Monday, July 28, 2008

The YBL is moving up

I know it looks a bit silly, but I’m so chuffed that the youth league has managed to buy these new benches for our teams!! We had received some money though Norway & we continue to put it towards good use.

BSA also hosted a “Sunday special” fundraiser yesterday (We play 5-on-5 basketball & request that each team contributes at least ZMK7,500). Our basketball court needs to be patched (again) & if we raise enough money we’ll likely re-paint the court lines. Some of my lovely friends back home check in & see if we do our own fundraising ventures or if we always ask for handouts. I guess I’m pretty proud of the young kids for coming up with the idea. So far so good- I think we almost have enough raised in the two weeks we’ve been playing “Sunday special”. One more week to go (and yesterday we doubled the amount we hoped to make, so things are going swimmingly). I also had a blast playing with the kids, I had recruited a couple other girls to join in –it’s been a while since the boys have seen me on the court, I know they enjoyed it too!

Yes, small victories still make me happy!

Monday, July 21, 2008

2nd monthly indulgence

I love it- treated myself to a haircut (well done I reckon) & a manicure (disaster- I think the last time someone painted my nails it was Clara for Grade 12 graduation. Funnily enough, Clara did a better job…so I’ve already removed the attempted French manicure & will stick to nails au naturel)! But it sure was fun to spoil myself anyway. Al & I had a great dinner date after- we hit a new Chinese restaurant!

Here's me with the new doo. I'm also trying to show off this beautiful bag I had made. Claire & Em & I all bought the same gorgeous material during a shopping adventure & I had to boast about what I did with mine*grin*

Then on Saturday I invited the girls round for a wee get together. It was really nice- I hadn’t met Vicky’s baby, so there was lots of catching up! And I will admit that the baby totally took over, so there aren’t too many photos (& all of them include the baby)*hahah*

Vicky & her beautiful daughter

Spider babe!!

Here's a shot where we were all shocked because this little girl cried until she got her mouth around mum's beer bottle- TOO FUNNY

Here's one of me & the babe that shows off my disastrous manicure*giggle*

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Well I had received some emails, read some blogs & felt like I was missing out. People were telling me of weekends jam-packed with adventure & what did I have to report? I didn’t visit the misty hills of Chipata, or the breath-taking plains of Mongu. But I spent some time reflecting yesterday & realized my tales are just not nearly as exciting. My major achievement over the weekend: I submitted my first massive assignment to the University of London. I have been labouring away at this research proposal for months (with lots of support from others- thanks for being on 24-hour SMS alert Sarah T & getting me through the stats, & Christine thanks for the wealth of information & comments to improve my ‘draft draft’). I feel great having submitted it & now await comments from my professors before submitting the whole shebang in September.

I have my “monthly indulgence” planned or Thursday- haircut & a manicure- Weeee! Nothing like celebrating our achievements, right?

I took Saturday off the books to enjoy the courts which (let me boast here) has apparently been paying off. Our Youth Basketball League coordinator released the stats upon completion of our “first round” of games. BSA tops the charts in all divisions (except the girls division because well- we don’t have a girls’ team). We’re ranked first in the U18 league (though we’re one game in hand of the only team that’s beaten us…so it’s really more like 2nd place), tied for first in the U15 league- which is a serious feat because Magic had NEVER lost a league game until this year, and there’s a massive 4-way tie for first in the U12 league. I’m really happy that the U12 league is reflecting the ups & downs of kids learning a new sport- almost all the teams are collecting both wins & losses (& that league is too much fun). I had promised some folks photos of the little ones during our recent tournament. I was sticking true to my word on the Saturday of the tourney; but I handed over the camera on Sunday for someone else to take photos & they inadvertently erased the photos of the “babies”. I’m so bummed…but there are certainly more games to come. (Neither the U18s nor the U12s fared well in the mid-season tournament but our U15s won the day- & like I mentioned before, it’s really a big deal to oust Magic from their throne- I’m so proud of of the boys their coaches)!!!

So there are no photos of wild weekend adventures, but I am feeling great about where I am, & I reckon that counts for something.

Oh, & it’s cold & miserable again…so much for me thinking the cold season was over. I really missed my toque during my morning run- I think I’ll ask the folks to bring me earmuffs when they come visit me next.

I’m rambling- signing off- cheers to a brilliant Tuesday.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why can’t every weekend be a long weekend?

I have had such a lovely 4 day-weekend, I’d love to share the highlights.

Friday: my co-worker Monica’s wedding! Weeeee, I enjoyed myself with my lovely colleagues & my date:-)

Here are the newly weds newly wed.

Here's the wedding line-up as they dance into the reception- amazing outfits!

And Al in all his finery!

Saturday: no wedding hang-over for me; I had to hit the road for my 10 km Olympic Day fun run. And fun it was- did I ever suffer! I’m used to running 10km before the sun comes up*hahah*, this run started late and it was h-o-t. But I managed & have such a gem of a running partner (known as Ba Roomie or Coach)- here we are!

Here are my Youth League colleagues who actually took the photos; Chenge & Willy (yes, Chenge is wearing a skirt & no, I have no idea why)...

And the grand finale:-)

The rest of the weekend was spent cleaning, washing, doing school work & somehow finding time for plenty of visiting.
(I guess I don’t do a very good job of explaining how school works for me, I’d like to say that’s because I’m still figuring it out myself! But I have this massive assignment for the two introductory courses I’ve taken- the draft is due 15th July so I’ve been trying to get all my thoughts in order, figure out the science methodology/ sampling information, and limit it to 3,000 words). Let’s just say it’s a work in progress & I’m so happy that I’m allowed to submit a draft before the whole project!!!

So again, can I have 4 day weekends from now on? I’m feeling productive AND relaxed- how often can we say that??

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Zambian burials

I never blogged about the recent death in Alvin’s family; last week was the first time I’d been to a burial since my teammate & friend Chilufya died over a year ago. Uncle Frank was never a well man since I’d known him. But he was always kind and welcoming; I will certainly miss his warmth at family gatherings.

Please see my recent observations:

- I had forgotten that once the casket is lowered down, it is covered with cement to deter anyone thieving bodies or jewellery
- Leopard’s Hill Cemetery is the dustiest place I’ve ever visited. I don’t actually know if women wear headscarves because it’s a tradition, or if they wear them only because of the dust. (This was an exceptionally windy day as well)
- I’ve decided to invest in a ‘funeral hat’; even if it’s cool and windy, the sun is always bearing down on this pale skin. I reckon a broad black hat would suit the sad occasions.
- The day we buried Uncle Frank, we were alongside four other groups of mourners. It was intense- can you picture it? Five graves dug in a row, several tents to shield the chief mourners from the elements, & a group of people doing everything from catching up on gossip to wailing to praying to singing. It was rather shocking to feel involved in our neighbours’ burial as our own. The saddest part was immediately after the group to our left vacated, another funeral procession was on its way to fill in the place and bury yet another loved one. We were left with no other option but to chuckle: “Is this what it has come to in Zambia”? Shame. Alvin thought the parking lot was busier than the busiest street in town, kind of hard to believe...

RIP Uncle Frank

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Canada Day from Lusaka

Well the Canadian High Commission was able to host a barbeque for this year’s July 1st celebrations. We always invite Canadians living or working in Zambia and our staff, so this is how Canada Day in Zambia looked this year.

I think I got the best job of all- I got to greet everybody & slap on Canadian tattoos!

Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I picked up a hockey stick- but I had a blast playing a little ball hockey yesterday. After a little post-scoring euphoria I realized that I’d scored on a maybe, 10 year old girl- I quickly handed off my stick to another little one who was waiting to play. Perhaps a bit too competitive for the “adults vs. kids” game?!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

From Zambia
Hope to have photos from today's events eventually...