Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Neon sunglasses and jerseys with numbers

I think a nomadic Canadian left these neon sunglasses at my flat once upon a time. I finally cleared them out- Ben happened to be the lucky recipient of the day. Such a cutie.

Then, eons ago a supporter back home in St. Albert donated some numbers that could be ironed to basketball jersey's. My star Alinafe convinced a friend who works in the screen printing business to adhere the numbers to our lovely jerseys. They have debuted...and brought a loss*hahahah*. Despite losing, we still had a great day.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rhubarb crumble

I was so exited the other day. I’d gone into this grocery store that I don’t usually visit because it’s on the other side of town (I had to pass through there for work)- and lucky me- I found rhubarb! In the five years I’ve lived in Lusaka I have not once come across rhubarb. I scooped it up without a second thought and prepared a delicious rhubarb crumble that evening. There is nothing quite like rhubarb, is there?

Other tidbits that may be of general interest now that I’m not spending most of my evenings studying

- I finally got my grubby hands on Dambisa Moyo’s acclaimed book Dead Aid. Good read, pertinent to my work with CIDA, and only a few times I caught myself saying “Ok, that’s a bit of a stretch”; I think it would be good “Development 101” material. It does support my recent desire to go corporate though, hopefully as soon as this fiscal year is over…fingers crossed.

- My outdoor yoga class continues to challenge & stimulate. I was thinking I should take some photos- it’s a rather romantic setting, especially when hanging upside-down when the sun is setting*grin*

- There is a fuel crisis in Zambia- has been for a couple of weeks now- so I am spending more time walking/ cycling than I had in the previous months. It’s been lovely. And the iPod has become ‘well-used’ (I may have mentioned to a few of you that I don’t think some of these toys are made to withstand Zambian heat- the earphones have been melting & the cool running band that Tommy bought for me is quickly losing the Velcro)…but the music still plays so all’s golden.

- My hubby is now busy studying for exams, thus all the photos of me with the girlfriends. Surely when he’s done we’ll throw a small co-ed party

- I’ve indulged in my first mangoes of the season- sorry Carly!!! Deeelicious

And my fave Dilbert comics. Does any body else find them as amusing as I do? Perhaps I should stop posting them, but they make me giggle & then I want to share them*sigh*
Hmm. Perhaps there’s not too much that’s interesting- signing off.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

1st birthday

Well me & my two girlfriends who do not have children were rather horrified to learn that we're "at the age" where we're invited to our friend's children's birthdays*muhahaha*. That being said Laurane throws one heck of a party & we had a blast on Saturday afternoon. Here are a couple of my fave shots on Tafika's first birthday.

The birthday girl with In'utu

Chikwanda, Kolo & Nawiti- & yes, that's a chicken bone in baby's hand*hahah*

Sportswomen- yay!

There was a jumping castle & a little pool that provided much entertainment on a smokin' hot afternoon (for the children I mean)*grin*

Vicki with her daughter Ndinawe beside Tafika & her aunt.

Proud Mama.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I’m ba-ack- anybody miss me?

It has been wonderful having a few days off work (despite the fact that most of the time I had to study). I feel so good- & I hope I can remember this feeling even when the results come back*hahah*. I’m happy to report that post-examination I jumped into a nearby pool; only learning later that is was 41 degrees Celsius while swimming. Incredible. My hubby & I spent the evening in the air conditioned luxury of the movie theatre*hahaha*. Though with every good holiday there has to be a bit of drama...

I tucked myself in on Tuesday night after a day full of walking, writing the exam, swimming etc- ready for a fitful rest. Unfortunately my deep sleep was interrupted with panicked knocking and shouting on my door. I pushed Alvin into action to find our security guard shouting warnings about thieves coming into the yard with guns, looking to steal a vehicle. Panic set in. We were on the phone to the security company and the police within minutes. Shortly thereafter Alvin went to the window to see if he could see any movement in the yard. Meanwhile the guard comes back hammering and shouting and fearing for his life. There happened to be two guards working that night so the non-shouting (non-hysterical guard) is gesturing to Alvin that actually the man is mad- there are no thieves in the yard.


We lay back in bed to hear the man start wailing- crying for his mother, shouting to the gods not to let him die here in this strange yard- at least let him die in his compound. He is literally inches away from me- through the wall & window- on my patio. This is even after Alvin’s stern warning for the man to quiet down because we all had to work in a couple of hours. After about thirty minutes the woman who lives in the flats above us sticks her head out her window and shames the guard into quiet…very briefly. We waited for the security company or the police to show up & take this crazy man from our yard. We waited until 03h30 and still no sign of help- but finally the mad guard fought off his demons and sat quietly.

Complete disaster.

Alvin & I were giggling most of yesterday at how ridiculous the whole situation was (I was thanking my lucky starts that I’d completed writing my final- I would’ve been a wreck going into that one without my sleep). And now I’m back in the office, sipping strawberry tea, thrilled to not be a student again until next year!

Hope everyone (ok Canadians) enjoyed the Thanksgiving weekend. I did muster the energy to whip up a batch of perogies yesterday afternoon…maybe I’ll roast a chicken next weekend*wink*.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Over & Out

Well I'll be signing off for a few days, heading underground for this upcoming exam...I do always find it refreshing to refrain from the joys of cyberspace for a few days. Wishing all my Canadian folk a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. My dinner with all the trimmings will have to happen after the long weekend.

Let me sign off with another amusing Dilbert comic. Catch up with all of ya'll when I'm back.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

This time of year

I love nothing more than the 37 degree Celsius heat we’ve been experiencing in Lusaka. For whatever reason, it doesn’t oppress me like it does some- I feel exhilarated & excited about the options for fun in the sun. Perhaps it was my Edmonton upbringing- each warm day was spent outside for fear that the next day would bring snow*laughing*. Even after five years in Lusaka the appreciation hasn’t worn off. The days are bathed in a purple haze from the blooming jacarandas - breathtaking.

Dear Kupela held a farewell dinner party on Friday evening- here we are looking b-e-a-u-tiful*grin*. Laurane, Kups, me, & Vicky...that was after dinner & a couple of drinks.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Lil’ rant

I’m not too sure who’s leading the latest charge in “the fight against malaria”- the “African Leaders against Malaria Alliance” or the “international donor community”…but whoever it is – I’m disappointed in the plan. Imagine $3 billion to distribute 240 billion insecticide-treated bed nets. Let’s be frank- that is putting a band aid on a sore that won’t heal.

Let me give my humble abode as an example- the area in which I reside has a terrible drainage system, meaning mosquitoes breed in the swampy heat and then infest homes in the surrounding area. Putting up a mosquito bed-net will protect me during the night when I sleep (providing that it does not have any holes and that my limbs do not end up outside the net- which tends to happen with me). Keep in mind I have a particularly small family by Zambian standards- I think the average household is about 6 people- so how many bed nets are they distributing per household? And will they still be effective if four kids are kicking up the sheets in one bed? Also- bed nets do not dissuade mosquitoes from biting me when I sit and eat my dinner in the evening, or watch TV- shall I move the bed net into the sitting room? I suppose I’m so upset because I’m looking at the amount of money that is being put into bed nets- $3 billion, that money could develop drainage systems throughout the whole of Zambia and provide a much longer term solution-no? Mosquito bed nets remind me of nylons- they’re good for about one wear before they get a run. I may sound a little cynical but I’d like to understand who’s collecting the $3 billion dollars for supplying the nets.


Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that I have the solutions, I am merely suggesting that there are alternative measures that should be considered in the 'fight against malaria'. (Apart from drainage systems screens on windows and doors make a big difference, I also have heard that Cuba has a system of residual spraying that has stopped malaria in its tracks. Not that I believe in chemicals, but I don't believe that 240 million bed nets will significantly decrease the instances of malaria)*sigh*. Like I said- I'm not an expert- I spend most of my evenings wearing long clothing to avoid the inevitable mosquito bites- but I guess I just want to throw out an argument to show that these 'good' and 'noble' ideas are often not the best solutions for development.