Best of 2017: Blog Info-graphics

Abstract: As we are fast approaching the end of another year, its time for another annual blog review. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank each one of you for being a part of my journey with Reposed Thought. Your engagement and encouragement have been invaluable, and spur me on as a writer, designer and poet. Many thanks.

With so much to learn from, to be thankful for and to be challenged by, here are the stats from 2017 – the stuff you really cared about. Enjoy.

God bless.

Top 10 Posts:

Top 10 Blog Posts

  1. RT Evening Standard nomination: Best new-comer April Fools!! Lesson One – don’t believe everything you read on 1st April. On the flip side, I had lots of fun listening to friends congratulate me before reading further.. 😀
  2. 20 Favourite Poetic One-Liners (Rhyming) A compilation of my favourite lines from poems that I’ve composed. Enjoy!
  3. Love Your Neighbour- Short Poem Written  to go with a sermon from the bible passage Matthew 22:34-40.
  4. Zambia: Day Eleven – Final Goodbye Day eleven of 12: Part of a daily photography journal I kept whilst visiting my home country, Zambia.
  5. Zambia: Day One – Welcome HomeDay one of 12: Excitement, anticipation, reality. All the initial reactions & emotions of visiting home after 5 years.
  6. Screen Watching on the Train Reflections on this generations growing and worrying mobile phone addiction
  7. Zambia: Day Two – Copperbelt Day two of 12: Returning to my home city after 5 years; such a good feeling!
  8. Zambia: Day Five – Last of Kitwe Day five of 12: After a few days on the Copperbelt Province, it was time to head back.   
  9. London Bishopsgate – Walking Tour Photographic tour with a friend in one of the capital’s high-rise districts, Bishopsgate.
  10. 7 Days in B&W 7 days, 7 photo’s in black and white; No people. No explanations.

Top 10 Countries:

Top 10 Countries

Visitors to the blog came from a grand total of 53 different countries in 2017.

Countries as wide ranging as Venezuela, Namibia, Solomon Islands and Bulgaria. Thank you!

Most Popular Month:

Most Popular Month

April was by far the busiest month this year. This is mainly because of the ‘April Fools’ post and the daily photo journal of my trip to Zambia, my home country.


Stay tuned for more content in 2018.

Happy New Year!


“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.”

PSALM 23

Zambia: Day Ten – Recuperation

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Ten:

After all the pacing around of the last few days, today was a much needed rest day. The only trip of significance was to a local clinic. Along the way, we past through Ibex Hill, a residential area with some beautiful homes. Here are a few of them.









More to follow soon..

Peace

Zambia: Day Nine – Heaven’s Opened

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Nine:

What a change it was. From boiling hot one day, to a heavy downpour the next.

Today was the first day of our trip that it rained, and my goodness did it. It’s the rainy season at the moment in Zambia and the rains provide some spectacular scenery with thunder storms and lightening.

Dealing with customer services was a tad frustrating today, but we met two brilliant cab drivers along the way who made for interesting conversation.

FNB bank at Arcades Shopping Mall. Not long before the heavy downpour.

All we could do was wait for it to settle down. Not really a day for taking pictures.

As it wasn’t a day to be out and about, there was only one place to hang out. My favourite take away from back in the day. Now it felt a bit too greasy but still lush!

Zambia: Day Eight – Out And About

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Eight:

Today was possibly the busiest day of the whole trip as we dashed around Lusaka, visiting lots of family and friends. Some for two minutes, some for two hours. Each reunion memorable.

Not sure what building this is, but it had a “government complex” sort of feel, or something for “officials.” It looks like a building symbolic of power with its solid, concrete face overlooking us commoners that dared to pass by.

This building is next to Arcades Mall just off Great East Road.


Hotel (I think) behind Arcades.

New office tower under construction. Took it from a different angle yesterday.

And finally, we passed through Manda Hill shopping mall, built several years ago as the first of many in Zambia. It had a major facelift since it’s original design to help keep up with the newer, more plush malls like Levy Junction and East Park Mall.

Zambia: Day Seven – Lord’s Day

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Seven:

We spent our only Sunday in Zambia visiting Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka. So good to see and hear so many people singing God’s praises. We joined them during a very challenging series of talks titled  the “lethal poison of hypocrisy.” Here’s a link to the sermon: Hypocrisy and External Righteousness.

Great bumping into old friends after the church service.

Out and about..

The rest of the day was chilled, mostly with friends and family.

Sunday morning traffic in Lusaka (Lsk)

Approaching the Central Business District (CBD) in the distance from Independence Avenue.

Approaching Kafue roundabout from the east.

Old icon: Findeco House standing proud with its iconic silhouette an integral part of the Lusaka skyline.

Cairo Road heading north.

New Society House Tower.

New Society House clad in copper.

Beginning of the Great North Road towards Kabwe, Kapiri Mposhi and the Copperbelt Province.

Great North Road, Lusaka.

Heroes National Stadium..

The home of Zambian football. A week earlier, this stunning venue hosted Zambia’s successful 2-0 win over Senegal in the final of the Afcon under 20’s cup. I can only imagine the crazy scenes out here at the time.

This Stadium has become something of an icon as you enter the city from the north. It’s name draws inspiration from the ashes of our fallen national team of 1993. The national teams plane crashed off the coast of Gabon as Zambia was on it’s way to a world cup qualifier. Everyone on board died killing what was widely regarded as the country’s most talented generation of footballers. I was only 1 at the time, so don’t have first hand memories of the day, but have grown up to understand the significance of that tragic day. Born from the ashes, a new generation of gifted young stars has risen to take their place at the pinnacle of Zambian football, even winning the African Cup of Nations 2012. This is now their home.

New mixed-use tower going up in Olympia, just behind Mulungushi Conference Centre.

And finally, Great East Road heading east passed the University of Zambia.

End of another great day, more to follow tomorrow.

Stay tuned..

Peace

Zambia: Day Six – Goodbye Copperbelt

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Six:

Like the saying goes “all good things come to an end.” Today marked the end of our Copperbelt adventure and it was time to say goodbye. It felt like I was leaving with a renewed love for my home town. Despite things that still need to be done, it feels like it’s heading in the right direction.


Lots of good quality residential developments going up everywhere. This one was on the outskirts of Kitwe.

Back on the road again headed for Ndola.

Clear run of open road ahead. Dual carriageway between Kitwe and Ndola. Once the traffic clears, this is a sweet road to drive on.

Back to Ndola..


And past this place again.


Kafubu Mall, Ndola: With the rise of Zambia’s middle class, a lot more people have disposable cash to spend. This has in turn led to the massive explosion in construction, mainly residential but also in retail. At times it may seem like overkill, but if that’s where the demand lies, then investors would be mad not to cash in. The main concern, however, is that most retailers are foreign owned companies (predominently giant South African chain stores). For a more in-depth look at this issue, take a look at this video on Zambia Construction – Doing business in Africa.


Zambia’s 6th president, HE Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

This poster is on your way to Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport and must be a few years old now as the election was in January 2015.

18 Seater Plane..


Till next time Copperbelt, Mi Casa. It’s been a pleasure. Now back to the capital city Lusaka for more of these blue skies.. It’s really like that everyday!

All my qualms about the tiny 56 seater on the way here were quashed by the even smaller 18 seater. You could see the pilot (or driver). 

Lsk..

No fancy sunset shot to end the day on, just a set of grateful travellers having arrived safely.

Join me again tomorrow for day seven.

Peace

Zambia: Day Five – Last of Kitwe

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Five:

Today was spent visiting PIZ College on the outskirts of Kitwe.

The morning was a lot colder and had more of a UK vibe about it with a cool breeze and lingering clouds.


We managed to pass through my primary school again as it opened (twice in one week). It’s like I was going back to school. #goodtimes

Old home..


Whenever I’ve been back to Zambia, I’ve had the privilege of passing through my childhood home.

In my second year studying architecture, we had to draw a house plan from memory of our childhood. So many memories flooded back as I walked through the house in my mind, remembering all the cool little hide and seek spots.


Gated communities and wall-fenced houses are the most common housing type in Zambia, mainly for security reasons and the vast availability of land. The more plush and expensive types can be seen as symbolic of ones status – i.e. having ‘made it’ in life.

PIZ College..


PIZ is a college that seeks to train and develop church leaders in bible handling with the purpose of growing them in their different leadership roles. We got to spent the day there and met some of the lovely and enthusiastic students.

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Out and about on road in Kitwe.

Old church..

Our former church in Kitwe looked absolutely stunning. There had been some renovation done internally and externally since my last trip and it looked in good shape. Unfortunately it was mid week and no one was there, but great non-the-less to touch base and be in the place where my Christian journey began.

Evening..

Fresh fish being prepared for dinner.. Mmm lush!

And yet another perfect sunset to end another beautiful day. So grateful to be back at home to enjoy such weather.

More from the trip to follow.. #loading…

Zambia: Day Two – Copperbelt

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!


Day Two:

Another day, another trip. This time to my hometown of Kitwe from the capital city, Lusaka. Part 1 of the journey involved flying to Ndola from Lusaka (my first ever domestic flight within Zambia). This reduced a 4 hour + journey right down to 30-45 mins. Amazing!

Ndola, Zambia’s third largest city


Ndola still had the same vibe about it even after all this time. Lots of new developments spawning around, except at a far slower pace than Lusaka. Then again, Lusaka is in its own bracket.

The Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, named after the country’s late 3rd president, stands proudly alongside the Ndola to Kitwe carriageway. We arrived in Zambia the day after the Under 20’s national team had won the U20’s Africa Cup of Nations (or Afcon 2017). Days earlier, this impressive stadium hosted the semi final match between Senegal and Guinea.

The last time I visited Zambia in 2012, Zambia won the senior Africa Cup of Nations. If I was superstitious, I’d draw parallels betweeen my trips home and us winning tournaments and make my next trip during the Russia 2018 World Cup… 😁 who knows what could happen.

Anyway, I digress. This was Zambia’s maiden attempt at hosting a continental tournament and we won. Speaking on behalf of all Zambians ever born, this filled us with such immense joy and pride. #onetake

Ndola to Kitwe


Although tired and exhausted, it was such a joy to see familiar faces waiting to meet and greet us on arrival. So much catching up happened that picture taking became secondary, hence all the pictures on the road.

Today was the first day back to work for most people after a long weekend off.

Kitwe, at last…


And what a great feeling it was to enter my hometown after 5 years. That elevated view as you cross the Kafue River and the police wave you on; that petrol station by the Ndeke village roundabout; the unintentional shared space aspect of the road as pedestrians and cars converge; The nostalgia, the goosebumps, the memories all flooded back in as every single turn had its own unique memory. At last, I knew I was home.

Home sweet home


Nice to see a new road connecting Ndeke Village to Nkana East residential area. If you know Kitwe well, you know that it makes sense to have.

Finally, a chance to rest and reflect on the day gone by while eagerly anticipating the days ahead. The rest of the evening was relaxed, spent enjoying family and friends alike.

Join me tomorrow to find out what adventure lay ahead on day three..

God bless

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 9:1)

Zambia: Day One – Welcome Home

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!


Day One:

Welcome back to Zambia! Welcome back to Africa! That’s what today was all about for my mum and I, my first trip home in just over 5 years. The excitement was building in the days and weeks leading up to today, but finally it was here. Several events along the way threatened to kill the mood, but nothing could ever dampen the spirit of being back in ‘the motherland.’

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Kenya


First bit of sunshine: while waiting for a connecting flight to Lusaka, the sun came out to full height within minutes. I mean minutes! From pitch black when we arrived to full height, blazing hot sunshine. This is something I guess we took for granted before being exposed to the ever changing British climate.

Lusaka, Zambia


New airport terminal going up at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Lusaka. Looking forward to seeing it complete.


Airport road back to Lusaka. It’s very green as its the rainy season.


Garden City shopping mall, heading East out of Lusaka.

La Familia

I don’t really like posting pictures of family or friends on WordPress as it’s such a public domain, but we were met with lots of warm hugs, smiley faces and heart-felt joy. There’s a real sense of joy and community in Zambia like no other. Maybe I’m just biased, but I genuinely think that despite any challenges we may face, Zambians must be among the happiest people on earth.

Not all good though


Unfortunately, day one was tainted with much incident and frustration. From my bank card being blocked in transit to luggage being tampered with before leaving (in the name of security checks), it wasn’t the perfect start we had hoped for. To add to this, a car carelessly but not seriously bumped into us at a junction (all involved were ok, thankfully). A few hours of endless ‘to-ing and fro-ing’ over the issue whilst adjusting to the boiling hot weather and we were finally on our way. Unfortunately, it was now night time and the day was gone after what felt like a wasted afternoon.

Good way to end the day though

The best way to end any day in Zambia, no matter how stressful, is to soak up an amazing sunset. At just 15° latitude South, almost every sunset is dramatic and spectacular.

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The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (Psalm 19:1)