If I remember correct, the exact phrasing of the ad for a juice manufacturer in Zambia was: “Enjoy our juice and drinks – no after taste and no choking effect”. This was one of the bright moments I had on work this week – that particular task was flipping through magazine, trying to find suitable companies to invite to a seminar with Save the Children.
With that introduction, let me explain what I do here at the Embassy. I am basically the project leader for an event called “Swedish Week”. Sweden and Zambia celebrate 45 years of diplomatic relations and development cooperation this year. The Embassy of Sweden in Lusaka will shed light on this by a variety of activities encompassing all aspects of Swedish-Zambian relations, such as trade and business ties, development cooperation, cultural exchange and more. (And yes, this text is copy paste from some of the various letter I have written in the past weeks. I promise, no more of that.)
I am basically coordinating everything. Inviting people, setting the program, getting partner that contribute both financially and in kind, making sure nothing so forgotten, reminding people of this and that – that is only a small amount of all I do. On top of that I will hang up an exhibition, create posters on Swedish literature and film, translate a Swedish high class culinary menu and be sure that the movie sent for is really coming.
Doing all this is a lot of fun. Organising, coordinating, talking on the phone – these are skills that I am already good at. Now I am fine tuning them, learning how to write perfect letters and be convincing yet not annoying to people. On top of this, all my work is very practical. I will see it bring fruit in December and I will be able to enjoy all the various events that I have helped organise.
And on top of it, I can enjoy free evenings (although I do work a little late sometimes) and stress free weekends, involving a lot of swimming in pools, good food and nice company.
Otherwise, not much has happened. The rainy season is just about to start and we have had some heavy but short rains in the night. Its still 32 degrees Celsius outside, so no greater change there, but it seems to cool off a bit a least. What is happening though, is that what we in the northern hemisphere call spring is arriving. The Flamboyant is really beautiful with its red blossoms and even the baobab here at the Embassy is getting green. The rainy season is in the tourist brochures called the emerald season and I do start to understand why.
I am looking forward to experience a different Zambia, a bit greener and way muddier. Until then, I will keep my skills on top at the Embassy!