Thursday, August 28, 2008

House Update

Just a quick update on our house.  It is nice, real nice!  We have four bedrooms and a separate guest quarters off of the pool.  The guest quarters has its own full bath with a full sauna next to it. It also opens up to the pool.  The Guest quarters could accommodate four easily and five comfortably and we have WIFI so you can connect while lounging around the pool.  Fenson, our gardener (who has been terrific!) keeps the pool sparkling clean, planting more and more flowers everyday, and keeping the place well manicured.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, "you better take advantage of it now because we are only here for a year".   So if you ever wanted to take that dream safari you have a place to stay and we can get you "local" rates which are up to five times cheaper than if you book through an agent.  What are you waiting for?

A Solemn Occasion

I regret to inform our readers that Dr. Levy Mwanawasa the President of Zambia has passed away.  He was the first Zambian President to die.  All the other Presidents are still alive.  It is a major event as he was well liked and respected.  The Zambian Government has declared a 21 day period of mourning.  After that, a Presidential election must be held no less than 90 days after his death.  His funeral is on September 3rd and that day has been declared a National Holiday.  So far everybody has remained remarkably calm.  The Zambian Kwacha lost some strength against the Dollar but has remained stable.  The Zambians we know are concerned about who will be their next president.  So it will be interesting to experience a Presidential election in a foreign country.  Hopefully when it is all said and done, we won't have to be evacuated. :-)  Because things are so quiet around here, we have decided to scoot on down to Livingstone this weekend.  We anxiously await Victoria Falls one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  Everyone who has been there has told us it is a must see.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

School Starts!

Can you believe it?  School has already started here in Lusaka.  The kids ride the bus to school which is about 5k from the new house.  We are the closest Embassy family to the school so that means the kids are the last to be picked up and the first to be dropped off.  So far, aside from the occasional home sickness (Deryn) the kids like their new school and we are pretty happy with it too.  Trevor is on the school cricket team and Rianne and Deryn have volleyball tryouts next week.  Unlike the U.S., travel teams here travel to different countries.  So that will be a new experience for us.  The school is about as diverse as a school can get and the kids have already met and made some friends who are from all over the globe.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's True!!

Yes, it has been confirmed that we will be moving in to the new house on Monday. What is the significance you may ask? Well, first of all it is a much better and bigger house. Second, we can finally unpack all our stuff. Third its closer to school, and finally, we will have internet... What does that mean for those of you out in blog land? It means there will be more blog updates, more pictures, and Skype ability. YAHOO!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


First off, I apologize to my blog readers for not updating the blog. I have received several emails wondering when we will post some updates. The tone of the emails has gone from encouragement to frustration. So I will try to appease our viewing audience.
We have been busy trying to get moved and settled into our permanent home. We are hoping to be in by this time next week. School starts on the 14th of August. We are just coming off a long weekend as it was Agriculture Day on Monday (Zambian National Holiday). We used the long weekend to take a mini safari about an hour out of Lusaka. It was just a day trip where we packed a lunch and then just got drinks at the safari lodge. The lodge sits on 2400 square Km and has various animals. We saw elephants and lions and got some good pictures. Unlike the national parks, the lodge we were at is enclosed so the animals become quite used to tourists snapping pictures of them. I would describe it as closer to a zoo than a true African Safari. But nonetheless we had a good time.
As time passes we are getting more comfortable with our surroundings and venturing out to more parts of the city. Driving at night is no longer a big deal, and Beth has now mastered the right hand drive, manual transmission safari vehicle. She regularly drives to the school and the Embassy as well as the local grocery stores. We have hired a gardener/driver for our new house. Fenson. I will take a picture of him and Post it. He says he is experienced in gardening, pool maintenance, and driving manuel transmissions. (only time will tell). The new yard is huge so he will have his work cut out for him.
The kids have been our domestic help since we have been here. They have been doing a lot of chores to make money to go to the local craft markets. There are some really neat things there. Baskets, carvings, furniture, masks, spears, shields and clothes. All three kids have started carved animal collections. The girls are pretty tight with their money, however, Trevor not so much with his or mine. I think he owes me about 25,000 Kwacha from the last market visit.
We also bought a Ping Pong table and Trevor is getting in at least 5 to 6 hours of ping pong time a day. (We should have never rented Balls of Fury). He can now beat his mom and me occasionally. We are looking very forward to our first visitors. Who will it be?