Green Earth

Dave Sanger who recently stayed with us at Chanters Lodge has a company in UK called Green Earth. Here’s all about it:

> Consultants in arboriculture, environment and green space management.

> Green Earth Consultancy can provide assistance with many areas of environmental concern.

> Trees are a speciality, but Green Earth has a wealth of expertise available covering a wide range of environment matters and Green Space management.

► Site Surveys
► Design
► Management

are just part of the assistance Green Earth can provide.

Dave and wife of 27 years Sally guested on our weekly radio show while they were here and gave great value. The photo shows Dave and Sally with daughter Kate and Kate’s boyfriend Chris on a visit to Victoria Falls during their stay.


Dave and Sally Sanger play 107.7 fm

You’re tuned to The Chanters Lodge Experience with the DJMJ Ingredient ft Soulchild on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm announced Milli Jam (DJMJ) the presenter, when our show went on air at 20.00 hrs last Sunday. “107.7 fm?” I queried. “Yes, the frequency transmission has changed” I was told. No worries, 107.7 fm rolls off the tongue rather nicely!

Our guests on this show were Dave and Sally Sanger pictured above with daughter Kate and her boyfriend Chris just on their way to see Victoria Falls at the time I took the shot. “Are Chris and Kate an item?” I asked Sally on air. She laughed. “You’d better ask them!” She replied, but went on to admit that “they seem very fond of each other!” “Is it true” Milimo wanted to know “that you’re all from England but you’ve come to Zambia to meet Kate and Chris?” It was! Dave explained that Kate and Chris had been travelling for almost six months, all over South America in particular, and that when he and Sally heard the couple would soon be in Victoria Falls in Zambia, they made arrangements to come and see them. It had been a joyful reunion!

“What made you choose to stay at Chanters Lodge?” Asked Milli Jam (Dave and Kate were staying in our accommodation). Dave explained that he’d found Chanters in the Zambia Travel Guide produced by Bradt where the Lodge is well written up. “Is it true you’re an expert on trees?” Milimo asked Dave who acknowledged that he’d worked with trees and in landscaping all his life. “Don’t know much about trees” said Milimo, rather stumped (sorry!) “What do you do?” He asked Sally instead, who told him she’s a primary school teacher of 9-11 year olds in UK. “Do they work with computers?” I was interested “Gosh! Yes!” replied Sally and went on to say that they teach using computers in UK primary schools these days. “We’re so far behind in Zambia” I moaned to the assembled company, who agreed.

“Richard told us that you broadcast on hospital radio in UK” Milimo commented to Dave, “can you tell us about it?” Dave explained that he broadcasts once a week in Basingstoke General Hospital south west of London which has roughly 1000 beds. We wanted to know all about that, and Dave told us that he plays a lot of music on his weekly 2 hour show, both requests from patients as well as requests for patients. It’s a purely voluntary arrangement but he felt he might well start doing more than one show a week in future, as he was now semi retired and really enjoyed radio broadcasting. Amongst the patients’ favourites were Westlife and Frank Sinatra but Dave said you could get asked for any artist anytime.

On our show this week we played two local numbers so Sally and Dave could hear some Zambian music: Mumpi with her single ‘High On Me’ and then ‘Ndiwe Zuba’ by Baska Baska, apparently a hot single meaning ‘you’re my sunshine even though you trouble me’. As usual the translations were in some doubt! Riding high in the UK charts we played ‘Beat Again’ by JLS and ‘Supernova’ by Mr Hudson ft Kanye West. We also played the lovely new Whitney Houston number ‘I Look To You’ from her soon to be released come-back album, as well as ‘She Is A Bad Mamma Jamma’ and ‘Confusion Girl’ for the Chanters Girls who were hard at work on a busy night back at the lodge.

“Is it true” Milli Jam asked Dave and Sally, “that you recently climbed Table Mountain in Cape Town”. “The cable lift wasn’t working, so if we wanted to see the view from the top we had no choice but to climb – it took 3 hours and it was tough!” They replied. “The cable lift wasn’t working?” I said “that’s got a familiar ring to it” (the lift to the 107.7 studio on the 6th floor hadn’t been working that night) “Sorry!” said Milli Jam “we forgot to warn you!” “We climbed down to the Boiling Pot and back up again today too” said Sally proudly and irritatingly! I’d struggled with the 6 flights up to the studio, but got very little sympathy.

As usual we greeted Guests and staff at the lodge and gave away our standard dinner for two. “Where are you off to when you leave here?” Milimo asked, and Dave explained that he and Sally would take a Mazhandu coach to Kafue, then a taxi to Gwabi and from there would be spending time on the Lower Zambezi. Can’t be bad……


Pedal Power

After the story of the ‘Boy Who Harnassed The Wind’ in Malawi, here’s another story of enterprising young Africans being innovative. Again from the BBC:

Two Kenyan students are hoping to market a device that allows bicycle riders to charge their mobile phones. Jeremiah Murimi, 24, and Pascal Katana, 22, said they wanted their dynamo-powered “smart charger” to help people without electricity in rural areas. “We both come from villages and we know the problems,” Mr Murimi told the BBC. People have to travel great distances to shops where they are charged $2 a time to power their phone, usuall yfrom a car battery or solar panel.

“The device is so small you can put it in your pocket with your phone while you are on your bike,” said Mr Murimi. It is estimated that some 17.5 million people out of Kenya’s 38.5 million population own a mobile handset – up from 200,000 in 2000. Although similar devices already exist in other countries, they are not available in Kenya. The two electrical engineering students from Nairobi University have been working on their own invention, which they are selling for 350 Kenyan shillings ($4.50) each, over the last few months during their university break.

In Kenya, bicycles are sold with a dynamo to be attached to the back wheel to power the lights. The dynamo lead can be switched to plug into the charger instead, they explained. Mr Katana explained it takes an hour of pedalling to fully charge a phone, about the same time it would if it were plugged into the mains electricity. The BBC’s Ruth Nesoba says after a short ride, the phone’s battery display indicated that it was charging.

Great stuff and good exercise too!


The Boy Who Harnassed The Wind

This is a cute story from BBC

Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama said Africa must take charge of its own destiny. At the TED Global conference in Oxford this week, one speech resonated with that message. The speaker was William Kamkwamba from Malawi.

TED Global (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is the European cousin of an already established top US event dedicated to “ideas worth spreading”. Unlike the eclectic mixture of scientists, technologists and designers gathered at the hi-tech conference, Mr Kamkwamba grew up as a farmer in the East African country. He came to the conference to tell how people how, at the age of just 14, he had built his own wind generator.

“Before I discovered the wonders of science I was just a simple farmer,” he said. But after the family’s maize crop failed in 2001, they could no longer afford to pay for him to go to school. “It was a future I could not accept,” he said. So, Mr Kamkwamba would visit a library in his spare time, reading science books.

One in particular taught him that windmills could be used to generate electricity and pump water. “I decided to build one for myself but I didn’t have the materials. Undeterred, Mr Kamkwamba scoured a local scrap yard, finding the necessary components: a tractor fan, shock absorber, PVC pipes and a bicycle frame.

“Many people, including my mother, thought I was crazy,” he admitted.

His first model powered one light. But a later, more powerful version was able to run four bulbs. “Soon people were turning up at my house to charge their mobile phone,” he said. This was not the first time Mr Kamkwamba, now 19, had spoken at TED; his first encounter with the elite conference was in 2007 at the TED Global conference in Arusha, Tanzania. “Before that time I had never been away from my home in Malawi. I had never seen an internet,” he said.

He said he was so nervous when he had to give his first presentation that he “wanted to vomit”. This year, he said he was feeling better. And he had one message for this year’s crowd at TED Global – a message which echoes that of the US president. “Trust in yourself and believe. Never give up,” he told the audience. Mr Kamkwamba’s story has now been turned into a book: The Boy who Harnessed the Wind.”

How powerful is that!

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