Traditional Homes: Zambia

Traditional Homes Zambia - Mud Hut Mama

Last month we had the pleasure of attending the Kufukwila Traditional Ceremony at Senior Chief Mukumbi Ibaloli’s Palace in Northwestern Zambia. The ceremony was incredible to see but today I wanted to share some photos of the cultural village that this Kaonde community built to teach their younger members about their heritage. They built each of the traditional homes that the Kaonde tribe have utilized in sequencial order from the very earliest homes to homes closer to what many Kaondes live in today. As you might have guessed by the name of this blog, I find traditional building fascinating so this cultural village was a real treat for me to experience. This first dwelling was carved out of a termite mound. You can see in this next photo that support […] Read more »

New Job, New Home and a New Normal

New Job, New Home & a New Normal - Mud Hut Mama

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 […] Read more »

Wishing You a Happy New Year!

Happy New Year-Mud Hut Mama

2013 has been a crazy year for us with a move from Malawi, and the only home Kooks ever knew and Boo remembers, to less than ideal living conditions in Zambia. We are currently in between contracts and have spent the last two months in Botswana visiting with my in-laws while we plan our next step. On Sunday we start our three day drive back to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city, where we have all of our belongings in storage. Shortly after we arrive we will take a two day drive up to northwestern Zambia to explore a job opportunity for my husband that we are very excited about. It is not too far from where I was a Peace Corps Volunteer about 15 years ago […] Read more »

Searching for the Next Adventure

Searching for the Next Adventure - Mud Hut Mama

We are currently in between contracts. We left the forest conservancy my husband was working in at the end of October, spent some time getting our stuff organized and into storage in Lusaka (Zambia’s capital city) and then spent three days on the road driving to Gaborone, Botswana where my in-laws live. It’s exciting, and a little unsettling, being between things. We have a number of irons in the fire and are hoping my husband will have fulfilling paid employment in the New Year. It’s looking good, with the most promising option being a dream job that we have been chasing for the last decade, but we know from experience that things can change fast so we’ll feel a lot better once something is signed […] Read more »

A Rural Community in Zambia

Rural Zambian Community - Mud Hut Mama

I have been thoroughly enjoying The Piri-Piri Lexicon’s “Show 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. 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. A Market: This […] Read more »

A Community School in Rural Zambia

A Zambian Community School

This post is part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs “Schools Around the World” blogging carnival hosted by The Educators’ Spin On It. Since I recently visited one of the closest schools to our current home, I thought I would write about this Zambian community school. What I am sharing here is what I heard from the headmaster of this particular school and may or may not be indicative of other community schools in Zambia. We live in a forest reserve in rural Zambia that does not have any communities nearby. This community school is about an hour drive from our home. It serves 169 students in grades 1 to 7 with four volunteer teachers. There are no teacher salaries but some students will pay what they […] Read more »

Africa for Kids: Preschool Homeschool

Preschool Learning Activities - Africa

One of our goals for homeschool this year is to be able to identify all of the continents on a map and learn some facts about each one. We are also focusing our activities around a different book each week and since it is impossible to find a single book that can represent an entire continent we will be learning about some specific countries, cities, wildlife and habitats as we go. This post contains affiliate links. Of course we started with Africa and I chose Next Stop–Zanzibar Road by Niki Daly as our book of the week for so many reasons. It shows life in a South African town through the antics of Mama Jumbo (an elephant) and her son Little Chico (a chicken). Much of […] Read more »

Our New Home

New Diggs - Mud Hut Mama

We are now in Zambia at our new home and the transition has been much more difficult than I imagined. Having two young children in tow has added a whole new element to the move and dealing with their angst and discomfort has exasperated my own challenges. We are in the height of our winter and it is cold here. It gets below freezing every night and as you can see our room (upper left photo) has a large portion of its walls made from canvas, reed mats and mosquito gauze so the wind rips right through. We have hung blankets over the windows and are sleeping under many layers of bedding but it is still  hard to get warm and the girls have not […] Read more »

We’re Moving to Zambia

Moving to Zambia - Mud Hut Mama

It’s finally official – we are moving to Zambia! My husband just accepted an offer for a three month contract with a forest preservation project. It’s an exciting job with the potential to become a permanent position so it’s time to start packing. Dorian will drive all our katundu (stuff) to Zambia on the 21st and the girls and I will fly to meet him on the 23rd which means we only have a week and a half left in this house. I have really mixed feelings about it all. We love Zambia and are looking forward to moving back. It’s my husband’s home, although he has very little family left in Zambia, and I have spent enough time there that it feels like home. […] Read more »

A Malawian Wedding Reception

Malawian Wedding

Saliyapa, our housekeeper, was recently married and I was invited to participate in the wedding as one of the “cake cutters.” It was a little overwhelming for me because I didn’t know exactly what to expect or how to prepare but it was a beautiful day and I’m so thankful to Sali for sharing such an important moment in her life with me. Since I had made the wedding cake, I was told that I shouldn’t go to the church. Instead I should go straight to the reception hall and get the cake ready. The reception was held at a local secondary school and I was asked to be there at 10 am, the reception would start at noon. This posed a bit of a […] Read more »