam post!

The study, published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, showed that the largest boost in happiness comes from the simple act of planning a vacation. In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks.

After the vacation, happiness quickly dropped back to baseline levels for most people. How much stress or relaxation a traveler experienced on the trip appeared to influence post-vacation happiness. There was no post-trip happiness benefit for travelers who said the vacation was “neutral” or stressful.”

Surprisingly, even those travelers who described the trip as “relaxing” showed no additional jump in happiness after the trip. “They were no happier than people who had not been on holiday,” said the lead author, Jeroen Nawijn, tourism research lecturer at Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.

The only vacationers who experienced an increase in happiness after the trip were those who reported feeling “very relaxed” on their vacation. Among those people, the vacation happiness effect lasted for just two weeks after the trip before returning to baseline levels.

And of course main reason for not being happy after the vacation: going back to work :-)

PS: that doesn't mean that resigning from your job before leaving for vacation will make you happier when you'll come back :-)

the Happymaker

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winter in Amsterdam

Although I'm preparing for my trip to South Africa and dream about the 30 degrees Celsius that I'll enjoy there :-) , found some time to take you on a boat tour around Amsterdam, a vibrant and young city I really enjoyed and hoping to see it again.

Loved the streets, the water, the food, the bus drivers (especially those who sing), the tulips ( bought like 100 and will plant soon :-0), the buildings and the souvenirs. Must say they have an impressive palette of souvenirs :-) So now I even recommend it as #happymaking place! Enjoy!