Mar 24, 2013 - Food, General    2 Comments

Farewell to the rain…

Even though I was apprehensive in October about wet season arriving, now the rains are drawing to a close, I feel saddened by the thought of returning to a dry and dusty Katete.

When I arrived, the land was parched and the dust muted everything to a shade of brown. Now, the world looks so vibrant. The sky is a deep blue, the trees and vegetation vivid green, and there are colourful flowers blooming everywhere. It feels dreamlike…

The rains really have brought life to the land. Anything planted will grow; you actually have to try pretty hard to prevent plants from growing! Back in London, I used to battle against the elements to try and grow herbs in sad little planter boxes. Here, I have a mint plant that is threatening to take over the entire garden and possibly most of Katete, and a basil plant that is following closely behind. My vegetable patch has also been coming along well, and I am particularly proud to have grown my first aubergine! To add to my list of fruit trees, I have now discovered bananas growing in abundance at the back of the garden, which bodes well for smoothie making!

The prolific garden produce does mean that I have to be creative in the kitchen to find ways to use it all. Mint has been working its way into salads, risottos, and was quite useful when it turned Pimms o’clock at our last braai. The basil, tomatoes and aubergines have brought an Italian flair to Katete (and given me an arm work-out in the process) with homemade basil focaccia, homemade margherita pizza and aubergine parmigiana.

It has been over a week now since the last proper rainfall, and with each day that passes, a bit more moisture leaves the ground, bringing us ever closer to dry season… I want the rains to stay, not just for the awesome purple and orange skies, and the fields of dancing sunflowers and the lovely vegetables in my garden… but mostly because the farewell to the rain brings me ever closer to my own farewell to Zambia, and I’m just not ready for that yet.



  • Oh, those flowers and the summery lake scene look SO GOOD to these winter-weary eyes. Although it’s technically Spring here, it sure doesn’t look it; it’s only -2.2°C right now, with snow flurries, as if we needed more snow.

    If I were in Zambia, I wouldn’t be looking forward to the dry season either, not after the lushness of the rainy season. But the seasons turn as they will, immune to our wishes.

    That pizza looks so tasty! And you have bananas right there in your garden! So much abundance, free for the taking.

    After reading your posts, I can see why you are reluctant to think of leaving Zambia, the land of many charms and beauty and challenge. Perhaps you’ll get to visit there sometimes in the coming years. For now, though, I know you and Will are enjoying your Zambian stay to the full.

  • Hi Natalie. You seemed to have become the perfect allotment gardenier. All your products are really exotic, and must be great fun cooking with.

    Your weather comes in blocks of either sun or rain. I wish we could at least have that type of consistency. As SusyR says, its cold and snowing. No chance of even planting anything ready for the summer. This time last year it was 20 dec C, today -1 deg C. Your flowes look great, even our snow drops are struggling at the moment.

    Sheila and I could have done with a little of your sun recently in Tenerife. We had a week out there and there was only one day of sun. To finish us off, the last 2 days were 100 mile an hour wind and rain. While eating in one of the restaurants you would have thought it should have been open air, as the rain was pouring through the roof.

    How quick that 9 months has gone. You must be getting both excited and sad at the thought of it coming to an end.
    Reading your notes has put both Sheila and I sharing your trials and tribulations, and tring to understand how different the country and its cultures are.

    Alan and Sheila