Friday, September 28, 2007

Many thanks

There are some very special people in my life back in Canada (actually...people all over the world) who stay so well connected with me & my life here across the many miles.

I wanted to send some photos as a kind of THANK YOU (on behalf of the whole of BSA) for the loot I managed to take back with me in August. My 3 fellow coaches are sporting new whistles. Alinafe and Mulemwa (Coach Mule, pronounced moo-lay) balance a handful of girls and the under 15 boys team (see following blog for exciting news on the U15 boys)! The other loot includes various pinnies, numbers for jerseys, cones, & these beautiful basketballs. The kids still surprise me each day. I wish I had time to introduce each one of them…I cherish my time with them, and how they’ve grown with me. Thanks especially to my Pop & Sue for sharing my happiness & contributing to our programs at BSA. It’s all very humbling for me.

Here are a few of the items on display during our training sessions. Taken with the photos in the next blog...I hope it gives everyone a good idea of just how happy we all are??!!

Coach Alinafe in action

Gift (Bupe) sporting a Bellerose Academy pinnie!

Here's one of the few girls we have participating...for now she's training with the U15 boys.

Cones, pinnies, & Basketballs galore!

Under 15 BSA team

We at Breakththrough Sports Academy are thrilled to announce that the BSA under 15 basketball team has won their first league game! Coach Alinafe was out of town for the big match, so Coach Mule led the team to a 12-6 victory against the new Taifa Panthers team!

Aren't they beautiful?!

The pre-game huddle

Coach Mule mid-game


Close up during a time out...

Coach Mule (mulemwa), and my co-coach & good friend Kennedy

It's raining jacarandas!

My friend Paul inspired me when I saw some of his photos of jacarandas in full bloom. He took some great shots of the ‘mystical mauve’ petals against the bright blue skies. The next day I set off for work, I carried my camera & thought "If I can capture some morning light…who cares about looking like a tourist"- right? (Only I'm really bad at that & usually pawn my camera off on others to take photos)!

Nonetheless, I dug out my camera (and you can probably tell by the photo below that I paused long enough to take the shot, and hastily moved on, not worrying about morning light at all- I only hoped no one had noticed my mid-stride photoshoot)*grin*.

Funnily enough, my sights weren't drawn to Paul's sky views...but my attention was diverted to what was below the jacarada trees. Underneath the jacarandas lie huge beds of the fallen purple flowers. Call it the Canadian in me, but I wanted to tromp through the petals as I would the crackling fall leaves that should be present back home this time of year. But the petals are not at all crunchy, & I let my imagination run wild as I felt a spring in my step. I reminded myself of the gummy bears, after they had drunk their “super juice”, and sailed through the air. Ridiculous I know. I really giggled as I certainly had extra bounce in my step while diverting myself from the main road, to the earth spattered with the flowers that have blown off from the jacaranda.

Still, the smallest things amuse me.

Catching up

I hope to post a couple of blogs today...I had written some last weekend but never had the chance to upload, so sorry if there are things a bit out of order*smile*

Here goes (keep your fingers crossed that the electricity doesn't cut as I'm about to hit "publish"). Zambia- I love it!!

Sultry summer daze

After a long cold season, the heat is back. I was trying to think of good descriptors -for the heat- during my afternoon walk…I didn’t come up with any keepers. The intensity of the sun is incredible, then all round there are colours- bright petals of the bougainvillea (hot red or a screaming orange), the greens of the banana trees colliding with the clear blue Zambian sky. What did make me giggle was the relief from a breeze (not a cool breeze, just a slight shuffling of hot air). I was watching for movements in the trees- the breeze is so slight, that the petals of the flowers move, or the leaves on the trees- not the branches themselves. And that barely perceptible ‘breeze’ nearly made me cry out in bliss.

(The next day I was heel toe-ing it to the pool. The heat was yet again intense. This time I noticed the slight breeze moved the soft hairs on my back & arms; who thought it possible to feel such a cooling effect only from the shifting of hair?)

I was so wired today. I rode the bike over to the Youth Basketball League games this morning. I’ve been to chicken to cycle what with all the traffic, potholes, & other cyclists. I think I fared rather well, despite the fact that I don’t really trust the brakes. And the gears have this bad habit of randomly changing. By the time I made it home in the midday sun, I was dripping with sweat. Kolo suggested swimming earlier, which I declined as I had made running plans with some other friends. As soon as I reached my doorstep (I didn’t even put the bike away or unlock the door), I called Kolo & asked where & when we should meet to swim.

It turned out the be a lovely afternoon- it was great to have some chill time with Kupela before she heads off to the UK to study for her Masters degree. Aren't we a lovely group?!

Kupela, pregnant Vicki & Kolo

This is Kupela/ Shakira:-)

Kolo and me chillin

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Another one bites the dust

Ok, that's certainly not the most diplomatic way of saying goodbye to another friend. Marilyne has left Lusaka after seven years here (with at least a little drama)*giggling*. I suppose after seven years, she may as well have left with a little bang. She is a former colleague, turned friend. She's been a great support to me in Lusaka, & is taking a big step to start a new life back in Montreal.

That's all I want to post today. I have lots on the go...but this one's for Marilyne!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

c/o Canadian High Commission

It's only taken three years...but officially- wait for it

here it comes

I have my own Post Box number now!!!!! Well, let me rephrase that, you can reach Alvin & me at the same post box now. I have been assured that incoming mail should be more secure (fewer hands should have access to taking)- so I thought- let's give it a go!
Please please don't disappoint me & send something to our brand spanking new EMPTY box*hahaha*.

You can send Alvin or me mail at:
Post Net Box 358
P/Bag E891
Manda Hill Centre
Lusaka, Zambia

Can't wait to hear from you via snail mail. It is a small wonder to receive words, thoughts, or pieces of my friends from around the world- so please share even the mundane details- they don't seem so routine to me!

Thanks bunches in advance!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Eureka Farms

The trip to Ndola was foiled by a minor transport dilemma. But Plan B was great fun for all! We decided to check out a ‘game farm’ only minutes outside of Lusaka. We headed out after a delicious nshima lunch- destined for swimming pools & adventure.

We settled into our comfortable lodgings, swam, & savoured cold Castle on a steamy hot day. After we’d dried off, we thought we’d take a short walk to see what the farm had to offer. Well actually, the fact that a group of Zebra parked in the campground looking for some nibblies inspired us to see what else was out there. To our surprise, we headed just outside the gates to face a small heard of buffalo. These beasts are massive (Alvin & I reminisced about the lion vs. buffalo Kruger Park video on YouTube that was all the rage while we were home- in Canada). I certainly wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of those horns!

Even more shocking than the close proximity of the zebra, puku (or kudu…I’m not sure which type of antelope were bounding nearby), buffalo, and monkeys were the giraffes. I had no idea we would be able to see such creatures at Eureka Campgrounds (guess I didn’t fully research this quick trip)*grin*. I think giraffes may be my favourite African creature (so far). They look so awkwardly put together, yet are ever elegant; watching them run is a wonder.

Here are a couple of shots…& now back to work.

Jenny, Gabi & I. Mmm, Caslte!

Our rustic accommodation

Look how close we are!

This shot is for you Tom. Gabi, Al & a giraffe- & NO Castle. Hmmm.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Labour Day

Well, things have been pretty hairy of late…so unfortunately, I haven’t found time to post. Forgive me, my loyal readers*grin*

This morning I’m feeling back to 100%! Like Canada, Monday was also a holiday for my High Commission. However, in preparation for the “results-based management” training offered through CIDA from Tuesday through Thursday I worked for a couple of hours in the afternoon. When I arrived back home from the conference facility, I was exhausted and I crashed out. I was woken up for dinner & found myself hanging my head over the toilet, rather than enjoying a meal. It was awful. I have no idea what set my stomach off, but I was sick! I didn’t manage to make the first day of training on Tuesday. I slept for most of the day. Wednesday I found myself feeling much better, & I headed out to the training. This morning I’m connected to Chaminuka wireless updating all of ya’ll on my whereabouts*smile*. I’ll be back in the office for my half-day of work on Friday…& then off for adventure on the Copperbelt. Details to come!!