Monday, December 31, 2007

YBL Closing tournament- December 22/23rd, 2007

Just to catch up before the New Year is upon us…here are a few shots from the Youth Basketball League's closing tournament.
It was an exciting tournament for us because three teams travelled from the Copperbelt to compete (girls, U15 boys, and U18 boys). The teams came from one academy and performed very well, especially the girls- who won the tournament! The YBL is also happy that the Zambia Basketball Association supported us in terms of providing us with an official for Sunday’s playoff games. It certainly reduced stress on the coaches & organizers. We hope that this partnership will take off in 2008.

A big thank-you as well to all those who provided prizes:

Paul – shoes for the U18 MVP
Ingeborg & your forces in Norway- your donation from the beginning of the year provided individual awards
Sue Leighton- a basketball was given to both the U15 and Girls winning teams.
Connie- the First Aid Kit was used for minor injuries and we appreciate your contributions so much!
Our events have been all the more successful thanks to everyone’s support.

Here are the winners! (Oh, and the girls Crusaders team had dispersed by the time I could get a photo, so I’ve only managed a shot of their MVP- I’m so sorry that I didn’t get them all together- they were certainly an inspiration to the Lusaka-based girls team)!!

MVP of the U15 reigning champs the Matero Magic- Bongani

Most disciplined Player, from the Magic- Emmanuel

U15 Winning Team (both the league & the tournament for both 2006 and 2007) MAGIC

Kitwe Crusaders MVP- Carol

Since I couldn't get a team shot, here are the winning girls in action! Kitwe Crusaders vs. Chawama's Taifa Panthers

U18 tournament winners- Fountain of Hope

MVP U18- Fountain of Hope's Elliot

Out with the old & in with the new!

Before I forge ahead into 2008, I wanted to thank each of you for your holiday greetings. My little Christmas tree is surrounded by beautiful & thoughtful snail mail cards, my inbox has also received plenty of wishes and photos from your own festivities, and I have also received texts and phone calls. Thanks so much for thinking of me despite the miles.

2007 has been a wonderful year, & I look forward to what adventures 2008 will hold! Best wishes to all of you (as impersonal as it sounds on a blog, I do sincerely wish you the best)...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It’s been a lovely Christmas in Lusaka!

Alvin & I hosted a Christmas Eve party (it seems to be becoming an annual event)- and had a blast. The house emptied of the last party-ers by 3am. Needless to say Christmas Day morning was slow!

Here are Namukolo & Noah

I got in trouble once for not putting a photo of ME on my blog- so here's a photo of me. I don't remember this photo being taken (perhaps one too many glasses of Amarula?), but I sure have long eyelashes in this shot. I wonder if it's a shadow?!

Here I am again with my bululu (Namukolo). (Bululu means 'family')

Sugar with Kolo (It had been a long time since I'd spent time with Sugar, we were all so happy he came over). Note- that's my NEW FRIDGE in the background*WHOOP*. How does one live without a fridge in sub-Saharan Africa for over 2 years...I suppose I adjusted (& of course maximized the use of a deep freezer)- but this IS excitement!! (It allowed me to do up scrumptious tzatsiki and guacamole for the party...)

Sarah T left her edition of Canadian Cranium with me upon her departure. And let me tell you, we had a SCREAM playing Cranium...we started 4 on 4, but others had to leave, so here were the die-hards. Felt just like home...*smile*

Here is Kolo (again) with our good friend Gabby.

We headed off to Alvin’s grandmother’s farm for Christmas Day. There’s an annual get together with plenty of food and much laughter. We had a lovely time, though I forgot to bring out the camera - oops!

Like Christmas back home- it was nice to spend it with family and friends…& over indulge*smile*.

I’m sure there’ll be more to report as we coast into the New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tids & bits

I've been meaning to write, but I've not been 'moved' because my camera has been on loan to a none of my stories can be highlighted by photos. Sorry.

Friday afternoon I was in the Christmas spirit & happily did up some sugar cookies in the shapes of stars & gingerbread men. I even had icing & sprinkles (I am not my mother's daughter)*smile*. The Zambian bit of the whole baking escapade is that as I was re-rolling out the dough (some cookies had already come out of the oven- baked to perfection) I noticed a dark spot in the dough. Confidently, I thought "worst-case scenario, cockroach"; these things to happen. To my horror, when I went to remove the dark spot, it was a live mealworm. EEwwwwwwww. Hesitation. What to do. Throw out everything & waste all my hard work? With Dolly Parton's christmas tunes serenading me in the background, I made the woman's decision to keep on cooking...though I would refrain from eating the dough raw. Isn't that awful?

Saturday evening after a busy day of basketball, I came home to a refridgerator! I'm thrilled. Absolutely. How does one survive in Zambia without a fridge for over two years...?? You just get used to it. But now I'm excited about all the options I have with our very own fridge*WHOOP*

The team I used to play for (Shells) won the National Championship on Sunday, so it was a very big day! We beat our long-standing rivals- the Buffaloes (& buffalo soldiers they are) by a score of 100-90. There was much excitement & an ice cold Castle Sunday evening*smile*.

Last night (despite the rainy weather) I was able to train my boys, we have our closing tournament this weekend, so we're gearing up for one last weekend of basketball. The skies were clear for the hour and a half I spend with them. As training was about to end, a couple of raindrops fell- the boys start scattering- & within seconds I found myself in a torrential storm. It was crazy! I ran from the courts home, and was completely soaked to the bone. I had to ring out my t-shirts before stepping into the house, I had to towel my hair dry because it was dripping everywhere, and the aftermath is only a tiny aching in the ears. Really nothing to complain about since Luke is down with salmonella- right?! I'm counting my lucky stars...

I hope to put up some festive shots as my camera eventually makes it back into my hands!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hen Party

After Monica's matabeto comes the "kitchen party"- hen party if you will. It was a fine way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Monica, the bride to be

Alison with Monica.

I'm busy drinking wine with my colleague's friend Pamela.

Saturday evening we came home to find my favourite toad came to visit! Isn't she lovely?

Probably the biggest bit of excitement over the weekend came from buying my first Christmas tree. Alvin laughed at me as I happily decorated & moved things around...but he did mention that he wants to buy a green cloth to cover up the table with- I've got him on my side!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The art of mango-eating

I’ve just come from the kitchen in my office after eating a mango. I used a knife to peel & cut the pieces, allowing for minimum juices squirting down chin & arms, as well as keeping most of the hairs out of teeth.

What a sad way to eat a mango.

I’ve decided that half of the joy (scrumptious-ness) of mangoes comes from eating mangoes in their full glory. That’s right- teeth only- indulging in pieces of skin despite strong health warnings to eat only peeled fruits. Juice running down my chin, my tongue reaching my wrist trying to stop the juice from creeping up my arm and staining my top. Once only the pit is remaining, sitting back with whoever I’m with (a bit shy to smile), smacking lips & digging the mango hair from teeth. Doesn’t "givin' it your all" sound much more enjoyable than coldly cutting up & wasting so much of the sweet juice and worrying about staining work clothes*sigh*. There’s something about picking the mango from the tree & enjoying the sweet stickiness as it was meant to be enjoyed!

I suppose this if for all of you stuck in a cold snap!

And as an aside- the last two evenings when I've left the courts, I've been caught in wicked rainstorms. Tuesday there was torrential rain, a brilliant light show & booming thunder. (I actually called for a ride home)*hahah*. Yesterday evening there was a beautiful shower for my walk home, the rain falling heavily only much later in the night. Gorgeous.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


I was counting down the days until December 1st! That was always the day my mom would throw on the Christmas music & put up the Christmas tree. True to my roots, immediately after my Saturday morning run, I popped in the Christmas music & pulled out my Christmas decorations. In all of 2 minutes, my decorations were up & I realized this year I need to invest in some more decorations.

This is my favourite new addition that was donated by Sarah T before she headed back home. I love it!

Then it was off to Youth League. My boys lost their last league game by 1 point (heart breaker) while the U15 team won their game in overtime by 1 point; too much excitement*smile*.
After youth league I wanted to go home & do a bit of cleaning & a bit of resting, as we had planned on linking up with some friends for drinks later in the evening. I head to the bathroom to do some cleaning & found this lizard in my tub.

Like I've mentioned before, I do like lizards as they eat roaches & various other bugs I hate; but I wasn't keen to try to sweep it out of the house. I simply closed the door & thought I'd wait for Alvin to come home to get rid of it. (Any excuse to curl up & get into Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns). I don't know why I was relying on Alvin, he likes lizards less than I was a good thing he brought home our good friend (& my running partner) Coach Roomie who quickly set our lizard to freedom.

Otherwise it was a great but busy weekend. One of our neighbours invited us out for drinks on Saturday night...and for those of you who've been invited out by an older male Zambian, you know he's paying for all the drinks. Inevitably I had maybe one too many Amarula's. We hit a bar I'd never been to before that had di-vine chicken wings- & all I thought was I'll have to take my brother here if he ever comes to visit*giggling*. (These are not like the 25 cent wings from Fraggle Rock, these are full-fledged chicken wings). Oh, they also ordered chicken gizzards which I'm sure you can't order at Fraggle Rock*grin*. It was a great weekend though it's been a rough Monday morning!! (I'm so tired- I blamed it on the basketball we played Sunday afternoon...Alvin disagreed & chalked my exhaustion up to Saturday's drinks...he's probably right!)