It feels like ages since I sat down to write and so much has happened in that time. My husband got his dream job in a part of Zambia that we absolutely love. It is not too far from where we met and we have been trying to get back to this part of the world ever since. We came very close a couple of times but it looks like third time’s a charm. It has all been a bit of a whirlwind and a complete lifestyle change for us.
We are currently living in a small town in rural Zambia and that has been more of an adjustment for me than I imagined it would be. There are an awful lot of positives. We are living in company housing but the housing they plan to put us in won’t be ready for another few months so we are temporarily in a fully furnished (and pretty posh) home. It is by far the most opulent place we have lived in since we met and it has appliances – a washer, a dryer, a dishwasher and a microwave! Oh my I am enjoying these conveniences. A friend in Lusaka joked that we would have to get out all the user guides because it’s been so long since we’ve used appliances. Well, we did in fact have to get out a couple of those user guides! There are other conveniences like a small store right in town where you can get the basics and order fresh produce on a weekly basis. The closest biggish supermarket is a two hour drive away but if we plan well we won’t have to make that trip too often. We are definitely not roughing it in the way we are used to so I feel like a bit of a fraud with the name Mud Hut Mama. Luckily there is beautiful Miombo forest all around so it’s just a short walk to be in the bush and our home backs up to a woodland so we are still surrounded by nature. Here are a couple of photos of our yard. We’ve had the grass slashed inside our fence so that we can see any snakes that might be around but just outside the fence is pretty bush.
We also have our very own termite mound right inside the yard!
Of course there are also challenges. I feel a bit like a fish out of water as I try to navigate town etiquette. I’ve suddenly found myself in a place where I have to remember to close the curtains before changing, where there are regular play dates, busier days and a lot less privacy than I am used to. It will all feel normal soon enough I’m sure but there are definitely moments where I find myself overwhelmed by all the newness. Dorian no longer comes home for lunch so we are seeing a lot less of him than we are used to. There is also a really good school within walking distance of where we live so I will have to make a decision about whether or not to continue homeschooling. It was much too big a decision to make right away so I have postponed it and will reevaluate if we are still in town when the next school year starts. My husband’s work is still in wildlife conservation so we are hoping that will take us back to the bush but we are not sure exactly when that will happen.
I set up our school room last week and, even though we’ve been spending most of our school time on the porch, I’m so happy to have a dedicated space for all our supplies. Since this is only a temporary home for us, we are not allowed to hang anything on the walls which is fair enough but I needed to find a way to hang up our world map! Luckily my husband was able to get a hold of a ceiling board and so far it is working out beautifully for our needs. I somehow managed to lose a box of children’s books in the move and that is really stressing me out as books are not easy to come by here and this box had some of our favorites. I’m still holding out hope that they turn up.
The girls love it here! They have each made a friend their own age on our street and they watch for them to come home from school so they can play. They each have their own closet and love having their own space. Boo especially, she changed about five times the first day we were here and reordered her belongings about a zillion times just for an excuse to check out that space again and again. They have also cottoned on pretty quick to the fact that if we have a visitor I tend to bring out any special treats we might have so they have taken to watching for anyone to pass the house and waving and shouting “we have cookies, come visit!”
We are in the middle of the rainy season and this area gets a whole lot of rain so we’ve been spending quite a bit of time jumping in puddles and staining our clothes with the red earth that to me just screams Zambia.
I have really missed being present here and now that we are unpacked my goal is to get the girls (and myself) into a bit of a routine that includes carving out some time to write and to catch up with the many blogs I adore. I’ve really missed this online community.
What is feeling new to you at the moment?