Thursday, July 26, 2007

Out to lunch

If there's one thing I haven't gotten used to in Lusaka, it's the lack of park space. Every now and again I feel the need to picnic, or be "out of the city" while still being in the city. All the parks in Lusaka have an entrance fee, which I find a bit bizarre, but I also cherish time spent in an area with no one hollering "mzungu", "madam", or "taxi".
Recently Alvin & I hit a park I'd never visited before called Dream Valley. It had its advantages...but was a bit strange with manure spread on top of the grass to encourage its growth...and random chickens skulking around.

The best bit about the chicken was that it didn't seem bothered that I had one of its relatives beautifully grilled on my plate!

Gorgeous though...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Christmas in July- 2007

For anyone who has ever attempted to send a parcel to Zambia, you’ll be sympathetic to this story! The Zambian postal service is (very politely) ‘unpredictable’. Packages & letters can take between one month and twelve to arrive! My friend Sarah's mom sent her a Christmas package that arrived months after Christmas- surprise! Fortunately for those of us who befriended Sarah, we benefited from the Christmas decorations & crackers this July. We had such a fun evening listening to Christmas music & eating divine food.

More than anything, (except maybe the wine) I enjoyed what Kakoma called "Millionaire's shortbread". I asked him what it was & he said "Well, you know ordinary shortbread"? Me, "Yeah, sure". Kakoma: "This has one layer of shortbread, one layer caramel, topped with chocolate". I nearly died after my first bite. I'm still waiting for the recipe...too divine. (And I've never before tasted a Zambian man's baking; cooking yes, but never a sweet course. He set the bar high)!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Zambian Gatorade

I've given up superstition! Friday the 13th was probably one of the funnest days I can remember; gone are the days of holding my breath past graveyards and avoiding walking under ladders.

Ok, maybe I haven't gone so cats are still ominous.

Breakthrough Sports Academy threw it's second "drop in sports camp" of the year on the afternoon of Friday the 13th. There are a few reasons things didn't go exactly as I had hoped, but here, I mean only to highlight the beauty of the day.

I met up with my colleagues and we set off through various shanty compounds (townships) en route to "Tamanga Ground". BSA is split over three main grounds, we held the first camp in Garden compound at Kampala ground, so this camp was set for Tamanga ground in Emmasdale.

Three of us arrived at the grounds a bit later than the group who was facilitating the camp. Here's what we found:

We noticed countless kids watching the activity. We asked a couple of our coaches who weren't doing anything to get the kids into action. And action there was!

Zilole entertained countless kids with "bustele"- these are games, songs, & dances that every Zambian kid seems to know. I love watching Zilole lead children's activities...the kids simply adore him!

George also initiated a game of "Team Handball". I've never played this game before but couldn't resist- it was so fun! It's like soccer except without kicking the ball, the ball is passed hand to hand. Goals are scored by headers...brilliant.

After all the running, laughing & singing amidst the blowing dust we were all parched. About five of us headed back to the BSA office together. Mutale stopped to buy us all sugar cane to celebrate the fun we'd just had. As we ripped into the fresh cut cane, I couldn't help but think "ahh, Zambian Gatorade". There was nothing that would have brought life back to my taste buds better than the sugar cane. I don't think my smile faded throughout the afternoon.

Aside: There is a version of gatorade here called Energade. I'm quite sure it's made by Coca-Cola & it tastes just like energy drinks back home. But I never would have had so much fun pounding back a bottled drink while winding back through Mtonyo, Garden & Luangwa compounds, as I did sharing stories of the day in between bites of the succulent sugar cane.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Here are a few shots of the winning Under-18 team from last weekend's (June 30 & July 2nd) Youth Basketball League's mid-season tournament. Unfortunately, no one was taking photos of the final matches, so these are from the preliminary round.

The box out*grin*

Working our offense with a handoff play.

Mengo in mid jump shot.

Tournament Most Valuable Player: Chichi (Martin) from the foul line.

Our up-&-coming Under 15 team had their debut at the same tournament. Their first game was against the tournament's winning team in the U15 category. (We are in yellow, the winners of the tourney are dressed in blue). They faced two tough teams; which was unfortunately hard on the morale. But it's back to the drawing board for them. Here they are looking a bit nervous.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Canada Day 2007

No matter how far from home, I can never forget Canada Day, one of my favourite all time celebrations.
Somehow (in the dead of a freezing cold winter in Lusaka), we managed to have absolutely perfect weather for July 1st. Since things were a bit hectic with work & my BSA basketball team was in a tournament all day Saturday (which actually spilt over to Monday morning for the semi-final & final team won the whole tournament*whoop whoop*!! I'm only sad because I missed the final game...but I'm looking forward to hearing all the details this evening. The boys really surprised me as we had to beat two teams we've never beaten before. I can't wait to see the champs!!)

Right, I digress. So my Canada celebrations were set to be small due to my hectic weekend schedule. Frisbee, beers, roast chicken & veg and mashed potatoes. Here are some shots of Canada-Day-like weather in Lusaka.

Just getting a couple beers down on the 'patio' before hitting the lawn for some frisbee...

Sarah in action

I must not be much of a basektballer anymore...all of that reach & my foot is still on the ground*hahaha*

Alvin's cousins brought over their new puppy Frodo. I fell in love until he peed in my house. Twice. Grrr.