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South Africa, Australia meet again in Perth

South Africa and Australia are set to meet for the third, and decisive test match at the Western Australia Cricket Association ground in Perth, Western Australia.

The two sides played to a draw in the first test, which took place at the Brisbane Cricket Ground in Woolloongabba, Queensland. This was repeated in the latest match at the Adelaide Oval in South Australia. Faf du Plessis batted for 110, which helped the Proteas get the draw. What made du Plessis' performance so impressive was that he became the fourth South African to register a century in his debut for the test side.

The third, and final test begins at 9:30 p.m. EST on November 29. The test will continue until its final installment on December 3.

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South Africa, Australia meet again in Adelaide

South Africa continues its test tour of Australia, as the two sides are set to meet at the Adelaide Oval in South Australia.

The first day of the next test is fast approaching, with it set to kick off at 7 p.m. EST on November 21. It is planned to continue until the final meeting, which takes place on November 25.

Australia will be looking to improve from the first test, which ended in a draw. There are two tests left between the two sides, with the home side likely needing to sweep the final two in order to get the victory. The weather should be perfect for the match, as it is expected to be in the high 70s throughout much of the first day, while it should get warmer as the weekend continues.

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South Africa tours Australia for three test matches

Two giants in the test cricket world will meet later this week in the first of three matches, as South Africa kicks off its tour against Australia.

The first match of the tour for the Proteas brings them to the Brisbane Cricket Ground in Woolloongabba, Queensland. The match is set for November 8, at 7 p.m. EST. It will go through November 12.

After this, the two sides will reconvene for the second test match, which takes place at the Adelaide Oval in South Australia. The first day of the second test starts at 7 p.m. EST on November 21. This will continue until the final innings are played on November 25.

The third test begins on November 29, at 9:30 p.m. EST. It takes place at the Western Australia Cricket Association ground in Perth. The match will have its final innings on December 3.

Currently, The ICC Test Ranking has South Africa in first place with a rating of 120. Australia is in third place, with a rating of 116. This is only one point behind England for second.

Sides share long test history
Australia and South Africa met several times in the past, as both toured extensively. The last time the two met was in 2011, with two test matches. The two countries split the meetings.

The first time the countries met in a test series was in 1902, with Australia taking the second and third tests, after a draw during the first meeting. Recent history in the fixture favored the Baggy Greens, as they won seven of the past nine test series against South Africa. However, with the latest draw, the last time the Proteas earned a win was in 2008-09, with a 2-1 series victory. That year, South Africa toured Australia, winning in Perth and Melbourne, with a loss to close out the series in Sydney.

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African economy expected to grow on back of remittances, natural resources

Though some parts of Africa are performing fairly well economically, most are in worse shape. However, a new study indicates that through remittance flows and sound governmental policies, the continent's economic growth could jump significantly.

The African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations Development Programme and the UN Economic Commission for Africa recently released a joint report forecasting Africa's financial vitality.If things continue at their current pace, Africa's economy could expand by 4.5 percent in 2012 and another 4.8 percent in 2013.

"The economic outlook for Africa remains optimistic," the report stated. "Natural resource-rich economies are expected to do better than more mature emerging economies."

Some of the most common natural resources exported in Africa include oil, gold, precious metals, diamonds, cocoa and timber.

The 291-page report also attributed much of Africa's growth to remittances, as many people who emigrate from Africa send money home to their families thanks to the jobs they have in countries like the United States. This enables them to pay for goods and services that they need on a day-to-day basis

Despite the overall positive assessment and projection, Donald Kaberuka, president of the AfDB, said the global economy is still on shaky ground, meaning that experiencing economic growth is far from a guarantee.

"I appeal for caution and not to show excessive optimism with regard to the continent's economic growth, because there are other issues that need to be considered carefully," said Kaberuka.

In addition to the ongoing debt crisis affecting much of Europe, political upheaval has impacted Africa, citing Mali as a specific example. This could also detract Africa from gaining ground.

The AfDB report indicated that because Africa's economic potential largely relies on the wealth natives and citizens obtain through their work, the continent must put a greater investment in tomorrow's workers.

"The youth is the most important wealth of Africa," said Kaberuka.

He added that with the number of youth in Africa projected to double in 30 years from now, governmental leaders of countries should put a greater emphasis on helping young people acquire new skills so that they can find the jobs they need to support themselves and their families. 


Amy Stokes, woman behind a virtual global village, nominated as 2011 CNN Hero

Amy Stokes understands the important role a caring adult can play in a child's life. Two of her siblings were adopted, and she herself became an adoptive parent in 2003. Stokes' charitable passion goes far beyond her own family however. She is the woman behind a program known as Infinite Family, which connects children in South Africa who have lost parents to HIV/AIDS with caring adults all over the world through the power of the internet, according to CNN.

This program is what led Stokes to a nomination as one of CNN's 2011 Heroes. Nearly 300 African teens have been comforted and guided by adults who may live on the other side of the globe. Young people can visit a computer lab where they will have everything they need to chat with their counterparts as well as participate in a number of other activities. The computers even have web cam capabilities, so that teens and their mentors can address each other face to face.

"Whatever the cause may be, these children are severely lacking adult attention and guidance," Stokes told the news source. "Kids come into the computer lab because they want this special someone in their lives… they want to connect with that special someone."

Technology like the internet has been integral to helping maintain bonds with loved ones across borders. Using the web, family members who have emigrated to the U.S. can chat with loved ones or even send money online.

The internet technology at Infinite Family is known as the Ezomndeni-net, a term which translates to "everything related to family." Teens can get help with homework, play games or simply ask for advice from loving adults.

Ayanda Buthelezi knows how useful this service can be first hand. After his parents both passed away from HIV/AIDS when he was in his teens, the South African resident found himself struggling in school. However, after connecting with a couple living in Pennsylvania, he soon began to turn his life around, and is now working as an IT professional.

According to the organization's website, adult mentors who participate in the program undergo training before they are able to connect with a "Net Buddy." The website reports that approximately 55.3 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa have lost at least one parent to HIV/AIDS. 


Heritage Day gives South Africans the chance to celebrate the diverse culture of their land

Every year, on September 24, the people of South Africa celebrate Heritage Day. The national holiday recognizes the diverse cultures and history of its people, and the month of September has also become known as Heritage Month. A whole month dedicated to the rich history of the nation allows for ample time to cover all of the different cultures that are found in South Africa. This year, the theme of the holiday is "Celebrating the Heroes and Heroines of the Liberation Struggle in South Africa."

The theme, according to the South African Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), will not only teach younger generations of the struggles their nation faced not too long ago, but it will help to propel the country forward. The DAC essentially believes that improving the future depends heavily on educating today's youth about the past, and that this year's theme could close the generational gap. The events that will take place to pay tribute to South Africa's struggle include dance, songs, poetry, oral history narrations and visits to famous sites of the liberation struggle.

"When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation," former President Nelson Mandela said in a speech during Heritage Day in 1996, according to the South African government information website. "We did so knowing that the struggles against injustice and inequities of the past are part of our national identity – they are part of our culture."

On eve of the holiday, the graves of national liberation heroes and heroines in Mpumalanga and other provinces will be cleaned. Wreaths will then be laid at the grave sites to honor those who gave their lives to the struggle for freedom. The following day, a formal program will be held in Mpumalanga, featuring a keynote speech by President Jacob Zuma.

Heritage Day doubles as National Braai Day, which gives friends and families the opportunity to spend the day together, eating and enjoying one another's company, according to the BBC News. People who are working outside the country will send money to South Africa to help their families pay for the food on National Braai Day.


Flower stew is perfect comfort food for South Africans

When most people think of edible flowers, they tend to picture using them as garnishes or to top salads, but some flowers are more versatile and can be used in other dishes. In South Africa, flowers are used to make a stew called waterblommetjie bredie. When the Dutch first arrived in South Africa in the 1600s, they relied on local vegetation for the first few years, while they tried to introduce their crops to the African soil. They worked together with the indigenous Khoikhoi to develop the stew and other culturally diverse foods to bring a unique flavor to the South African menu.

Waterblommetjies means “little water flowers,” which is appropriate for flowers that grow primarily in ponds and swamps. The small white flowers are harvested between June and September, before they bloom. suggests that the waterblommetjies have a texture similar to artichokes, but with a more subtle flavor, similar to green beans with a hint of citrus.

They are used to make waterblommetjie bredie, a stew that combines the flowers with lamb, potatoes, onions and wild sorrel – a sour plant that is toxic in large quantities, but harmless in smaller portions. Sorrel can be difficult to find, but it can be substituted with different ingredients, such as white wine and watercress, to achieve the same flavor.

The flowers are native to South Africa’s Western Cape, but have been transplanted and grown successfully in France and the U.K. Even though you can’t find fresh waterblommetjies in these places, South African stores throughout the world generally sell canned flowers so you can cook up a tasty stew that will remind you of home if you moved away for work. You can also send money to South Africa so your loved ones can buy the ingredients to make the waterblommetjie bredie as well.

The stew is made by first browning the lamb in oil. Once that is done, you can heat up onions, garlic and spices until the onions are translucent. You also need to cook up the potatoes with some lamb or beef stock before adding everything to the casserole dish and popping it into the oven for about an hour. Traditionally, the stew was cooked in a pot over a fire, but work with what you’ve got. After the hour is up, it’s time to add the waterblommetjie and the wild sorrel or watercress. Bake the stew for another 15 minutes and it will be ready to serve over rice, mashed potatoes or whatever you desire.


Nelson Mandela’s Book of Quotes released to coincide with Mandela International Day

Nelson Mandela is one of the most quoted people in the world. At least that is how Sello Hatang and Sahm Venter see it. They are the editors of Nelson Mandela By Himself, a book of accurate quotes from the anti-apartheid figurehead of South Africa. The Associated Press reports that while the apartheid government still held power in South Africa, quoting Mandela was illegal. Now that there are no legal restrictions, many people reference the 92-year-old freedom fighter, but they often misquote him.

“We can all honor Nelson Mandela by quoting him correctly and accurately,” the editors write in the book’s introduction.

The book divides Mandela’s statements into 317 separate groups, such as Zionism, victorious quotations and his time in prison. Hatang and Venter organized the quotes chronologically, so readers can see how Mandela’s ideas and thoughts developed and changed throughout his life. Many people will wire money to their friends and relatives who live in other countries so they can purchase the book or celebrate Mandela International Day.

First Lady Michelle Obama recently visited South Africa to spread her message of the global importance of education. During the week-long visit, Mrs. Obama, her mother, two daughters and two of her nieces had the opportunity to meet briefly with Nelson Mandela, the Agence France-Presse reports.

They shared in a reading of a new book of Mandela’s quotes while photographers captured the moment that would grace nearly every South African news publication shortly thereafter. The First Lady also received a copy of the book a few days before its official release, and Mr. Mandela signed it for her.

The book’s release comes just a few weeks before Nelson Mandela International Day, which takes place annually on the figurehead’s birthday, July 18. The holiday was made official in 2009 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in recognition of Mandela’s achievements for humanity, race relations, gender equality and the rights of children.

“Take action. Inspire change. Make every day a Mandela Day,” is the slogan of the new holiday.

Many South African people will participate in community service to honor the man who dedicated 67 years of his life to making his nation and the world a better place. The Nelson Mandela Foundation asks that people spend at least 67 minutes on this day doing anything that contributes to the betterment of humanity. People who are working or attending school in other countries will send remittances to their families so they can take time from their regular routines to give back to their communities.

“The world has taken a position, including the United Nations, to mark this important day,” Toyko Sexwale, the trustee of the foundation, told BuaNews. “But what it also means, we are beginning to say everyday people must dedicate time to show love for your fellow citizens – not just Mandela.”

Last year, the UN’s General Assembly gathered to honor Mandela’s lifetime of accomplishment with speeches, discussions and film screenings. South African photographer Dr. Peter Maguabane captured Mandela on film throughout his life and his photos were put on exhibit for a week at the UN headquarters in New York.

This year, the Nelson Mandela Foundation is calling for people around the world to participate in Mandela Mondays by finding a little bit of time each week to do a good deed or help out their fellow man in some way.

“We can change the world and make of it a better place,” Mandela said in 2009. “It is in your hands to make a difference.”