Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I can't believe I forgot to mention

It's guava season! Whoop! It's almost as good as mango season...if only I could figure out how to make guava daiquiris...


I’m not sure why I haven’t made time to post- lots of exciting things have been happening despite my preoccupation with studying.

1. There’s been an influx of Canadian visitors- YAY, one carrying a care-package from Sarah T. See Ritz bits indulgence below (it’s strange what one craves when away from home for a long time).

I even brought my camera to a party on the weekend & the camera remained stored in my bag for the duration- whoops. There’s been lots of time to catch up with old friends though, a most enjoyable weekend!

2. I’m coaching 4 girls at BSA…we only need a few more to make a full team- keep those fingers crossed, these girls really love ball, I’m so excited!

3. I’ve just finished a beautiful novel by a Nigerian woman named Chimanda Ngozi Adichie called Half of a Yellow Sun. I strongly recommend for those who are interested in my favourite type of novel- historical fiction!

4. I promised an update on my mini-garden. When I returned from India I found my Aloe had been attacked by some insects. Yesterday I went out & soaked the plant in soapy water (I read somewhere that dish soap is supposed to kill the bugs without harming the plant)- but it looks really awful. My dill has come up nicely, but unfortunately the basil has been wiped out by heavy rains, as well as the tomato & chili plants. Boo. I will have to re-group & try again. So much for my green thumb:-(

My poor aloe

My much healthier looking dill!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


The whole week I’ve been preoccupied with school books, on-line discussion boards & simply re-adjusting to being a student again. Once I settle in, I’ll be fine- but for now, it’s all a bit overwhelming.

I do have some incriminating photos from Alvin’s “welcome home” bash last Saturday night. A couple of Alvin’s friends had mentioned they wanted to pass through for a visit & to check in on the “patient”. I decided to invite a couple of the girls over (even met some great Canadian gals), & prepare for celebration. We had a blast…and about 5 litres of wine (and that’s only the girls). Alvin was designated photographer as he was the only one with a steady hand (he’s the smart one who is not drinking)…

I’m banking on NO such festivities this weekend. I have to save those brain cells for my studies*wicked smile*.

Here we three usual suspects are cheers-ing to the girls who couldn't be with us- those who are doing exciting things in other countries!

This is the crew. What a soiree.

P.S. Alvin is recovering well. He's busy with work & physiotherapy & will start coaching again as soon as this weekend.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Sunny day

I feel like I can post this photo today (taken from Zambia's independent daily newspaper- the Post- Tuesday) because it is a beautiful sun-shine-y morning. I hope it holds out for the whole day because I want to find my boys at the courts today...keep those fingers crossed.

I shouldn't make light of the flooding situation, but these kids are serious entrepreneurs!
Otherwise, I'm settling back into work & daily Lusaka life. Alvin has started physiotherapy so we hope the road to recovery will be smooth. Our luggage arrived yesterday- at least I'll be able to sport some new Indian attire on the weekend...since I couldn't show it off at work*grin*.
Something I haven't reflected on since I've been so caught up in the trip to India, is the political situation in Kenya. It was a year ago that I went to Nairobi & met a host lovely Kenyan people. A Somali-Kenyan had opened up & mentioned how life could be really hard for her sometimes because though she was born in Kenya, she would never be considered Kenyan. (There are thousands of Somali refugees living in Kenya). I suppose tribal tensions ran deeper than I had imagined.
A friend I made there has lost both of his parents to fire bombing youth. I'm quite shell-shocked and can't imagine how chaotic life must be. Something I find quite ironic now, is that one of the guys I met had been to Vancouver for some exhibit/artshow. He told me he was so shocked that poverty like he saw in Vancouver could exist in Canada. These are guys who grew up in the slums of Nairobi- shocked that East Hastings exsits. Now we all turn and say "typical Africa". My heart is broken for Kenya and my friends.

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Taj Mahal

One of my Indian friends (who also misinformed me that the weather would be nice in India) recommended that we should try to hit the Taj Mahal. Since Alvin has been recovering from the surgery well, and the post-surgery physiotherapy wasn't quite what we had expected, we decided to take a chance & take a day tour.

It was well worth the gruelling 4 hour drive (one way)! I've never been one much for architecture or artsy fartsy tours, but the Taj Mahal is simply breathtaking. I'm so happy we went!

This guy nearly got run over by our bus driver. He ripped into traffic without shoulder checking or worrying about his surroundings- I can't believe Alvin caught the photo!

We had a very informative tour guide, & I'm fascinated by the history of the Taj Mahal, but I know how dry travel logs can get when someone narrates brutally long & unexciting stories. So please peruse the photos at your leisure, and know that I would strongly recommend jumping that plane & seeing it for yourself!

The view from the back, I thought it was lovely.

I'm really here!

The tour also included the Agra Fort. Again, plenty of cool tales about this impressive structure, but I'll refrain from gory details.

I loved this space because it was where the king would meet with his citizens to try to deal with problems. It all seems so civilized (though we don't seem to be learning from the past, what with war all over the world). The other reason I liked this place was that there was a palace for the King's Muslim wife, a palace for the King's Hindu wife, and then an area in which Christians could come & pray (though it wasn't clear if the King actually had a Christian wife...or if the guide was only teasing). Again, what a lesson today's leaders could learn from an ancient Mughal empire...*sigh*

Here is a view from the Fort & if you look hard enough you can see the Taj Mahal over Alvin's shoulder!

Candids from in & around New Delhi

So one day we decide to tour around Delhi, checking out some cool monuments/ markets etc. I was so cold. Don't I look miserable? I kept blowing breath out of my mouth quickly expecting to see my breath.

But the evidence (below) shows that is was actually 13 degrees Celsius. So much more my Edmonton roots*grin*.

We hit the zoo- which was great fun! (I love zoos, museums etc). I thought these were the scariest trash bins ever. And there's Alvin being SUCH a good sport with stairs & long walks ahead...

I saw all sorts of creatures I'd never even heard of. I liked these white tigers- they were described as being 'mutants', not albinos. Seems strange to me...but I was more worried that these beasts would not like my face & jump the dry moat to my throat & their freedom. (Oddly enough, there are no real 'cages' for some of the creatures, it's as if they could climb over the low wall if they so desired).

One of my favourite bits about the zoo is that it's built along the crumbling walls of the "Old Fort". Makes for stunning views in & outside the zoo.