Saturday, August 23, 2008

Zambia Mourns

Saturday morning the body of the Zambian President, Levy Mwanawasa, was brought back to Zambia and we were able to see the motorcade as it traveled from the Airport to the Mulungushi Conference Center in Lusaka. We walked with the kids from our house to Great East Road along with hundreds of others. For me it was a rare moment to photograph Zambia and Zambians (with police permission) and an opportunity to try to capture a moment in history – the death of a popular, sitting African President.

Below: mourners lined Great East Road as the motorcade passes.

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Ima Update

Thanks to the Zambia Ornithological Society for tracking down an ID for Ima: Pipistrellus rusticus of Western Province, at the very edge of it's range in our garden in Lusaka. An insectevirous, vesper bat...we're so lucky to have had the chance to get to know it.

Friday, August 8, 2008


A little, yet unidentified bat that we were doing a little backyard wildlife rescue for...apparently in the throes of death. It died about 1/2 hour after I took this photo.

Finny named it but only after the fact: Ima.

As in "Ima Bat."
Ima Stats: brown furry body, approx 7cm long. black wings. (didn't measure wingspan, estimate 35-40cm), dark beady eyes set close to small black ears, teeny tiny teeth...which I know b/c when I picked it up from the pool it wanted to bite me - I felt really silly for donning gloves to get this itty bitty bat but was quite glad I did so, particularly after reading about all the fun stuff humans can get from bats - especially sick ones. Any help with an ID is appreciated. I unpacked my bat book only to discover it is 'bats of north america' not bats of southern africa...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Owen has been working hard all summer (which is actually winter)….continuing with his ‘Jolly Phonics’ worksheets, readers, and spelling trying to learn British English. Why does one “go to hospital” as opposed to going to THE hospital. Why do we now spell meter, metre and color, colour. It is the Queen’s English: soccer is football, fries are chips, chips are crisps, and Bob's your uncle.
The boys have refused haircuts so, up go the bangs...I mean the fringe

And why, oh why, do I keep insisting that they boys put on some pants when they are clearly running around the house wearing their pants, which are of course, actually their underpants….I need to ask them to please put on a pair of trousers….and a jumper while they are at it!

Mercifully, coffee is still coffee. But biscotti? Rusks. Unless you are Finny is which case it is mistotti, as in "Yes momma I DO yike dat mistotti in your toffee! I do!"
A garden is the lawn or is it your yard? It is definitely not the garden. Cornstarch is cornflour. Essence is extract. The elevator is the lift…not that we really need to learn this one – though todd insists the PS's building does indeed have a working lift! Diapers are nappies. Paper towels are kitchen towels. Napkins are serviettes. Erasers are rubbers. Tennis shoes or sneakers are trainers. Cookies are biscuits. Traffic lights are robots and intersections generally work better when the robots are not working.

We are also doing Math tutoring, which is great except that it is called numeracy or maths. MATHS? Owen will really have to make sense of inches, feet, yards and miles while he is learning all things marvelously metric.

We have some workbooks that have US currency/coins so we are trying to make sure the poor kid can buy a chocolate bar in the states without having a nervous breakdown.