Maize

Dec. 3, 1979
From Michael’s Zambia cassette tape:

To Canadians it’s corn; to Zambians it’s maize.
Interviewer says, “Willie’s been over here a couple months now, and he’s already a Zambian.”
I know why they call it maize because we had a cob of this the other night, last night in fact, we roasted it and it amazed us. That’s why they call it maize!

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Maize

From Zambia

27 Nov 1980
Letter arrived in SK, from Zambia that day.

Dear Edie & Michael,
Thanks for the pictures, your son sure is a handsome little fellow, it seems he soon will be toddling about.
The radio is the pits tonight, morse code it seems on all stations but Radio Moscow and that station has a way of getting my blood pressure [way] up, it sure doesn’t pay to be set in your ways like I am. I feel they are responsible for a lot of the problems in the third world, they get these fellows so confused they simply [lose] their marbles. When one knows the west pays 80% of the aid bill with Russia, China each 2% and OPEC countries the other 16% yet these [countries] spend 70% of their money in Russia for war toys, it makes one wonder what it is all about.
We haven’t had any new’s on radio Canada for a week now because of some strike back home, not that they ever tell us a heluva lot, it’s just nice to hear Canada mentioned every now and again.
We are getting anxious to see your house, it would seem you’ve made a real nice home of it, I know it’s a great satisfaction when you can do all those things yourself.
Boy! that picture of Paul’s farm sure makes it look bleak, after not seeming a bare fall for two years it is hard to remember how bare the place can be.
We had Canadians from Tanzania with us for ten days in Sept., we haven’t heard from them since they left, it is a worry since Tanzania is much worse than Zambia for bandits.
We had a couple U.N. people spend the weekend with us, they were a very interesting couple, they spend 9 years in Uganda when Idi Amin was ruling it. They also got caught in Ethiopia during that war, they have been doing this for 28 years now and have had a lot of interesting if harrowing experiences.
The rains have started, it is raining now, I’m rather glad to see the start of these rains as it will allow us to get back onto the land, the soil here bakes as hard as cement after six months without rain.
I’m sure we’ve often told you about the young Swedish couple who we enjoyed so much, well they went back to Sweden in March and we’ve been corresponding rather regular, the last letter from them is all complaints about the weather, Monica is sure [humans] were never meant to live in such a horrible climate, she says animals that can hibernate for six months of the year are the only type of animal live should live there, she says one forgets all the problems of shortage and remembers only the beautiful weather we enjoy here, they have a two month contract in Kenya, Jan. & Feb. and are looking forward to coming back, makes us wonder how we will be able to take the cold when we get back.

From Zambia

Cyprus and a Mediterranean Cruise in 1980

Sept. 13 / 1980
Horse and Cart postcard – Cyprus

Dear M & Edith
We are on a holiday in Cyprus interested in all the old cultures, didn’t realize Cyprus was so historic. We are leaving for the Holy Land on a Mediterranean cruise, its a week end affair, should be interesting.
Mail hasn’t come through to Mbala for a couple weeks before we left and since we will be away for 3 weeks, it seems a long time. Starting now we are on countdowns. [?] Hope this year will be as interesting as last. How are things at home? John might be getting around now. Hope my last films turned out.
Much Love
Mom & Dad.

Cyprus and a Mediterranean Cruise in 1980

Mbala

My Grandpa’s journal of Places Visited:

March 31, 19(80?)

Mbala

After a quiet period we are on the road, left at 5 O am this morning for Lusaka, we to pick up Denis Mosorshi but he was too late.
(Arrived) at Lusaka at seven found there was a conference so our hotel bookings weren’t.

After considerable driving about got a room at the Andrew’s Hotel.

Met the most interesting old couple. They were (scotish) but have spend many years in Zambia. He used to build bridges. Tells the most interesting stories of their life in Africa, hope to see them again, she seems very pail but has great spirit. Mbala used to be (Abricorn) _ They had great party’s before independence.

Mbala

Read Diary

Mar. 13, 1985

Well here’s a picture of a body not much use for anything today. Stayed in all day doing very little. (Mielie) phoned at 8:50 to say tonight was off for Aloha which suited me fine. Called Faith & Peg. Got my album of Oscar Peterson – it’s good. Worked some more needlepoint. Dell called to put my hair off till 11am tomorrow.

Vera (Durelly) called to tell me Myre Barrett died yesterday evening. We are so grateful that at least she is at rest. She hasn’t known anyone for many months. Another example of 5 years. She was sicker in Feb. 1980 _ I remember I didn’t hear from her for my b.d. and knew there was something wrong. What fun times we had together! over nearly 40 years _ I looked it up in my diary from Dec. ’79 through early ’80 & read for 3 hours!

Read Diary

To the Manor Born

Feb. 15, 1985

It was 5 years ago today Barbara & Bob MacLean came to see me & gave me the shell paperknife_ I was waiting at home in the fierce rain to hear of John’s arrival. Today was 23 degrees & no snow until a flurry at evening. Faith called me early as she had a dentist app’t & a funeral. Called Vi Catell for a catch up. Called Kay Porter for our bi-weekly. Called Kay & they were leaving for the dentist (Art) & she didn’t get back to me. Went down to Eaton’s at 11 & got a white pleated skirt & 2 pairs of navy slacks for summer. One is to be delivered next Fri. Did needlepoint in p.m. Letter & card from Bill Edwards & from Vera Lacher – fun card from Peg. Watched Murder She Wrote, To the Manor Born & Bless Me Father – all a riot. Read C.S. Lewis’s Screw tape Letters & S. proposes a Toast (from Peg).

To the Manor Born