Friday, January 30, 2009

Kids go bowling

It has to be said that although Lusaka is a large urban sprawl with maybe 3 million people living in it, it is not always the most exciting place. After we got back from the UK Philip and Rachel still had some time to go before returning to school and the skies were generally grey with frequent rain. Rachel did herself proud as she came up with her own indoor bowling alley! She set up the pins - large yoghurt pots (emptied and clean I might add) - at the end of the corridor that the bedrooms come off. Down one side was a piece of piping she had found so she could roll the balls back to the player. The bowling balls were dried 'monkey balls' used here not to eat but decorate. She put a blanket at the end so the balls wouldn't crack (although a couple did anyway), got a small whiteboard to keep score and we were away. It worked a treat and we all had a lot of fun. So necessity really is the mother of invention (I confess we do have one bowling alley nearby so the kids haven't been deprived totally but this was a much cheaper option!) and Rachel's imagination and inventiveness certainly proved themselves.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


It is rainy season here at the moment but in general it has not been as wet as this time last year. Often it has felt humid, as if rain was due. Yesterday evening though it did not feel at all stormy but boy, was there a storm. Many locals are saying it the worst storm they have known and I think it was the same for us. The rain was so intense and went on and on and the thunder and lightning were unrelenting. The thing that amazed me was how long and loud the thunder-rolls were. Every time I thought it was calming down and I started to doze off, it started up again. The real downer is that we woke up this morning, looked out of our kitchen window and saw that a large stretch of our wall that goes around the garden had collapsed. We rushed out to check the dogs but thankfully they were around the front and hadn’t noticed, as they would have been all over the neighbourhood causing chaos... There is a servants quarters at the bottom of the garden which is used for storage and they were full of mud. It really was a mess - you can see the tide mark on the wall just above Grahams boot. To make matters worse, the belongings of one of our missionaries are currently in storage in one of these rooms but thankfully we managed to rescue most of her things although there is now a big pile of laundry! The 'hole' is about 26 metres long so we are feeling a little vulnerable but in fact you would have to go through the neighbour's garden to get to our place so it could be a lot worse. Unfortunately she just says it is our problem. In fact her property is slightly higher than ours and her wall fell on top of ours (there is a passage way between the two) but she says they are both our walls. The good news is that we hadn't handed over the rent check that was due today as the repair is going to cost around $2000! A number of other properties in the area have had similar problems so we are grateful that we were able to clear the mess and that it wasn't a front wall which would have been awful. Hopefully we will be able to make progress on repairs and get back to normal soon, whatever normal is here...!