Pillars Of Wisdom

I guess these red brick pillars outside the new management offices at Chanters Lodge, Livingstone should be ‘pillars of wisdom’ but there are three and not seven!

More exciting than the new offices is our plan to convert rooms 1 and 2 into a poolside suite when the new offices are finished. More later.


New Offices

You’ll see from the photo that we’ve made good progress on the construction of our new offices at Chanters Lodge, rather ahead of time! When Susan arrived for work this morning I said to her (in a harsh tone) “Report to me in my office!” “Yes Sir!” she said. Stopped, looked at me, looked at the progress on the building, laughed and went on her way!

Great stuff!


Quinta Real Zacatecas

I found this through SimonSeeks and just loved it! An hotel built within an original bullring in Mexico. Here’s all about it:

“One of the world’s most unusual hotels, Quinta Real Zacatecas is built into the grandstand of the restored San Pedro bullfighting ring, which was built in the 19th century and witnessed its last corrida in 1975. So ingeniously does this unique hotel preserve the character and beauty of the original structure that the restoration project received the International Architectural Award just after it was inaugurated in 1989.

The hotel reflects the grandeur and welcoming hospitality of the city of Zacatecas itself. From the moment guests arrive, they are welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine, in traditional Quinta Real style. Rooms are set around the Suites Patio, with its charming fountain, while the restaurant and bar are located at the edge of El Ruedo, the former bullring that has been converted into a beautiful colonial-style patio, paved with cobblestones and landscaped with abundant flowers. It is one of the most charming and romantic corners of the city.

The Quinta Real sets the stage for visitors to discover Zacatecas from different angles and perspectives, strolling through its streets lined with majestic colonial-era buildings or suspended in the air on the cable car that takes passengers over the town, from one of the old mines to the top of Cerro de la Bufa.”

Isn’t that beautiful?


Major New Projects Planned For Zambia

This from LusakaTimes.com

“The Zambia government plans to construct a dam and an electricity power plant of 750 Megawatts (MW) capacity below the existing plant on Kafue River under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects. Toll roads, health centres, new prison facilities and schools have also been planned under the PPP projects in a major construction programme that will change the face of Zambia when implemented.

Director of the newly established PPP Unit at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning David Ndopu told the Sunday Mail in an interview that the objective of the Kafue Gorge Lower is to increase electricity generation capacity and enhance security of supply. He said Government will sponsor the project through the Ministry of Energy and Water Development at an estimated cost of between US$1.5 million and US$1.8 million.

The private sector will construct and operate the dam and the electricity power station on a PPP known as Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) for a period of about five to six years.

Mr Ndopu urged Zambians to participate actively in the provision of goods and services under PPP. He said the project ideas will not come from Government alone, but from the private sector, too. Mr Ndopu encouraged local investors to come up with brilliant sellable ideas and to form consortiums with other developers to enhance their credit-worthiness. He said foreign investors will only be granted PPP projects on condition that they engage local people in the execution of the projects.

According to the PPP master plan, Government is also seeking private sector partnerships in the construction of toll roads between Ndola and Lusaka, Chirundu-Lusaka, Livingstone-Lusaka and the Pedicle road that connects the Copperbelt to Luapula Province through the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Government is also considering a toll road that will connect the Lusaka International Airport to the lower Zambezi. The road is expected to ease travel and transportation logistics of tourists arriving at the Lusaka International Airport and wishing to go to the lower Zambezi. This is expected to boost tourism.

Lower Zambezi will be developed into a satellite town of Lusaka at a cost of about US$2 billion. The town will be tailored to cater for a population of about 500,000 people. Among the major developments earmarked for the satellite town are a 100,000 square metre shopping mall, three hotels (one of which will be five star) and three office parks.

Other auxiliaries of this project include a conference centre, high-density residential units and about 8,000 high-cost houses around the shopping mall. The Government and the National Pension Scheme Authority are expected to sponsor this project.”

Grand designs
The photo? Lower Zambezi


Whoever Answers The Questions!

It’s near the Christmas break of the school year. The students have turned in all their work and there’s really nothing more to do. All the children are restless and the teacher decides to have an early dismissal.

Teacher: “Whoever answers the questions I ask first, and correctly, can leave early today!” Little Johnny says to himself “Good, I want out of here. I’m smart, and I’ll answer the question!”

Teacher – asking the first question -: “Who said ‘Four Score and Seven Years Ago’?” Before Johnny can open his mouth, Susie says, “Abraham Lincoln!” Teacher: “That’s right Susie, you can go home!”

Johnny’s mad that Susie answered the question first. Teacher: “Who said ‘I Have a Dream’?” Before Johnny can open his mouth, Mary says, “Martin Luther King!” Teacher: “That’s right Mary! You can go too!” Johnny’s madder than before.

Teacher: “Who said ‘Ask not what your country can do for you’?” Before Johnny can open his mouth, Nancy says, “John F. Kennedy!” Teacher: “That’s right Nancy, you may also leave now!”

Johnny’s boiling mad that he hasn’t been able to answer any of the questions first so, when the teacher turns her back, Johnny says, “I wish these stupid girls would keep their mouths shut!” The teacher turns around: “Now who said that?”



IMF Support

This from Reuters

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to lend Zambia $81 million to be disbursed immediately, a factor likely to provide short-term support to its kwacha currency. Despite being a fully convertible currency, Zambia’s kwacha remains very illiquid and can be moved by aid and donor flows. The unit has gained more than 20 percent since February due to a recovery in the price of copper, its main export.

The IMF said the anti-poverty funds were the final part of a $262 million concessional lending package, but added that Africa’s biggest copper producer could afford to borrow from capital markets to pay for new infrastructure. “The 2010 budget is well balanced. The authorities aim to create fiscal space for poverty-reducing expenditure and for infrastructure investment to sustain robust and diversified growth,” it said in a statement.

Zambia’s risk of default was low and there was scope for external borrowing on non-concessional terms to finance essential infrastructure, particularly in power generation, it said. However, the Washington-based lender said the government needed to improve the efficiency of state power firm Zesco and raise electricity tariffs to levels that would attract private investment.

Increase electricity tariffs – we had a 35% increase this year and electricity is already our highest monthly cost excluding labour. Words fail me….


Office Slab

We are delighted to have cast the slab for our new office structure at Chanters Lodge Livingstone, and there’s the picture. Right now, the slab is under water for the next week or so, not because it’s raining – it’s actually beautifully bright and sunny in Livingstone this morning, but because the slab has to be kept so, to strengthen it.

The offices will, when they are built, be the first thing you see as you drive into the lodge, as opposed to the kitchen roof and back yard which is the view at the moment. The finish will therefore be very important – first impressions!

We hope the building will resume after Christmas.


Lowden Lodge, Luanshya

Recently we had Janet Kay and husband Lee staying with us for one night at Chanters Lodge. Janet runs Lowden Lodge near Luanshya on Zambia’s Copperbelt. They have 13 rooms and a great reputation. Here’s about it:-

“Lowden Lodge is a small private guest house offering first class hospitality with a genuine home from home atmosphere on the copperbelt in Zambia.

Conveniently situated 20km from Ndola. A warm welcome awaits you where you can relax in our peaceful rustic surroundings. Accommodation is in spacious and comfortable en suite rooms. If you prefer privacy we offer three cottages with a self-catering option.

Rates include breakfast, dinner available on request supplemented by our own home-grown fresh produce, a feature of our excellent cuisine.“

Now, I can’t find a picture of Lowden Lodge, and I can’t even find a decent picture of Luanshya – only of the sprawling copper mine, apparently about to re-open under Chinese management. So here’s another picture of Derek Dawson – a friend of Janet’s who introduced us, with partner Pam who’s “ex-Luanshya” (as those who are, call themselves!)

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