Zambia is the country where I spent the first ten years of my life, so going back, although it is no longer "home", brings back lots of memories.


At the end of a long journey from Dar es Salaam.

Notice the fellow waving the flag behind me.


Who needs television when you've got snakes as entertainment?!

This cobra gave us a scare when it was discovered by my parents' two doberman guard dogs next to the steps to the verandah. After spitting in their eyes (they have since recovered) the fearless Dobie pounced and shook the cobra to death on the lawn.

This snake has since been put to productive use as fertilizer for my parents' seville orange tree. Dad is hoping for especially good (bitter?!) marmalade in the future...

A Day at the Rapids

We arrived at the waterfall to find a couple of Roman Catholic Polish priests lunching on beer and sausages.

Their wards, a truck-load of orphans, were having a great time swimming and splashing around in the river downstream from the waterfall while we braved the upstream rapids in inner tubes.

A picnic lunch by the waterfall. Very colonial, no?

No lifeguards to spoil our fun!

Scenes from Daily Life


You haven't seen clouds or sunsets until you've been to Africa during the rainy season.

Lake Transport

Apart from getting wet, this fellow has the added incentive to keep his balance the fact that there are crocodiles in the lake. And you thought taking the subway to work was stressful.

To Market, to Market

Sun-dried fish.

"The change room? You're standing in it!"
Actually, a good rule of thumb to test if a pair of pants fits you is to make your hand into a fist and wedge your forearm into the buttoned pants. It should fit comfortably, give or take a little...

Anatomy of a Breakdown

"Hmmm... Looks like a problem with the injector pump." Bush fashion. Reliable transport.
Even if you can't move, you still gotta eat. Mom puts on a brave face while Chrissie as usual is unfazed.
Believe it or not, but this is the interior of a working church which we commandeered as a temporary dining room.

Our indefatigable hero prepares to ride off to get help and save the day.

Big Sky Country

Curious Kids

Technical note: I deliberately over-exposed these pictures since the kids' features would have been lost otherwise.

Storm Coming

A view of the mission compound.

Follow the girls in the blue dresses:

Here, ...

... here, and ...

... here.

Bush Cathedral

This massive Anglican church, by rural Zambian standards, looked a little incongruous.

A poignant memorial.
The text reads:

Sunday 6th May 1942.

They died after accidentally
receiving ant poison
instead of his blood
from the cup in his
remembrance, Lk. 22:19-20.
Elesiya Njamu
Evelyne Chapoloko Kaputula
Lute Laban Chenga
Magadalene Chipongoma
Elesiya Njamu's baby
who died soon after
it was breastfed
They will always be

A Visit to Kalundu

Kalundu is a special place in my family. This is where my dad spent much of his childhood when his father was revising and translating the Bible into the Bemba language. This translation is still the most popular one used by Bemba-speaking Africans.

Tough Guys

We stuffed 30 kids into the back of the pickup and gave them a ride. (I think the current record stands at over 50.) They thanked us by singing choruses at the top of their lungs. We only realized later that they were singing in English.

The boys are holding a soccer ball which was donated to the Sunday School. It was easily the most enthusiastically received gift I've ever seen given.
Despite their bravado, put on for the photographer's benefit, these kids were the friendliest and most polite I met in Zambia.

Missionary Grave

Childhood Home

Dad poses with some of the village boys in front of his childhood home. Fifty years ago the grandfathers, and quite possibly great-grandfathers, of some of these boys were his companions.

Nobody lives in the house now. The local chief declared it off limits after a couple of fires.

Note the fire damage to the roof, and the fabulous cloud formations in the background.


"Mama" means "Grandma" in Bemba. Her late husband helped my parents while I was a boy, and my dad's parents when he was a boy. Her grandson, Chikwa, was my best Zambian friend, so I was often in her house.

Mama is standing next to me. The young woman next to her is her granddaughter, Bunda, whom I played with as a boy. She now has four children of her own.
Note the bricked-in windows to prevent thieves.

Mama remembers me as a kid hiding in the cupboard in the background . In the foreground are her gifts to me: in the box are two (live!) chickens, in the basket are "casava"/manioc roots and in the plastic bag are tomatoes and peanuts.
Living proof that those with the least are often the most generous...