Friday, October 27, 2006

Did I successfully upload the MONSTROUS spider found in my BEDROOM??!! Horrors...I thought it was a tarantula because it was even hairy. I still mean to look it up on a Zambian spider book/Internet page. If anyone beats me to the punch, let me know if I was unknowingly in a life-threatening situaiton!!


Thursday, October 26, 2006

In my spare time (which isn't much) ALL we've been doing it swimming...just a photo of me & my gal Namukolo- no, no intentions of making you jealous during the HOT hot October heat...

Ps. my most exciting news that will definitely turn into a blogpost itself is that I officially have a new apartment!!!!!!!!!!! After one year in the Pink Palace I've moved on yesterday...much more to come

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Today is's all a bit confusing as I had NO work yesterday (meaning I had a day off of all three jobs...& believe it or not- NO basketball)! October 24th is Zambia's Independence Day...& I must confess I didn't do anything to celebrate...unless you count Monday morning when I was teaching my kids. I asked them all to create Zambian flags so that they could bring them home to share in any festivities. My eldest class didn't know the National Anthem, so there was no singing, but the 5-7 year olds gave it their all & three led the class while the others waved their flags. It was really fun. With my 3 & 4 year olds, the most we could manage was "happy birthday Zambia". It was so much does that count as celebration??!!

What I did celebrate this year for the first year ever was DIWALI. I have never attended the Indian New Year before, but I sure wouldn't mind doing it again! I managed to score free tickets from work, so me & a few friends decided to check out the events. It was really fun- I have never been to an annual festival that marks all of one country's religions. We were danced through Hinduism, Islam & was great- plus there were fireworks & tantalizing Indian cuisine!! I loved it & wish I would've brought my camera so you could see how cute the little kids were who were particpating in traditional dancing. The youngest ones would lose their attention & watch their friends until someone nearby would give him/her a little shove so that that kid would start moving again- TOO FUNNY! The Danish girl I went with cracked me up because she said "I've never seen so many Indians in one spot in my life. Where are they hiding in Lusaka"?

Cheers to continuing to find new daily excitement!! All is peachy, catch up again soon...

Monday, October 23, 2006

I meant to write something the day after the burial of my friend Chilufya. It was going to have a very dramatic first line: “I buried my friend yesterday”. But nearly one month later I’m sitting down to make time for the deceased. I’m not sure why the inspiration is here today, I wonder if this downpour after a sunshine-y hot day has spurred some deep sense of loss. But it is time to quit putting things off; here goes…
It’s such a shame. It’s been a tough journey for me. My basketball season has been pretty rough…my offence has been really on/off. I’m happy to report my defence has steadily improved with much focus & hard work. But I’ve really struggled fitting in & dealing with the attitudes of some of the young girls I play with. Chilufya was the person I would look forward to seeing on the court. We had some plans together, she was going to coach a girl’s team from BSA, & I hadn’t yet told her, but I was going to ask her to help me to learn Bemba. (I loved this girl, Zambian to her toes, lived in Lusaka for years but understood & spoke minimal Nyanja- the language most common in Lusaka). Chilu came up to me at training one day & said she just didn’t feel well. She had all of the symptoms of malaria. It’s really no big deal here (unless of course you are the one suffering from the disease), you go get tested & follow the prescriptions & you move on.
She didn’t come to training the next week & I ran into her & her mother in the grocery store. There was Chilu, looking as lovely as ever. She was explaining that there was something wrong with her blood but the doctors didn’t know what yet, & my daft response- Chilu- you’ve just grown lazy, you’re not really sick; you look like a million bucks! Exactly one week later I received a phone call with news of her death. I was really caught of guard because the previous night Chilu had sent me an SMS that she missed the team & was getting better.
I braved my first visit to a Zambian funeral house with the coaches from our team. (I’ve been to a Zambian funeral before, but not for the whole process). I met the mother there, (who I had indeed met a couple of times before), & she explained how she lost her daughter. She had found her first born dead in hospital that morning. The doctors found her a couple of hours later to give her the blood test results. Acute Leukemia, anaemic complications. 20 year old woman dead within weeks. It’s awful.
My team went to the burial together, & it did provide a sense of closure, no matter how hard it is to accept Chilu’s fate. The saddest part of putting this on paper for me, is that I’ve gone back at every sentence to put things into the past tense.
I’m so fortunate to have known Chilufya, and I believe there was a reason our paths crossed- I will never pretend to understand why such things happen, but we all move on, & I will remember her smile, her laugh, & her personality. She comes to me in funny ways. I miss her, but at least I can share her memory with my teammates. It’s better than never having known her I reckon.

Friday, October 20, 2006

All right...I've been trying for a few days to see if I can manage this technology. I've been thinking "blogging" may be a great way for me to stop inundating peoples' inboxes with my random stories, while encouraging me to write more?

Some days I simply want to send an email stating that I had the BEST pear of my life- I've never seen a pear (or tasted a pear) like that back home. I suppose I must indulge in ALL the advantages of life in sub-Saharan Africa. But the shine isn't wearing off & I've been in Lusaka for two full years...crazy

Let me see if I can post this nothing "blog" & start a new mode of communication across the miles??!!

Fingers crossed..