My covid-cocoon

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about my self (or rather confirmed) in the last few month it’s that I am a true introvert, quite content in my own company. I’ve always been bad at keeping up with friends (hey, don’t take it personal!), so when we now all sit at home more than ever I “forget” to keep in touch. From the time the schools closed I’ve been busy helping my kids with their on- and offline work and only doing my weekly trip to town to stock up on groceries. To say that my social life has taken a back seat would be an understatement, but that seems to be the tune of 2020! I really shouldn’t complain, others have had to sit it out in flats, we don’t even have a lock-down in place. I think though, I’ve had a lock-down-mentality, I’ve locked myself in with my thoughts and not making enough effort to keep up with the world outside (and I don’t mean the news, just with you know, people). I’ve seen that I easily close myself into a cocoon, this week I’ve been craving company though, and the plan is to go visit a friend this afternoon for some good old gossip and coffee (they go together well).

Another thing I’ve learnt is that I own way to few leggings and nowhere near enough sweatpants but too many jeans! I saw a headline recently saying that shampoo sales had dropped while ice cream sales had soared, sounds about right. We have had to deeply reevaluate our priorities and we might be on to something here!

Tomorrow we close this term, without knowing if we are coming back online or to actual school in September. It is, however, a welcome break from logging on, keeping the boys from fighting (“he’s looking at me mum!”), and sitting in the house all morning. I may even be slightly more excited for the holiday than my kids!

Photography during Covid-19

I currently have a promotion running for family photos, just for clients in and around my home town Kabwe. As Zambia never went in to full lock down some businesses have been able to continue but nobody have been spared from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s been devastating for photographers and others in the event industry. Most weddings and bigger events have been postponed or even cancelled. With some going ahead in a scaled down version. So to keep myself in the loop I decided to aim for the local market, going for the family shoots as these can be carried out under current circumstances. Kabwe is in many ways a small town and I thought to use this promotion to make people aware of my existence. Here are a few samples of my most recent work:

My promotion is running until end of August, only K400 for 10 softcopies – book now on 0977554405

Kafue getaway

Last weekend we managed to get ourselves out on a three nights stay in the Kafue National Park, Zambia’s largest reserve and one of the largest in Africa. We had booked in at Mayukuyuku Camp site which sits right on the Kafue river about 8 km off the main road. The camp site is very basic and in need of a little TLC. You pay 20$ pppn (plus park fees) to have access to a flushing toilet and hot water in a grass walled ablution block. The site however is very beautifully situated on a rocky bend in the river. Once the tent was up the boys were quick to set their rods to have a go with fishing, we walked just a stone throw from the tent where my youngest spotted a crock a few metres away, sun basking on a rock. And at the spot the boys wanted to fish we found foot prints of lion! We sure were reminded that we are not on top of the food chain.

Day two we crossed over the river in to the main body of the park, we spent over three hours spotting the odd bush pig and warthog, water buck and too many impalas to count and elephants either in the distance or in the thicket. As we were starting to feel hungry and a little bored we made a few random turns and ended up facing a massive herd of buffaloes, possibly a thousand all waiting to get to the water (Shishamba river). Wedged between the buffalo and the water hole was a pride of lions lying in the shade, their mouths watering. This was such a treat to watch. We parked sort of between the buffaloes and the lions for almost an hour, the lions first kept in the shade but soon the two young male lions came out to stretch and warm up in the sun.

Much time was spent fishing from the side of the river (while watching out for crocs and hippos) and by the camp fire. On our last evening we had a close encounter with a mother hippo and her calf. The campsite next to us was now empty and so she saw the gap for her to pass. We heard a big splashing sound and as we shone the torch we saw that she had come up onto the bank below our tent. She proceeded to walk up towards our fire, calf in tow, through the narrow passage, max 5 m from our tent, the children quickly climbed the back of the car and when she gave a warning “snort” my husband and Albin also bolted. I was left under the grass thatch kitchen giving myself a couple of minutes to decide to either run och carry on cooking my flat bread on the gas cooker, I decided for the former and so we spent some time on the back of the car! After she had passed we came down to our fire again, except the two youngest, Emil and Nils, they had their supper on the back of the car!

On the day of packing and leaving we decided to visit some family that have a private camp site near the main road, they had come out just to pack up after having spent almost the whole term there homeschooling by the river. We were just popping by but ended up staying for brunch and the kids had so much fun fishing from the deck, Albin, my oldest, pulled out a big barbel (that he released again). And as elephants were spotted in the distance we were treated to a boat ride to get up close. We saw at least three or four groups of elephants and numerous pods of hippos, both on land and in water all in under an hour. Such a bonus and a great ending to a lovely getaway.

Recap part III: Mask up – mask down

When masks were made mandatory I had been making masks for just over a week. Easier said than done when power only comes back at 3 pm and four kids need to be done with school, but I needed something to keep my hands and mind busy. I was reluctant at first as a mask is only useful when used properly and made of the correct material. Anyway, as it was now mandatory I was able to donate to some institutions and make sure all the employees at the farm had a mask each. I lost count somewhere after two hundred but I probably completed over four hundred masks in about a month.

The idea with a mask is that you protect those around you in case you are asymptomatic, and so others protect you by also wearing a mask. But that is where it gets tricky as many don’t want to don the mask. Once it was made mandatory the question was how will it be enforced? Well, we soon got the idea. The police decided one day to pick up about 150 people in Kabwe town center that had no mask or were not wearing them properly. As much as I understand the urgency it was not the right thing to do. As masks are only a last resort for when we’re not able to keep enough distance to those around us, what sense did it make to bundle up 150 people, carry them to the police station only to caution them and send them off again? What if even one of them had been positive? It showed us how poorly informed the police force is on the issue of Covid-19. They seemed happier to have an excuse to harass people rather than informing the public. However this seems to have been a one off. And once people saw that there was no consequences for not wearing a mask the usage kept dropping. Last time I checked I could only see about one in five with a mask and too often the mask is under the chin.

As Covid-19 numbers are still relatively low in Zambia I don’t think most people take it seriously enough, some even think it’s not here at all, or that it is already over. Unfortunately that is wishful thinking. We can only get through this with a community approach, wear your mask to protect those around you and I will wear my mask to protect you!