Monday, July 27, 2009

What a weekend!

The Youth Basketball League had it's annual mid-season tournament over the weekend. And what a hoot; it was a weekend packed with upsets & surprises! The disappointment was the turnout of girls teams- we only had 2:-( But they played a best of three series & seem to enjoy cheering on the boys. We had six under12 teams which is the biggest turnout for the little tykes yet. I wasn't able to catch any of the u12 games but BSA ended up winning the round robin- yay! In the u15 & u18 categories we had 10 teams each (I don't remember having so many teams participate in a tournament ever- so we're all quite chuffed).

Pictured below are the under 15 champions- Magic (they were expected to take the title, they've had a strong u15 side for a few years now). A proud Coach Michael in light blue.

Here are the second place u15 team - the Hurricanes- with Coach Mwape, who put up a good fight but just couldn't de-throne the Magic team.

I was responsible for the u18 court & was it ever a riot. Upset after upset- two of the most competitive teams in the league didn't even make it to the semi finals (I ended up laughing with the coaches- it was simply not a good weekend for the Chelstone Bullets or for Jamlek). Magic was also expected to take the final but the Buffaloes knocked them out in the semi-finals (pictured below with Coach Ozzie second from right- a former player for the Buffaloes).

Funny enough, we'd beaten the Buffaloes to take first spot in our pool- so we met again in the final. I'm so proud of my boys- we've had a season with plenty of ups & downs, but we took it to the Buffaloes in the final! Here are my winners!!! (I'm also partly excited because both Mulemwa & Kawana were with us for the whole weekend & they're my former players- nothing like having them take over coaching the u15 squad) Mulemwa far left, Kawana in the back row with a hood!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


It was 8 degrees yesterday morning. And I believe it stayed pretty close to 10 degrees throughout the whole day. It was awful. A street sign claimed it hit 20 degrees on my walk home from work but I was in a fleece & wrapped in a scarf so I daresay it did not hit 20. (We’re talking Celsius here people)
The positive side of the cold season is that there are very few bugs. Cockroaches hide in warmer areas & do not harass me as they do in the humid rainy season. Mosquitoes generally come out if the day heats up, but for the most part I’ve been enjoying quiet evenings with no buzzing and swatting.
Last night, however, was bizarre. Alvin and I were reviewing some documents yesternight (one of my fave Zambian expressions)*wink* and were shocked at the number of mosquitoes in our living room. I decided to spray in our bedroom so that we could sweep out the mozzies before bedtime & have a restful sleep without the droning creatures. Today I’m laughing, but yesterday I was horrified- there were so many mozzies in the room that when I started spraying- as they frantically tried to avoid inhaling their deaths- they were bouncing off my face. It was awful!
Al & I danced around the kitchen preparing dinner swatting and stomping the mozzies while we let the poison settle in our living room. I’m not too big a fan of these “Doom” sprays but last night was ridiculous. I did reflect on how thankful I am that we can afford to dash down the street and pickup insect killer; we were eventually able to enjoy our evening without the constant drone of the mosquitoes. Imagine if there was no escape?! Horrors.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dilbert and his diagrams

I have to admit that sometimes this is how I feel with my schoolwork*muhahah*. Anyhoo, I've submitted the draft version of my dreaded research proposal; I'm hoping for good feedback this year because I cannot fail twice.

Otherwise there's not too much to report. Life has returned to the ordinary. So here are a couple of ordinary tales.
The other week I was running to the courts in a sickeningly optimistic mood. As I trudged through the sand and dust I thought "Ah, running in Lusaka is just like running along the beach...but without the water". Perhaps my next holiday should be a beach holiday...I may just be due.

A couple of weekends ago I participated in Lusaka's annual Olympic Day run; my running partner & I enjoyed the 10km route though I must admit that I'm not at all fit these days. Yoga has started though and I'm enjoying the classes so at least I'm doing some strengthening.

I shall try to find some excitement for my next post*grin*.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Found it!

Here's the whole fam damily. Unfortunately it appears that we put ourselves under some shade. In any case- there stand/sit all my aunts & uncles, my Gran, a couple of cousins, my father's godmother & her family, as well as my new sister-in-law! YAY.

Here's my mom's side- I had to post it because it is such a rarity that all my mom's family would a) be looking at the camera with eyes OPEN, & b) not caught with a mouthful of food*muhahah*.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Trip home- Round 3- Family

I hadn't seen some of my family members for upwards of 5 years- how fortunate for me & Al that we were able to meet up with so many of them. And that's the beautiful thing about family, five years & it feels like I never left- thanks to each of you!!

Our welcoming committee when we hit the Motherland. My Aunt was such a gem- she drove us all over "Greater Toronto Area" for 2 days...Here she is with her daughter & granddaughters.

Auntie Nada took us to see my cousins & their families.
Danielle & her three babes (so good to catch up)!

Me & Kane

Mel, JD & their girls- lovely to visit!

Cayley was Mel's only kid that liked either me or Al*hahaha* She reached out for Al so we all got excited, how silly is that?!

Next stop: Ottawa. Here are a few of our hosts- Aunt Monique (missing other half dear Uncle Emil), Marc (missing my cousin/ his wife Caro), Mate & Jen (missing their two daughters). I clearly did a TERRIBLE job with the camera in Ottawa. I think I was too excited- it was amazing to see everyone, & to see everyone looking so great!

"Ma-mere" aka. Grandma Cote (85-year old powerhouse) playing tennis with her great-granddaughter Justine (Marc & Caro's beautiful girl). I was so happy to be a part of that day!

We also high-tailed it to Saskatoon. Here we are in my Gran's new digs, with cousin Al's lovely daughter Katrina. The last time I saw Katrina she was a toddler- we had such a blast with her despite the fact that she beat me at Quiddler AND Scrabble. Here she is trying to teach my mom ballet, I nearly split my gut laughing.

Here's my beautiful Gran at my brother's wedding. She's such an incredible woman. (Thanks for letting me steal the photo Uncle Wal)*grin*

Me & my hubby at Toma's wedding.

Oh...and this was a quick stop on our way back home from Saskatoon- Alberta tourism at it's finest. Love it!

I'm looking everywhere for the photo of the whole family. It was the first time ever that my bro & I have had all our Aunts & Uncles together at the same time- & the blasted photo must be on my laptop somewhere. I will find it & post it proudly!! (Promise)

Round 2- Sports/ watching sports

Oh we Canadians love our sports, don’t we? Al & I had a blast catching (or participating in) several sporting events.

We had our first "Wii" experience (Thanks Tommy!) I'm about as good at Wii bowling as I am at real bowling- priceless.

Here I am on the Wii Fit trying to Hula Hoop, Al is heading the soccer balls.

We travelled to Saskatoon to see my Gran's new abode and for the "boys" to go fishing...despite the cold weather the guys had a blast & literally caught buckets of fish (there are photos to prove it- no fisherman tales there). We had a delicious fish fry with loads of family after they spent the day on the lake. Here's my fisherman with my Grand-Uncle Neil.

Catch of the day:-)

Dear Carly took us out for true blue Canadian Football!! Eskies versus Roughriders pre-season game- what a blast.

Tom, Dev & Trevor decided an afternoon trip to the driving range would be a good idea. Fabulous fun I say. Here's our very own Zambian Tiger!

Al's first love it basketball...he played every chance he had. I couldn't' help but giggle when he played with a sea of Asians (see photo below). Unfortunately I can't find the photos from the "International Basketball League" game we attended. It was actually really fun, those of you reading this from Edmonton should go out & support the "NRG"...Energy...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Friends from Lusaka

I'm going to try to post some more highlights from our trip back to the Motherland. In no specific order. Round 1.

Al & I had several mutual friends from our time here in Lusaka to catch up with back in Canada. Here are a few of the candids- we were so thrilled to be able to re-connect with such wonderful people!

Our dear friends Kel & Claire happen to be living just outside of Edmonton- & Claire just happened to have their first child while we were home! It was so exciting to seem them both & meet their beautiful baby Cruz.

We passed through Ottawa on our way to Edmonton to catch up with family (they'll come in another post)*grin* & two of my former colleagues & dear friends.

There is nothing better than an ice cream date...

My generous cousins hosted a feast & welcomed Julie, her hubby (who's name escapes me at the moment...something terribly English. Jon I think) & Marilyne- again, completely overwhelming hospitality & love!

We couldn't resist this one...

Toronto (on both ends of our time in Edmonton). Sarah T baked her famous pineapple upside down cake for my spoiled husband (well...I suppose it was his birthday)*grin*

Our good friend Kieran- who we got used to seeing in Lusaka about every six months- alas, now he is back to work in Toronto & we will have to steal time like we did en route back to London. We even had the chance to meet his lady friend Claire...

From left to right- Naomi (who I met my first year in Lusaka- we climbed Kilimanjaro together so it was a trip catching up with her after 4 years or so), then there's Mike who's Christine's boyfriend. Christine has come to Zambia a couple of times for research- we were lucky enough to befriend her, & see her in TO!

Christine actually introduced us to Emily (in Lusaka) who is also a star! We spent a lot of holidays together- like Easter, Thanksgiving, birthdays- & our get togethers always included feasting & perhaps a little too much wine or sangria. Naomi again on the right.