Staycation

Besides “lockdown” and “social distancing” one word we will strongly associate with the year 2020 is: “staycation”. I think many have discovered places that were around the corner all along. One such place for us is Mulungushi boat club, though we’ve known this place long before it was a thing not to travel far. It’s a place we used to visit frequently before life got hectic. We used to spend the days on the water, fishing on the good spots, unfortunately the water levels have been far below normal for the last few years and the fish has been netted heavily. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a relaxing weekend here. I started our first day with a run, as I’m used to flat ground the change of scenery also serves up a good challenge a long the dam. The boys climbed down the dam wall, a workout in itself, to fish. As it was my daughters birthday we made time for cake, and managed to visit a friend (though that was a long drive…!). Day two we all hiked down the dam wall and the fishing was a lot more successful than the previous day. I love the rocky terrain in this area, you can if you’re lucky spot baboons in the rocky hills as well as the rather shy rock dassy.

The road has recently been graded, and it now takes about an hour from the great north road to the club. Many club members have built beautiful chalets that are available to rent, you can also pitch a tent as there are ablution blocks. This year’s Mountain bike challenge was cancelled thanks to good old Corona, but that is otherwise a great event for the adventurous that takes place every August. If you’re on a budget or looking for a simple effortless getaway then put Mulungushi boat club on your list.

Open our schools!

In Zambia all schools had to close in March following instructions from the president. It was announced just before the first cases of Covid-19 in the country were reported. We have now completed a full term from home (with only exam classes back at schools from 1 of June). For my children that’s in a well organised private school. The majority of children in Zambia that attend public/ government run schools have had no access to any form of education from home, and have instead been left unsupervised as parents go out to look for work. In the poor areas the children are left looking after young siblings or playing in the streets. I’ve noticed an increase of children begging for money at the traffic lights and children going around selling snacks. The purpose of closing schools was obviously to try and stop the spread of Covid-19 but when parents still have no choice but to jump on packed buses and go into crowded markets to make a living what is the gain by keeping the children out of school? Especially as the children are not sitting at home. Many countries have noted an increase in domestic abuse, this does not exclude children. Teenage pregnancies will most likely go up as well as drug abuse amongst teenagers with nothing better to do. WHO is now urging African countries to safely open schools as the dangers by staying out of schools may outweigh the risks of getting Covid-19. In two weeks time schools are du to start term 3, at this point the silence from our government is loud. Schools need to plan ahead, either for a safe reopening or a continuation of online/home learning (which is a challenge even for the most organised school with some schools seeing a sharp decrease in engagement from pupils) as of now nobody knows which direction we are heading. Covid-19 is going to be around for a long time, we can’t sit and wait for it to magically disappear. We can’t afford to write 2020 off, life needs to go on even under the circumstances of “the new normal”. Open our schools!

Read the article from WHO here: https://www.afro.who.int/news/who-unicef-urge-safe-school-reopening-africa

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