Friday, February 26, 2010

Chipata trip

I must say I am fortunate to be able to have gone out to Zambia’s Eastern province to monitor a couple of projects we have funded in both Katete & Chipata districts. They say there is always adventure when “in the field”. There was no exception here. Please enjoy (?) a pictorial display of the ups & downs of gorgeous Eastern province Zambia.

First, Alvin teased me when I was departing; that whole bag for two nights away. Just think, double that & it’s your allowance to return back home. Oy oy. I guess I need a crash course in packing…

I couldn’t help but think how amazing it would be to wake up to such views everyday (& it was miserable & rainy most of my stay)!
This is the view of Chipata town from way up on the hill

This is the view from the back of the lodge

What with all the rain we had one heck of a trip to a rural school. Small wonder only 1 of the 3 vehicles made it through to the school.

Due to the predicament I had to rely on a more reliable form of transport.I must say I thought of a few girlfriends in this situation. It has been a small goal of mine to start ‘looking’ more professional…I put on a suit and was trying to apply a bit of lipstick on these treacherous roads before arriving at the destination. Talk about sublimely ridiculous. I ended up at the meeting with black feet, muddy trousers and what- LIPSTICK? Really I must work on evaluating the appropriateness of my decisions…given the circumstances.

However, the views were stunning & the meeting went well & my heart felt full with laughter.

The other advantage to heading out of the city is buying fresh farm produce on the way back to Lusaka. I picked up my favourite mushrooms- though they’re a disaster to clean (terribly sandy). Dinner was delicious last night though…

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Hi all, I've been away in the wilds of Eastern Zambia for a couple of days. I shall post stories & photos hopefully very soon. Until then, find below a post that I had written on Sunday.

I told myself I wouldn’t fall into the trap of posting sentimental stories of leaving Zambia (I should actually prepare a list of things that I will not miss)*grin*- but I couldn’t resist mentioning a few emotions I went through over the weekend.
- Rain- damn. No run.
- My two meetings for Saturday have been postponed until further notice. But I smile; I will miss the unpredictability of what is my social life when I’m back in Canada. Somehow I feel relieved the meetings didn’t pan out because I never would have gotten back to snuff with school…
- I close the door on my way out to post for Uni; the door handle ends up in my hand while the door remains ajar. I want to scream in frustration. Or throw the handle through a window. Instead I smile- I will not miss this flat with its door handles that don’t close doors.
- For no particular reason at all Alvin & I popped a cheap bottle of champagne Saturday evening. We sat on our little patio feeding the mosquitoes on the perfect breezy evening. And I thought- we’ll be fine back home. Yes, we’ll just be smiling at the Alberta skies instead…

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

4-day weekend

Sorry, I seem to be neglecting my blog…I think it’s because I’ve failed to carry my camera with me on my recent adventures. What can I report that may be of general interest to some of my faithful readers??

I’m off a 4-day weekend during which time I:

o RAN - oh it was so wonderful to be back on the road- on a cool morning or a sweltering one, pounding the pavement felt great. I thought of Pat though…I wasn’t measuring kilometres or minutes- just out there playing the route by ear, perfect!
o Visited- Al’s dear brother Kim had been MIA for many months…he happens to be in Lusaka & we had a wonderful time catching up with him & his family, & his other brother. I’m only sad I didn’t bring my camera- I know anyone who’s met Kim would love to be reminded of his million-dollar smile
o Read- Ok…I’m up to date on one of my two Uni courses…so it could be worse*grin*. I’ve also started Collier’s highly recommended The Bottom Billion
o Celebrated Valentine’s in the most unromantic way possible…well, apparently me & my hubby decided to share the day with our single friends- & it was lovely. Kolo came over & cooked up a storm for lunch, then after I’d finished training my boys (at another court…no good news there) we came back home to crack a couple beers with my co-coach & our good friend Alinafe. I cannot remember the last time I had a beer but I enjoyed my ice cold Mosi immensely
o Cleaned- there’s no more putting it off; desks are being emptied, papers being shredded, clothes being given away. Amazing how five years worth of stuff accumulates where one would least expect to find it. Wish us luck packing our lives into two measly bags each!

And now it’s back to work & back to reality…gym date tonight- I’m off for zumba while Al will push weights- yay!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Pineapple upsidedown cake gone under

I couldn't help but giggle yesterday as I prepared a pineapple upside down cake for my mother-in-law's birthday. Al & I were set to head over for dinner with the family so I thought I'd whip up a cake. It was not to be. After baking the cake I flipped it over (so it would be upside down) only to realize that the bottom (now the top) was raw. HORRORS. Turns out my oven was on broil...not bake- OOPS. Out of desperation I threw it back in right-side up to broil the other side. Result: a terrible looking cake that still managed to taste ok- though it was rather flat. I decided to bake some apple muffins to bring over just in case we found the cake inedible. Disaster!

We had a fun evening though- all parties seem to focus on babies though. And would any of you believe that Auntie Sarah is being blamed for teaching baby Mutale this face? Why I'd never...

Birthday Grandma with babe

Alvin loving up his niece

Of other interest- we bought our plane tickets home yesterday. We'll be back in Edmonton March 26th...I can't believe it's so soon!

Monday, February 01, 2010

I couldn't resist

I have no idea why, but I couldn't resist taking a few minutes to post as the rain hammers down this Monday morning. Hard to believe it's been raining on & off for almost 24 hours straight. It's glorious & cool & I'm on my third cup of jasmine tea*hahah*. I've just brewed the "Dragon Tears" for this glass though, the previous two were "jasmine with flowers"... deeelicious. (I'm such a bad Canadian eh, no coffee)!

The weekend was great despite involving a lot of schoolwork. That's right, I'm back to school & had to do a lot of reading so I could open the discussion today. Otherwise Alvin's team lost their first game in the best of three series for the national championships. My former team won though so at least there's some good news. We'll be back at it next Saturday- & then the season will be over...I plan on doing lots of visiting*grin*.

And that's about it. The birds have started chirping as the downpour has subsided for a few minutes...should be my call to do some work!