Thursday, November 24, 2005

Sports and politics

There are cases when sport and politics should be mixed, such as boycotting arrangements in certain countries etc. BUT when it comes to administration the two certainly do not go well together.

Over the past years those who love local soccer here in Zim (I am not one of them) have seen fierce infighting in ZIFA (Zimbabwe International Football Association) create a situation where nothing really works. Foreign trips for the national team have ended up with bloated "administrative" delegations sometimes amounting to more people than the team and sometimes these trips have been completely unorganised. Various fractions have tried to ouster each other, all in the search for control of the perceived power that comes with being chair of ZIFA.

Selection of the national team should in my opinion be left to the coach but oh no, all sorts of bureaucrats want a say in this and have a love for forming "advisory" committees that in practice leaves the coach powerless. So soccer has slowly but surely declined in professionalism at a pace faster than can ever be explained by the problems the country itself is having.

Almost the same scenario have been witnessed in tennis where Zimbabwe was doing really well a few years ago. And now cricket (certainly not a sport I appreciate, I still think that only English could come up with a sport that takes days to play, have frequent teabreaks and where you have to be an expert to understand who actually won when you look at the results) is walking (rather running) down the same path.

Well, as I often say - life in Zimbabwe can be many things but is rarely boring

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Air Zimbabwe and rain

Well, what can I say? Yesterday we read in the newspaper that Air Zimbabwe, the national airline, has cancelled all flights thanks to them having no jet fuel and that the whole management has been suspended. Now isn't that something? Angry comments from the Board "why did they not get fuel from Noczim (official fuel supplier to government)"? The simple answer is that Noczim rarely has any fuel so they had been buying from Total and BP who apparently now demanded forex up front. Have a friend in Uganda who got there by Air Zim, will be interesting to see if/how/when he returns.

Rain, finally! Yesterday afternoon it started raining and has not stopped since and have we been waiting for this! I hope we now get typical rainy-season weather with a mixture of sunshine, thunderstorms and rain!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Nigeria emails

Fascinating in some ways. They seem to arrive in "batches" and lately I have been getting like 2-3 "Nigeria emails" per day. I could be a multi-multi-millionaire by now and the number of deceased persons with Sinclair as surname that has left XX million US dollars in various bankaccounts are baffling ;>)

Honestly - is there still people "out there" who would buy this by now extremely well-known scam? I have also had emails from the widows of several deceased African dictators, "princes" et al. Personally I am revolted by those who somehow claim to be victims of the farm invasions in Zimbabwe and "sons or daughters" of non-existing farmers from non-existing organisations like "The White Farmers Union of Zimbabwe".

I guess there still must be those going for it as I guess otherwise the authors would not spend their time looking for email-addresses (don't know where they find mine) and writing these rather ridicilous mails. Beats me how you can be that stupid/naive/uninformed though.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Have a bit of "bad feelings" over something that happened lunchtime today. Was home since we were in the process of buying an extra fridge/freezer. Had left the gate open as I was "just rushing in and out".

Of course I was delayed inside the house and when I returned to the outside I found 3 black men "loitering around" on my driveway, one having a conversation on a cellphone.

They were neatly dressed (shirt and tie) but behaved rather odd, like they were trying to check out the place. Apparently they had asked my gardener for a container of water for their car but they did in no way introduce themselves or explain the issue. Once they got the water they sped off (and I mean FAST) in a blue Nissan Sunny, we could net get the numberplates as they were driving too fast.

Hate the feeling that arise from this kind of "incidents", if someone steals a pump or a motor for the gate we will have to fork out quite a lot and then there is of course the whole "troublefree sleep"-issue. We certainly don't want a repeat of last year's armed robbery (it is about one year ago now actually)!

Theft and other forms of stealing is, sadly, a growing problem here in Zimbabwe. As the economic crisis continues more and more people simply have no other means of survival. A female friend was robbed of her cellphone while walking down the road the other day, 2 men threatened to beat her up.

Well let's just keep the fingers crossed and hope it is all false alarm. Too hot to work, think I will head home and chill before downing a few beers with friends later when it hopefully cools off a bit.

Just thought I would see if I can use this for our profile. Taken in Sweden 2003 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I don't like Mondays

The one and only hit that a certain Sir Geldof ever produced. I certainly don't sympathise with the person who states it in the song (a "school-shooter" who gives that as her reason) but I agree with the sentence in itself. When I get home on Mondays I normally feel totally exhausted and just want to sit and read all by myself. Try that with to little kids, the older one home from the week's first pre-schoolday and all fired up by that...

Otherwise we are coming up to more than 2 weeks without tap-water and it seems to be spreading all over Harare. Restaurant-owners are ferrying water daily to the near-by Newlands Shopping Centre, Mia's father in Mabelreign has no water since quite some time and so on. It is basically only in City Centre things are normal. The "authorities" are mum on what they plan to do, something that normally means they don't have a clue but is hoping for miracles.
Same with the fuel supplies, if you can not buy in forex you can basically forget all about getting any petrol or diesel.

And it is hot hot hot and still not much rain. This is not good at all, we just hope the rains will start any day now. Keep your fingers crossed...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Life still hectic & inflation

This week is another one that is some sort of "fly by" for various reasons. One of our cars got a problem and that always causes havoc in a place where you can basically forget about public transport. And the Ford seems to have some rather serious problem - all we needed since we plan to get rid of it. Will have to service it and keep all fingers crossed.

Otherwise the water situation is not any better at all, we had water for a few hours one day only. Managed to fill the tank from one neighbour's borehole though so we are OK for a week or so, let's hope it comes back soon.

It is hot and cloudy but no rains in our area sadly. We (read our gardener) planted maize so we are waiting eagerly, also for the rest of the garden of course. And Zimbabwe in general, a good rainy season would be most welcome.

Hyperinflation (now at over 400% according to state media) makes life "interesting". One does not even react at the fact that a loaf of bread costs more than the value of the largest bill in circulation... And for a normal lunch you are looking at around 400 000, or a wad of 20 notes - at least. People who need cash have to book with their bank in order for the bank to get some idea of how much cash they need to stock. And so on. Wonder when and how this will end...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Can't believe what a silly mistake I made. Forgot to close a tap in our "tank-system" so that when Harare water disappeared again we were actually pumping our tank water OUT back to Harare system!! By the time I figured it out the tank was almost empty and of course no incoming water from Harare. Aaaargh!

Had forgotten that it was a birtday celebration yesterday for Mia's young sister Wedlyn who turned 6. Combined it with our brat Bradley who turned 5 a while ago. 2 rather tired visitors but it was all OK in the end - did not complain at all when we got home and in bed though.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Monday monday

It is Monday once more... had a nice weekend where we celebrated friend Tomas Stenstrom turning 40, something he combined with housewarming and "leaving"-party. Might sound like a strange combination but it seems that he will be transferred to ILO's Nairobi office after quite a few years here in Zimbabwe.

Was a nice party, kids enjoying themselves in the pool and the adults by downing an unpredecented amount of Swedish snaps + Black Label and a good number of beers. No wonder we still feel a bit "off" today, especially since we spent yesterday "winding down" by his poolside again

Still waiting for the rains to start. Every day now the clouds gather but still no downpour. And our watertank is almost empty after more than a week without muncipial water...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Another hectic week

Seems this week has been flying past. No water from City of Harare since Sunday so thanks all powers that might be that we installed the tank system before. Down to about half of it but even so it feels great!

Mia is doing exams and is busy busy and stressed but I have a feeling it is going fine. I have spent a few days compiling our first "home DVD" and that was a learning experience alright. Fun and frustrating at the same time and the ambitions I had were being hampered by reality ever so often... but at least now it is done and next time will of course be easier.

Battery. Car battery. Was driving Mia's Nissan since she needed the space in the Corolla for a much anticipated wardrobe we had made. Died on me on the way back after dropping Bradley at Montessori pre-school. Of course at the worst spot one can think of and I was really in the way of others. Got help to jumpstart it and just about made it home before it died again.

Called Eldridge and we went hunting for a new battery amidst other problems on his last day in Zimbabwe. Poor guy had a million outstanding issues before leaving this morning for Sweden with his family after more than 6 months temp work here in Zimbabwe. Don't think they will miss life in hyperinflation too much but November in Sweden weatherwise is just drab. Serious drab.

Found new battery at last and managed to get a few other things done. Already Friday, how did that happen???

Otherwise Harare is too hot to muster and we are all wating for arrival of the rainy season. Our lawn looks more like a desert at the moment.