Time to play

I made an attempt at getting the children away from the TV last weekend, and it was a success! I first made a batch of my usual Play-dough (recipe here) and then my daughter and I tried making a new type of play dough made from hair conditioner and corn flour. It was as simple as mixing 1 cup conditioner and 2 cups corn flour (although I had to add a little more flour at the end). It turns in to a smooth, gooey, almost slimy dough that is lovely to run through your hands. I think this is something toddlers would really enjoy playing with, but it dried up quite fast so it is for a few hours of fun, maybe something for a toddlers birthday party. You could break it up in smaller batches and add different food colours to each. Have fun!

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Death on the Great North road

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Another serious accident this week, and 10 lives lost. A bus and a truck colliding at high speed. Once again it has happened along the deadly Great North Road, the only route connecting Lusaka to the Copper Belt and Northern Zambia, and therefore highly congested. A road seemingly forgotten by RDA (road development agency). Today the headlines tell us that the bus operator involved has had their licence revoked. And perhaps they should, as their safety records are not good. But by doing so I feel that the government is simply looking for a scapegoat. There are so many factors that they are ignoring by simply putting the blame on the operator.

With the increase of traffic, and subsequently accidents, in the last few years the Great North road should have been a priority for expansion. But all we are told is that a dual-carriage way is in the pipeline, I wonder how many more lives will be lost before we see change? The authorities have recently put a curfew banning trucks and public transport vehicles moving at night, but I think it has had the opposite effect to the one desired. Instead of safer roads, the increased congestion, especially during morning rush hour, has increased the risk of accidents.

For our roads, and in particular the Great North road, to become safer we need to see a change on many levels:

-The attitudes of the drivers; in particular those of heavy trucks and buses.

-Stricter tests when giving out driving licences.

-Improvement of the roads; dual-carriage way from Lusaka to Ndola.

-Harder controls of the vehicles; RTSA to do their job and take faulty vehicles off the roads.

-Eliminate corruption in the road sectors, starting with the traffic police.

For the time being there will be one bus operator less on the roads, which will only put more pressure on the other ones. We need long term solution to stop the road carnage along the legendary Great North road!

Long time no see

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Too long has passed since my last blog post, about the Zambian election results, I guess I’ve been a bit of a silent observer lately and nobody could possibly have missed all the coverage of the US elections with its ugly twists and turns and an outcome that shocked the world. However, much has been said and written already and I have spent more time than I’d like to admit reading articles and watching CNN debates trying to make sense of it all. In other words I am not going to add to the noise. I’m not going to waste my time trying to figure it out. I will not spend my time pondering the fact that a fear mongering racist male chauvinist will be leading the most powerful nation on earth in a few weeks time.  I’m so not going to waste my time blogging about Donald Trump!

All I’m here to say is that all of a sudden politics across the pond is beginning to look a lot like here in Africa…

Have a good day!

Interview with Marisa Shearer

My interview with Marisa Shearer was published this week on the Lusaka WordPress blog.

Here are some extracts:

On the island of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos in the Bahamas you will find the place that Marisa Shearer (born Findlay) and her family call home. Daughter to a Zambian businessman and a British mother she grew up in Lusaka but later moved to the UK to complete her studies. There she eventually took the plunge and turned her passion for photography into a business with the focus on lifestyle and women.

Have you been able to keep the passion for photography after turning it into your bread and butter?

“My passion for photography hasn’t dampened since turning it into a career. If anything it has taken my passion to another level by stretching me past what I thought I could do with a camera and encouraging me to learn more.

What has it meant for you living in the diaspora?

I love Zambia, growing up there was one of the most amazing experiences.  Such kind and friendly people and a chance to grow up very protected.  The Lusaka that I grew up in is very different to the Lusaka today. 

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Is it (yoga) a spiritual practice for you or do you have a secular approach?

“Yoga can be whatever I want and need in the moment.  Sometimes it’s more of a physical practice that helps to stretch and open my body and release any pain or tension.  Other times it’s a quieter and deeper space that I find on the mat that helps me open to deeper and higher parts of myself.”

You are very personal on your blog, does that ever make you feel vulnerable?

“There is definitely vulnerability in everything that I share.  I know that everyone doesn’t have the same views as myself and that some of the things I write about may challenge people’s beliefs.

Read the full interview here.

Visit Marisa’s lifestyle blog At Home With Malita.