Along Lynnwood #1: Afroboer

copyright Elna Schutz 2014
From students in Hatfield to the affluent soccer moms of Silver Lakes, you’ll be hard pressed to find a Pretorian from the East that doesn’t use Lynnwood Road daily. Along it are some coffee shops that are obvious favourites, like Aroma, but there’s really no need to ever cue for Saturday breakfast to Fourno’s again.
We might not have a view of the ocean, but just off Pretoria’s favourite suburbian road you’ll find a trail of small and authentic cafés worth taking your mother to.

copyright Elna Schutz 2014

Around the corner from the busy Solomon Mahlangu (Hans Strydom) crossing is the relaxed and lovely Afroboer. The farmhouse-like café has a neat and simple look, relying on a few thoughtful touches and lots of fresh flowers for décor. Besides, the centrepiece of the ‘baker’s café’ is a scrumptious cake-filled counter that gives you enough to look at.

copyright Elna Schutz 2014

The focus on cakes, tarts and bread is no wonder, considering that the restaurant grew out of owner Michelle Cronje-Cibulka’s kitchen and night-time baking business. The precision and creativity needed for great baking is a balance that’s clear throughout Afroboer’s menu.

There are local classics with unique touches, like the pap en vleis featuring beef short rib and chorizo stewed in beer. Many of the breakfast and lunch options are original but accessible. You may not have thought of eating baked oats with whiskey, cream and roast hazelnuts, but now that you know it exists, you can’t resist.

copyright Elna Schutz 2014

I was happy to note that Michelle’s perfectionism (read dedication) continues throughout the drinks menu, which isn’t treated like a lazy second heir as is too often the case.
Pretoria East’s healthy living fanatics will love her red and green juices or Paleo recovery shake, while couch potatoes can get nostalgic over retro hot chocolate with a Marie biscuit marshmallow sandwich.
There’s a good coffee offering (Kilimanjaro single-origin roast), with an interesting tea collection on the way from one of the last remaining Malawian tea producers.

copyright Elna Schutz 2014

Finding a nice coffee shop is one thing, but I get even more excited by a business that tries to do good beyond making a profit. In this case the vast majority of Afroboer’s staff hasn’t graduated high school and almost none have previous culinary experience.
Michelle wanted to give unique chances to people that might not have had them, and trained all of them from scratch. Knowing this makes that white chocolate cheesecake taste even better.

Check out their Instagram for food pics or the rather adorable website and put Afroboer on your list of places to try.

copyright Elna Schutz 2014

Things to note:

– Great for breakfast, but be prepared for busyness
– Gluten-free and allergy options available
– Very kiddie friendly
– Closed evenings, Sundays and public holidays
– Garden upgrades and alcoholic options on their way
– Menu changed regularly


Elna in Europe – Wörnersberg

anker wald- copyright elna schutz

I visited the place that used to be my home and did a lot of walking and thinking. I was again surprised by the unbelievably immersing power of the past, no matter how satisfying our present.
Rather than try explain my thoughts to the internet, I give you this; take a walk with me.
This little trail going just out of the tiny village and back into it has seen the footsteps of every inhabitant and visitor, from a couple’s stolen moment to kids on skateboards. I’ve walked, conversed, cried, prayed, run, laughed and thoughtfully paced that path myself many times.
What I’m trying to get at is the special, intangible nature of places, even a short concrete path circling above an ocean of trees. The past may have its monsters and memories, but here is something to put your feet on.




**copyright Elna Schütz 2014**

For more pictures of the Forest, check this out.



Elna in Europe – St Georgen


With only a week or so left in Europe, it was off to one of my favourite places on earth – the Black Forest. It had been four years, but those millions of fluffy-toothpick trees still felt like my second, magical home within minutes.

tabea bw

I had a few days to reunite with my beautiful and courageous friend, Tabea. There were long talks, longer walks and a lot of time just to enjoy each other’s company. I can’t say enough how blessed I am with truly kickass people in my life.


magnolia flowe

There was a lovely day at the Bodensee (Lake Constance), where my favourite tree and flower was blooming all over. A picnic in the vineyard above the lake, lots of adventuring and a dinner overlooking the sunset. These kinds of days feel like a real holiday.


Consider me thankful.

sunset tree

**copyright Elna Schütz 2014**

Night lights

copyright Elna Schutz 2013

Lately life has been on 1,5x speed as if someone accidentally sat on the remote control – you can still catch the gist of things, but it’s all going by just a bit too fast. I’m leaving Rhodes in less than a week, I cut my dreads (say whaaat?) and I’m slowly coming to terms with my impending plan-less but adventurous future.

copyright Elna Schutz 2013

I have so much to think through, blog about and perhaps recycle into a few songs, poems and interpretive dance.
Just kidding, I don’t actually know anything about  interpretive dance. I’ve already fulfilled my quirkiness quota long ago.

copyright Elna Schutz 2013

Since I’ve spent the majority of my weekend staring at a screen, prepping for my last ever varsity hand-in, I’m going to keep all the Elna-news-stories for another (less caffeinated) day.
Instead, here is a little bit of this funny little town under the stars.

copyright Elna Schutz 2013

That beautifully quiet night-time feeling you get under clear skies is even better with a camera in hand it turns out.

copyright Elna Schutz 2013There’s something special about photographing a place you know well, in a new way. Surprise your own eyes a little.

copyright Elna Schutz 2013Also, lights are just plain pretty.


copyright to me ladida

Current pic editing music is anything by Foals or Parov Stelar.

Elna gets on her soapbox

For a recent story pitch our radio lecturer said to pick something we’re passionate about; pick someone we actually want to help. It sounds simple, but I really struggled finding something that really sparked my fancy. I ended up pitching a perfectly fine adult education story, which I’m sure will turn out quite nicely. But that’s not why I’m writing a ranting-style post today

soapbox zone
As I walked home after my lecture I saw something that made me enthusiastic… if by enthusiastic you mean bounce-off-the-walls angry.
“Safe and simple abortions, call now!”
I’d like to think few things make me truly livid, but these little poster plastered around town are enough to make me want to throw an anger-tantrum. Every one of those horridly designed, tacky ads (right next to the penis enlargement cream and love potion, of course) represents to me someone in this town who, for reasons I deeply grieve, feel they need to call that number.

Please note that this has nothing to do with the pro/contra choice debate and I have no interest in discussing the ethics of abortion here. All I’m saying is that if, for what ever reason and under who knows what pressures, a woman makes that choice, it should not have to be in this way, surely.

According to this article in the local paper there are alternatives, and going on that description of the processes offered by these posters, I find it hard to understand why they still exist at all.
Perhaps this is purely a question of avoiding the stigma and shame surrounding abortion, but if that is driving women to these back-alley and possibly dangerous means, that certainly doesn’t seem to solve anything in my eyes.

Maybe I’m missing some cultural or social complexity here, or just find it hard to believe the harshness of endangering others for financial gain. My point is simple however: in a society, even one as needy and diverse as ours, there should be no need or right for those posters to exist, and I wish we could do more to make that a reality.

**steps off soapbox**

I’ll be keeping the topic in my back pocket for a future story, when I can give it the attention it deserves. For now, if there is something you can do to help this sadness, I hope you do.
It’ll save me an anger-tantrum at very least.


pic by ruminatrix