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!
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.
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.
Mom & Dad.
My Grandpa’s journal of Places Visited:
March 31, 19(80?)
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.
19 Feb., 1981
Durban South Africa boy on postcard
Dear John, Michael & Edie
We thought of you on your birthday & we are sure getting anxious to go home to the cold weather.
It is so nice & warm here in Durban by the seashore. This is when I wish I could swim.
People that can are so lucky. Should be home by the 10th or 15th of March.
Love to all,
Grandpa & Grandma.
This blog entry was written 34 years ago today, by my Grandpa, William Klein of Lafleche, Saskatchewan. He and my Grandma Margaret were living in Africa, working for the federal government of Canada’s agriculture development initiative on that continent.
I was an infant in Saskatchewan, on the other side of the world.
Contained on a “zebras drinking” postcard:
We are enjoying our stay here in Zimbabwe, do wish you were here.
Did some game viewing and took a lot of pics, we are sending them back with some Canadians from P. A.[?] Haven’t used the camera for some time and forgot some of the fine points, do hope they turn out. I know John is a bit young to appreciate picture cards but expect you will.
John C. phoned his son at Candle Lake informed the temp there is -30.
This is my fourth trip out of Zambia find it harder to go back each time.
We [haven’t] picked up mail at Mbala since Dec. 18, hoping to have piles waiting when we get back.
I tried a call home without luck am very disappointed.
Sending our love,
Mom & Dad.