Hinting at the heart of the matter

In my new search for answers to some of the more fundamental disparities that seem to exist between my old home and my new one, a couple of articles in different versions of the Economist grabbed my eye this week that I thought I would share with you. The first was a piece in the … Continue reading

Dreaming of a brighter future

Leaving Zambia this week, it is a challenge to feel brightly optimistic about her future. In truth the country has been struggling to develop in a concerted and sustained manner since the oil shocks of the 1970’s. Her economy remains vastly over dependant upon mining in general and copper in particular. Despite a water table … Continue reading

100 things I will miss about Zambia

Excuse the indulgence folks (more a reminder to myself than anything else) but here are 100 of the things that I am going to miss most about Zambia Zambians – nobody could ask for a more welcoming, courteous, friendly and warm host nation. The fabulous staff at Alliance Zambia who have hosted me throughout my … Continue reading

HIV: Looking in the Ugly Mirror

HIV: If there is a more grimly fascinating epidemic, I would like to read about it. Close as I am to finishing my year living amongst this dark plague, I must admit that I still find more to puzzle over than to understand and more questions to ask than I can claim to have answers … Continue reading

Zambia – Love it or leave

Suwi, one of my closest Zambian friends, has a favourite car bumper sticker which simply says “Zambia – love it or leave.” If it were possible, she would like to buy a batch lot of these stickers and use them to tape shut the mouth of any non-Zambian who looked like they were about to … Continue reading

The Perils of the Permanent Campaign

I’ve been watching a whole lot of West Wing on DVD during my time here so you will have to excuse me as I start this week’s post with a little bit of American political history… In 1962, a young pollster named Patrick Caddell outlined a new political strategy for then President Jimmy Carter.  In … Continue reading

The Ties That Bind…

A colleague of mine arrived at the office with a shocking tale this week. Whilst bringing his young daughter to school he witnessed a crowd of men single out a lone female making her way to work. She happened to be dressed in a skirt and tights, a sight that would barely merit a second … Continue reading

The Sounds of Silence

Two smart, young and impressive Zambian friends of mine shocked me recently by recounting a story of when a new boss had joined their organisation. “Oh yes,” said the first solemnly, “we made an extra special effort to say nothing for the first month.” “Why on earth?” I replied belying once again the many aspects … Continue reading

Life in Lusaka

Zambians are early risers and on workdays I am typically awoken by the sounds of one of my  housemates taking a bath from 0600 hours onwards. By the time I drag my sleepy head on to the streets at 0715 or so, rush hour is well underway and the streets are filled with pristinely turned … Continue reading

Hail to the Chief…

Six weeks here and it was high time that I immersed myself in some Zambian culture. Fortunately Easter weekend means Kuomboka, the largest and most celebrated of all Zambia’s tribal traditions, so off we headed on the long journey to Mongu in the Western Province to join the party. Zambia, like most nations in Africa, … Continue reading