Tuesday, November 8, 2016
On this past camping trip we were all wielding cameras. As we have been sharing photos, it was really fun to see that we were taking pictures of each other. Here are a few photographer/photo combos.
Owen and the posse (O managed to get his paws on every camera, I think)
Me and the girls
Victor at the rapids
my favorite wildlife photo from Victor: amazing little Kingfisher.
Dave was too stealthy (and too busy watching for kids and crocs) to get a candid
photo of, but here he is saying, "Dude, Owen?! Give me back my camera!!"
I'm guessing this is Emily's photo with Dave relegated to bokeh.
Posted by Owen at 9:57 AM
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
There is a break in the action every October: the kids have half-term holiday, there are two Zambian holidays and there is a momentary lull between the dry season and the rainy season. It's the most obvious time to GO CAMPING. Once the rains start, planning a camping trip becomes exceedingly difficult. Travel becomes difficult and sorting out 'what if' is so out of the question that after October, tent-camping is pretty much off the table. The down side to camping in October is that it's exceeding warm, HOT even. For our camping trip, the lodge weather station was registering 36 degrees and 24% humidity. We were parched. But parched is better than waterlogged. I'm from Seattle, so I speak with some authority about being cold and wet.
We are lucky enough to be friends with PLANNERS and so they booked this amazing spot almost as soon as we all got back to Lusaka. They booked and said "who's in?" Five families later...the plans were in place and before we knew it, we were off and running.
I'm in the middle of a little camera crisis....the scenery and the company allowed for hours on the the river (with ele- and croc-watchers!) to sort out some issues with my now-fussy kit. It also allowed for some time with Thing 1 who has a keen interest in photography and was after some photos like the ones he admires on his instagram feed. We had a nice time sorting out exposure and shutter speed, but the question of the health of my gear remains outstanding. Here is one of the results from Owen's handiwork. Nice, right?
The best photos from the trip, however are the ones that the kids took of each other.
Finn, pleased as punch with a weekend away from school and sports and time with his friends (including his big brother!) to goof around.
The wonderful girls, age 2-12.
(@the_owen_jennings in case you want to follow him on instagram....)
"See any crocs?"
TJ's arty photos of the highly poisonous eurporbia.
The littlest scene-stealer
The whole gang
I set up the camera and tripod to keep the kids busy while we took down tests and tried to fit everything back into the cars. The photos are hilarious. I have more than a few nose-smudges on my lens!
(yes, we made shirts for the trip!)
(at least I know whose nose print that is...)
There are about 100 more of these, but I'll spare you the full collection. Except, maybe you need to see a few more....Note that the older, wiser girls (as opposed to the moms) elected not to participate in selfie-mania. Smart.
Even Kebby got in on the action. (This was long after the kids had left.)
This is a normal picture of Kebby. He was our guide for fishing and hikes. Awesome guy.
Did I really just do a blog post after almost a year of posting NOTHING? Yup.
Best for last. The planner and the non-planner. She made this trip happen.
Posted by Owen at 12:23 PM
Friday, December 4, 2015
|"What's that you say? You are going to actually learn your new editing program?"|
No post about food today goes without a note about the complications we are facing regarding acquiring, storing and preparing food. Zambia is experiencing some unwelcome excitement as of late -- has the dubious distinction of having the world WORST PERFORMING currency and an economy which is limping along due mainly to it's dependence on copper, the price of this raw commodity (is copper technically a 'commodity?" or is it a resource?) AND are newly suffering from Zambia's dependence on three small hydroelectric projects which are meant to 'power the nation' but which are operating at such dismally low levels that we are having power cuts/load-shedding 8-16 hours per day. Every day. Since....June? Every single day. IT's a total drag. There are only two nights per week where the power is back on in time to fix dinner at and eat with the lights on. Otherwise we use solar lights, candles and our gas camping stove five nights a week.
|the sunset view from our place. the presence of the power lines is ironic.|
When we came to Seattle for the summer break we had only a hint of what we would be coming back to in August. To make a very long story short, I had an inkling that something to ease the 'pain' of no electricity would be to have a pizza oven. Yes, this is VERY Marie Antoinette of me, very FWP (first world problem) and it seems silly. However, I had been tracking two small startups, one in Finland and one in Zambia. For my plan to work, I needed them both to 'take off.' What was the plan? Convince my family that we needed to spend what could have been silly amount of money on a 'portable pizza oven' that honestly looked all the world like the Easy-Bake Oven my best friend Janna had when we were seven....you know the kind with the incandescent bulb as the 'heating element' and the little tiny cake pans that could cook up a little tiny cake in 5 minutes? It looks every bit like an award-winning Scandinavian-designed portable oven. Because...IT IS!
So, the success of the pizza oven start up was one element but the other KEY element was the success of a company in Zambia which was proposing efficient energy solutions in the way of using waste from the timber mills to produce wood-pellets for cooking stoves. The wood-pellets are sold as 'Clean Malasha" or clean-charcoal and are meant to replace the mainstay of Zambian household fuels, Charcoal. The company and a second new offshoot company are well on their way and we have a readily availablee supply of these wood pellets. The woodpellets are also required to fuel our brilliant little pizza oven! YEAH!
|Uuni + SupaMoto = SUCCESS!|
|hunting for pizza|
|i could not contain the awesomeness of the uuni in the photo-frame.|
|pikani pizzera is open for business.|
(bring your own cheese / candles - or bring me some nice rennet and we can try to make the mozzarella)
Posted by Owen at 12:19 PM