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Beneath The Realm

What lies beneath the sky? Is there a parallel universe that exists beyond the human eye? I sometimes wonder if there is another dimension that inhabits spirits or mankind. If stars align like they do here. If oceans rise only for them to swim back into their own bodies. If butterflies go through a metamorphosis.  

What is life? And what’s in front of what’s in front? If I knew, I wouldn’t fear anything. Sleeping on the steering on my daily commute wouldn’t frighten me so much. I’d know when not to turn the reverse gear on to avoid hitting the charcoal burner. And the other day, I’d have slowed down in time to spare a cat’s life. Also I’d have hurried to get to work earlier.  I don’t know why what is to happen forms much of my thoughts, but it isn’t pretty because it turns into worry.

I remember a night when the demon that sits on your back while you try to awaken from a nightmare perched all its weight on me. Its clothes were worn out as if it had been working overtime and it flashed a dark smile that revealed fangs on either side of its mouth. The master of doom had sent its aid to cause me terror at a time when I had little caution of myself.   My very first thought was to shout a prayer and in that moment life had never seemed more precious. When I awoke, the possibility of leaving earth in my sleep crept up on me and I stayed up for hours. And the next. And the next. And now it’s been years since I ever slept throughout the night. I’m what they call an insomniac and the truth is that it gets frustrating sometimes because, well, there isn’t any fun in being nocturnal among sleeping humans. If I had known, I’d have pushed the fear of death that night. Maybe I’d have had a normal pattern of rest.

There is, however, no point in ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’. We can prepare for the future, but even then, the results are not always certain. The weather girl could make a prediction for a heavy storm tomorrow only for it to come in a week’s time, or never at all. You’d have looked funny carrying an umbrella on a sunny day, but at least you’d have been prepared for the rain. Don’t fear what you can’t control, but more importantly, don’t fear at all. Also, nothing lies ahead of the sky until you prove it and nothing exists beneath this realm unless you see it because spiritual things can’t be explained. They can only be felt.

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Best of The Year – Purchase

So I had to painfully end my relationship with my tecno phantom 6 a few months ago because it was misbehaving. The cracks had come undone. I wasn’t happy because we had a good beginning. The picture quality was A1 and the volume was super loud for music. I must admit I got too comfortable and stopped paying attention to it, dropping it on the floor and letting other people abuse it. In the end it turned on me and developed a charging malfunction. The painful decision of diverting funds to purchase a new phone had to be made. I’m not into gadgets by the way so I was very OK with my tecno, but someone convinced me we (the phone and I) needed to part company.

When I got the Huawei P20 lite, I wasn’t excited about it. It took me two weeks to actually set a phone lock because I had no sense of attachment to it and the music wasn’t that loud. I hadn’t let go of my old phone yet it was no longer looking pretty. I’m not a hoarder by the way.

Anyway I begun warming up to my new phone and it’s actually neat. The most impressive thing about it, for me, is the finger unlock. I find it very convenient. The picture quality is also top notch. Actually that’s my favorite thing. I can also operate two separate activities by splitting the screen in half, so I can have whatsapp on one half of the screen and Instagram on the other. I don’t know much about the other specs like speed and what not. That’s not my area of interest but I love what I can do with this phone so far. No complaints except the volume. But the tecno is still a side piece I carry in my handbag for music and YouTube videos.

I would encourage anyone to purchase the Huawei p20 lite. It’s a slim and light phone to carry. The specs are here for those who are interested.

Source :Amazon.com

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Day 11

#2018BOTY

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Best of The Year – News Story

When news broke out that a group of 12 teenage boys were trapped in a cave, my heart stopped for a second because I couldn’t imagine the fear and horror they were going through.

It all started as an ordinary birthday celebration for a friend in the group. The boys then decided, with their football coach, to tour the cave which happens to be a tourist attraction. While down under, a storm occurred causing a land slide which led to the group’s misfortune. What could have been their only way out seemed impassable as the rout was a dark and tiny maze. The boys stayed calm throughout their ordeal despite not having warm clothes or enough food to sustain them.

On the outside, a search had been launched by authorities after their parents alerted them of their disappearance. A team of divers then swum through to the cave to begin the rescue. Each diver was assigned four boys and they all made it out alive except one of the divers who drowned during the rescue mission.

Immediately after the group was rescued safely, they were quarantined at a local hospital to ensure that they were in good health. All was okay and the boys, including their coach, returned to their homes safely and made some some public appearances because they became a national treasure.

This story was heart warming for me because of the bravery and resilience exhibited by the boys and the coach. I think fear would have killed me, I’m such a coward.

What news story was your highlight of 2018? Hit me up in the comments.

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Day 10

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#BloggingChallenge

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Best of The Year – Drink

Source :Temzie Bites

Sorry guys, but I have to be bias again because I’m selling my country. Is it working though? I hope I’m doing a good job because after having a mean meal at Matebeto, your thirst needs to be quenched with a pint of cool drink.

I had written about some of Zambia’s indigenous drinks for the Blogtember Challenge so please follow the link here.

My best this year (and always) was Munkoyo. It’s a local drink that’s brewed from roots of the same name i.e. Munkoyo, yeast (for fermentation) and maiz meal. The fermentation process is the cream of the cake because that’s what determines whether the drink will be good or flat. The longer it takes, the tastier and more alcoholic. Munkoyo can be taken at any time and any place with any meal. And like any beverage, it’s better served with good company so have a sip and pour a glass for a friend or two.

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Day 9

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Best of The Year – Cuisine

I’m going to be bias here because I’m Zambian and there is no food in this world that is better. I have not visited many countries or explored many dishes so like the saying in Bemba goes, Umwana ushenda aTasha Nina uku naya – a child who never visits or eats from another home thinks his/her mother’s cooking is the best. That child is me and I can say there is nothing as delicious as Zed cuisine.

The best of the best is Chikanda, also called African Polony. It’s purely a vegetable, as it is made from orchids, crushed groundnuts, soda and water. The ingredients are mixed in a pot and cooked at low heat with intensive steering. The mixture then hardens and is left to simmer to your satisfaction.

The full recipe can be found on Zambian Kitchen

Next up is Vinkubala, also called Mopane Worms. These high protein Insects are a favorite among Zambians. They’re actually quite expensive to buy because they’re a delicacy. So follow the link below if you wish to prepare them yourself as a way of cutting costs. Some like them juicy with gravy while others like them crunchy. Unfortunately for me, I’m highly allergic so I can’t indulge my taste buds in these delicious creepy crawlers.

Source : Zambians Kitchen

Lastly on my best of the year for cuisines is Lumanda. It is one of my favorite vegetables. It’s a slimy sour leaf that’s Native to the northwestern parts of Zambia. The tangy taste is something that’s acquired, therefore some chefs decided to kill the sourness by adding pounded ground nuts and soda to the recipe. My tongue is quite inflexible so I prefer the one with ground nuts. Follow the instructions below if you’d like to make an exploration in the kitchen.

Source: Zambian Kitchen

If you happen to have a craving for these traditional dishes but are away from home, stop by any Matebeto restaurants. The best ones are found in Thorn Park and Long Acares in Lusaka.

What was your best meal or cuisine this year?

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Day 8

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Best of The Year – Experience

My trip to Chobe was the highlight of the year. I spent a day with a few friends in the Chobe national park in Botswana, seeing animals and appreciating nature.

Chobe National Park is found in Kasane, the town in Botswana that boarders Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Fun Facts about Chobe National Park

  1. It has the highest elephant population in the world hence it is locally known as the Land of Giants. You must travel during the summer if you want to see the elephants because they come out of the forest in search of water.
  2. Chobe happens to be Botswana ‘s first national park
  3. It is the most biologically diverse National Park in Botswana
  4. During the summer when the elephants come out in search of water, they migrate as far as Zimbabwe in the north west

Ariel view of Kazungula where the four countries meet.

Source: Wiki

Chobe River

The Chobe River is a tributary of the ZAMBEZI River where its waters stem from at Kazungula on the east, forming the Botswana border. It’s a swampy body of water that inhibits different species of wildlife such as crocodiles, birds, the big five and so on. A tour of the river reveals that there is an island where Botswana and Namibia meet. An interesting question is, who owns the island between the two? Well, there were disputes between the two countries many years ago. Botswana wanted control of the island for tourism while Namibia wanted to grow rice for commercial purposes. The issue was settled by the International Court, which ruled in favor of Botswana because the depth of the river is deeper on the Botswanan side. Our tour guide mentioned that there was some trickery involved by the Tswana Govt. Apparently, they sent a team of men to dig deeper into the the river to extend the depth so that they could win the case. I don’t know if it’s true but it cracked me up.

A herd of impala.

The female population is much higher than the male. Males therfore contest in a brutal fight to win over the females. The one that wins gets to lead the entire herd. Whoever rules this group is a lucky guy.

A leopard magestically walking away from the lights, camera and action.

We had given up on seeing any leopards, but one of the game rangers leading another tour gave us an alert to drive as quickly as we could to this location. We only caught a glimpse and the mighty leopard walked away graciously. I think it hated being the center of attention.

Warthogs crossing a muddy path

We were lucky enough to run into Pumba and his little family of Warthogs. Only they know where they were strutting to. Looking for Timon maybe?

Hippos taking a swim in the Chobe River.

This group had a cool and long swim in the Chobe River. We didn’t have a good view because they were submerged in the water for much of the time. Hippos spend most of the day in water and come out at night. They are also sun lovers and bask in it from time to time. When these short tempered animals feel threatened they chase their would be predeters and push them with all their strength. Caution to tourists would be to never linger in the forest on foot lest they are chased by these chubby creatures

I had such a splendid experience as it was filled with history, geography and biology lessons. The tour guides were very friendly and funny. Also, the food at Chobe Safari Lodge was colorful and scrumptious. I’m still thinking about the chicken wraps I had.

So if you ever feel like going on tour, stop by Chobe National Park and indulge yourself in nature’s beauty and diversity.

Bonus Fun Fact: Botswana was voted the best tourist destination in the world.

What was your best experience this year? Let’s chat.

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Day 7

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#BloggingChallenge

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Best of The Year – Album

A single song can potentially change your mood. An album on the other hand can alter your perception of life and make you feel like you know the artist on a personal level. I felt that way about Jhene Aiko on her album Trip. It’s a 2017 release but I listen to it almost daily.

The song I like the most is When We Love. In this song she’s basically allowing herself to fall deep and madly in love with her man without caring for the consequences. She actually says:

you lie, I don’t mind it

Coz that’s just the kind of guy that you are

I think when you love, sometimes you see the cracks but you soldier on because of the goodness of the relationship.

My second favorite song is Jukai. Many people may not know this, but this is a suicidal song. Jhene Aiko has been open about her struggle with depression and medicating herself with drugs. Matter of fact, she recorded this album after her divorce from her ex husband and was high of mushrooms and Marijuana during some of her studio sessions. In this line..

I’ve left the house all clean and tidy

Don’t come searching please

I’ve made my way down to the forest

.. she means that she’s going to take her life away and would love her decision to be respected so no one should stop her. Aokigahara is her place of choice to commit suicide, this is a Japanese forest on Mount Fiji and is one of the most popular suicide locations in the world. In Japanese mythology, ghosts linger and entice people to take their lives away. Aokigahara means Sea of Trees and Jhene Aiko in this song mentions it.

If I died would it even make a sound in the sea of trees

New Balance is another track I really like. It’s pretty much about finding the one. The Ying to your yang. The calm to your storm.

Then there’s you

You bring silence to my violent truth

It’s quite a deep song and the lyrics are just so meaningful for those who have found the one.

This album took me through 2018. There’s a lot of pain, doubt, excitement and love on it. She’s an excellent song writer and poet so here’s the track list and give it a listen.