Before being connected through WordPress Lusaka, I hadn’t actually heard of Elina’s blog (LifeInZ.WordPress.com) but once I did visit it, I was blown away!
The photography is the absolute coolest and, being a poet, I was drawn to her constant self-introspection and thoughtfulness.
Which of course led me to want to ask lots (and lots) of questions; but these 8 made the final cut*:
1. What is it like making a home so far away from home?
It takes time, it’s a long process. You have to get used to not seeing your close family as often. You also have to get used to how things work here. After 6 months I thought I knew quite a lot, after one year I realised how little I really knew!
But now I feel like I wouldn’t know how things work in Sweden. I’ve lived here my whole adult life (was 21 when I came out as a volunteer) and I’ve raised my kids here. This is home.
2. Is any of this where you saw yourself as a little girl?
I always told people I would never move from the island where I grew up, so many (especially my parents) were surprised to see me leave.
But there was always something with Africa… I had pen friends in Kenya and Uganda when I was 13.
There was a fascination/longing for the continent deep inside.
3. Do you think of yourself as an artist?
Not really. maybe one day.
I feel certain aspects of photography are more artistic than others. I may move towards the artistic side with time.
4. Why photography?
I got my first camera at the age of 5 (my great grandma’s semi antique thing). Took photos of cows, ants, friends, trees… Later it was the usual, taking pictures of my babies etc, quantity rather than quality!
But my interest was there all along.
I attended a workshop and decided to invest in a DSLR soon after having my 4th child (breastfed during the workshop!). Been teaching myself since and it grew from there.
5. As a feminist, what do you think is the most important lesson a mother can teach to her daughters or sons?
Self-love, respect for others and that we are all unique and that it’s OK to be different.
6. Black, pink or yellow?
My girly side is always drawn to pink (You can tell by my new phone cover!).
7. What is your favourite thing about Zambia?
The quality of life you can have, like taking a swim in the pool with the kids after school (even during winter!) or sitting outside listening to the cicadas at night.
The slow pace (but it can also drive you nuts!). People don’t stress over material things, not in Kabwe anyway.
Ikea. Fast internet. Good coffee.
8. What does love look like to you?
My husband! It’s about the little things! Going through stuff and growing together, not apart.
* Also, full points to Elina for being so patient & gracious and getting these answers to me (Even in the throes of Load-shedding).