A Rural Community in Zambia

Rural Zambian Community - Mud Hut Mama

I have been thoroughly enjoying The Piri-Piri Lexicon’sShow Me Your Neighborhood Around The World” series and today I am thrilled to participate and share some photos of a rural community close to our home. The idea is for people in a wide variety of locations to share photos of typical scenes in their area, click over for a photographic journey around the world.

Show me your neighbourhood around the world

We live in a forest conservancy in Zambia which is about an hour’s drive from the nearest community. Here are some photographs taken near our camp and in one  rural community that is located about 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from us.

A Street:

This is the road just outside our camp. Most rural roads in Zambia are unpaved.

Rural Zambian Road - Mud Hut Mama

A Market:

This is the closet market to our home. On a busy day it will have fresh vegetables at the outdoor stands and the shops will have a selection of items including biscuits, sweets, flour, sugar, cooking oil, salt, soap, washing powder and clothes. On this particular day there was a funeral and so it was only the goats enjoying the market.

Rural Zambian Market - Mud Hut Mama

A House:

Most rural homes are built with mud bricks and thatched or tin roofs. Each family will generally have a number of small houses built within close proximity to each other. Some buildings are used for specific purposes like storing grain or cooking and others are used for sleeping. Families generally separate with the boys and girls sleeping in different huts. The head of the household usually has the largest house which he shares with his wife. He may have more than one wife and many children so there may be several huts in a homestead.

Rural Zambian Village - Mud Hut Mama

A School:

This is a community school that serves 169 students from grade 1 to 7. The school was built a few years ago by a local mining company but most are either built by the community themselves or sometimes with government funds. You can read more about this school and the challenges it faces here.

Zambian Community School - Mud Hut Mama

A Playground or Play Area:

I haven’t ever seen a playground in rural Zambia but every community I have visited does have a football (soccer to Americans) field and many also have netball courts. Netball is a popular women’s sport throughout Zambia, a relic of English colonialism. It is similar to basketball but the players cannot move when they have possession of the ball so there is no dribbling, just passing, pirouetting and shooting. The goal posts and netball hoops almost never have nets and are usually made out of local materials.

Rural Zambia Football Pitch - Mud Hut Mama

A Form of Transportation:

Most people in rural areas get around by foot or on bicycle. There are also various forms of public transport available on main roads, which would be about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from this particular community. Minibuses connect small towns, villages and trading centers along the main roads and large buses or luxury coaches travel to and from all the major towns and cities.

Transportation in Rural Zambia - Mud Hut Mama

The Camp We Live In:

I wrote about our new home just three months ago and it is now time to move on again. This is the camp that we have called home since early July. It has presented some challenges but, overall, the girls have loved the freedom they have found here. We are looking forward to exploring a new neighborhood and starting our next adventure very soon, but I will be posting more about that a little later.

Our Camp - Rural Zambia - Mud Hut Mama

What does your neighborhood look like?

About Jody Tilbury

36 Responses to “A Rural Community in Zambia”

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  1. Annabelle says:

    How beautfiul and peaceful. Many thanks for taking part.

  2. Bridget says:

    Wow, re unique photos

  3. Becky Brown says:

    Hi, your neighbourhood is a wonderful contrast to some that we have already seen in the series. It looks so simplistic but as Annabelle said so beautiful and peaceful. I’m looking forward to sitting down with my boys and showing them all the different places where people live. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Lisa Nelson says:

    Wow. I am loving the market with the goats. That’s fabulous!

    The park is barren. I think that’s an amazing park and so different from the ones in the states. One way I look at it, the children use their imaginations – totally. Nothing much to play on. Right? Love it!

    You know, I’m reading this post thinking – I have never had these sort of experiences. WOW, what life changing experiences your kids are having. This is something totally unique to them that will impact their entire lives. WOW! They are so very lucky.

    You guy are excellent!

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      Thank you Lisa – I hope my girls agree with you when they are older! There is so much ingenuity with play in rural communities. Kids make really intricate toy cars out of scraps of wire and bits of trash. When I was in the Peace Corps I remember the kids turning a big termite mound into a slide and they would ride down on an old maize sack. You are so right – there is fun to be had anywhere with a little bit of imagination.

  5. bevchen says:

    Wonderful post… so different to all the others in the series!
    I love the goats in the market place.

  6. I love this post Thank you so much for the peek at your corner of the world. We are studying Africa this year, so I will be showing my boys this post when we get to Zambia.

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      Thank you Phyllis – I hope your boys enjoy learning about Africa this year and I’m thrilled that this post will be included in your studies.

  7. I love this series, and your post especially – the community does look incredibly peaceful.
    Good luck with your next move!

  8. So nice to see more of where you live. It’s pretty incredible and what an amazing experience for your girls. Can’t wait to hear about what’s next!

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      Thank you Stephanie – I can’t wait to find out what’s next either. We have a few good options we are following up but nothing definite yet.

  9. Heather says:

    Wow, moving again! Looking forward to hearing more about it. Thanks for all the pictures.

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      Thank you Heather – I’ll write more about the move as soon as we figure out what the next step is going to be.

  10. I can’t believe you are moving again so soon, but hope that your new home is a wonderful one, and a slightly more permanent one!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this look into your life in Zambia. Thank you for writing this post!

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      Sometimes I can’t believe it either even though I knew it was coming! The last four months have flown by and thank you so much for your well wishes – I am also hoping for a more permanent home in our next move.

  11. Jennifer says:

    your girls are having such an adventurous life! They’ll be ready for anything. Thanks for the tour of your neighbourhood!

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      Thank you for your lovely comment Jennifer. Moving my kids twice in the same year has been causing me a lot of stress. I hope they see it as an adventure – that’s definitely what I’m aiming for.

  12. What a wonderful glimpse into your world. Talk about a juxtaposition- I literally just got back from a whirlwind road trip where we spent some time in larger cities like Atlanta, Savannah, and DC. Although it was neat to see I realized just how much large cities no longer appeal to me. Too crowded- too congested- too impersonal. I’m glad to be back to my quieter home in the country. Granted- it is no where as rural as what you experience but it is a perfect balance for me. 🙂 I can’t wait to see where you guys end up next!

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      Thanks Kristen – I’m so happy that you are so happy in your new home. I know it’s been an adjustment but it looks like such a perfect place to be!

  13. Thank you for this beautiful tour of your neighborhood! These photos really convey what life is like in this rural community. I know it has been a challenging place to live, but hopefully it will become another part of the tapestry of your family life. Looking forward to your next adventure!

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      Thank you Leanna! I do really love rural Zambia and I’m hoping our next step with bring us to another part of it.

  14. Mina says:

    I have been looking forward for YOUR post and boy, was I right to! 🙂 Those goats are fantastic! Well, as everything else, so different from what the western world offers us. Moving though, that sounds less appealing. Fortitude is required for moving. Wishing you loads of that! 🙂
    Great photos! Thanks for sharing.

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      Thank you Mina! Yes, moving is never particularly easy is it? Thank you for the fortitude wishes – I could really use them!!

  15. Thanks for sharing. What an amazing landscape for kids to grow up in. What a contrast to the other places on this tour too.

  16. Vanessa says:

    OMG amazing – I would love to visit!! 🙂



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