Monday, September 30, 2013

The Africa House

I am currently reading a good book that Mike Dobbins loaned.  If you would like to have a terrific story, based on good, solid research, dive into The Africa House by Christina Lamb.

I am glad I didn't read it prior to our Kapishya Springs visit.  For myself, it would have felt too much like I was peering into the personal stories of the Harvey family.  It was more enjoyable to listen to Mark Harvey's stories and philosophy without having the "background."

But now that we have been visitors, it is great to now learn the history of not just Shiwa Ng'andu, but Northern Rhodesia (present day Zambia.)   I realize that many of the frustrations we encounter today were magnified same back.  At least today we have internet and phones to keep us connected to the outside world, and many native Zambians are educated and no longer simply subsisting on the land.

Getting the Rain Gauge Ready

Actually, we had been given hope through out June, July and August that we would have a swimming pool to enjoy when the weather turned from cold to hot.  Unfortunately, we were snookered by the famous Zambian custom of giving hope (false hope, that is.)

After all the effort to get the pool emptied, scrubbed cleaned and refilled it was discovered that not only was the pump out of order, there wasn't even electricity to the pool. (in June)

The result is more loosed ceiling access inside the house, filthy foot and hand prints on those access areas, electricity restored to the pool, and a new pump.  (in August)

Then the waiting game began.  Final verdict .. we aren't high enough up on the feeding chain to "deserve" pool maintenance.  And so, in the meantime the organics blowing into the pool continued to accumulate.  (first of September)

Mary and I were back in the US, and because Tom's work schedule is long days, and very little time off on the weekends, there was nobody to keep it cleaned, nor to direct domestic help to do so.

And so, returning to find out KCM would not take care of it, and after turning down the generous offer from the local pool company to take care of it (generous only to them, btw) we opted to try to treat the water ourselves.

The "pool maid" cleaner was pulling up a lot, but the water was so murky we did not realize how much had actually settled on the bottom.  Tom made the executive decision that if we wanted any chance to get it ready we would need to drain the pool.

So, we reversed the pump, which managed to pull out only 12" of depth.  Then the undersized pump could overcome the head required, and we went switched to siphoning with garden hoses.  They are now at the maximum.  Next step is to pay our night guard to get it bailed out, and the organics scooped.

Then, time to refill with city water, and learn how to get the water safe to swim in.  Less than 50 days until Mary and I return to the States.  Maybe we'll get in a few weekends of swimming, or maybe not.  There isn't much to keep us occupied here beyond school work.

I used to say our years in Austin, Nevada served as purgatory.  Was I ever wrong.

Morning Monkeys

First day of Spring here, and monkeys in the front yard let me photograph babies and moms.

Celebration in September

Celebrated Tom's birthday last week...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mother Monkeys

Mary and I were back in Houston for 6 weeks, through August and into September.  About 2 weeks before we came home Tom spied a monkey that appeared to be misshapen.  At first, repelled, he looked closer and realized that a little, tiny monkey was clinging to mama with all he had, and what looked like an odd growth from her underside was the little baby's tail wrapped around mama's tail.

I caught these photos as the mothers, babies attached, were moving past a bedroom on the side of the house.  These mamas spook quite easily, so I feel fortunate to have even taken these.  So, accept my apologies for the poor quality.

Can you see all the monkeys in this photo?  The one sitting alone was acting a guardian, all the others were mamas with babies.  You'll have to look close to see all of them.

Sitting on top of the fence right next to the edge of the house.

Moonrise in Chingola

One of the rare days when the electricity is not browned down, and the internet speed is up.

Last night Tom came home from work, grabbed the camera and me.  I followed him out to the back yard, where he pointed out an awesome moon.  Here is the best photo, taken in the front yard.