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 »

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 »

Kaonde Greetings: A Guest Post at Nomad Parents

Kaonde Greetings - Mud Hut Mama

I am so pleased to have a guest post in the “Adopt a Culture Series” at Nomad Parents. Nomad Parents is an online magazine devoted to helping expat parents in the Netherlands, however, they are branching out and becoming a resource to expat parents worldwide. The “Adopt a Culture Series” has bloggers from all over the world sharing something they really enjoy, or have adopted, from a culture other than their own. I shared a post about the Kaonde greetings that I learned about many years ago when I lived in a Kaonde village in northwestern Zambia. Please click over to read my post and stick around to enjoy this lovely magazine. Read more »

Waterhole Wednesday: A Scrub Hare (Kalulu), an African Folktale and a Craft

A Scrub Hare, an African Folktale & a Craft

We have our first pet – sort of. An adorable immature scrub hare has decided to make a home on our back porch behind our cooking gas cylinder. As scrub hares are known to be skittish this seems to be highly unusual behavior and what is even more unusual is that he doesn’t seem to mind us much. We have begun leaving him water, which he really seems to appreciate, and we can get to within inches of him without him running off. The littles adore him (or possibly her – I really don’t know) and have named him Kalulu which is the Chichewa word for a scrub hare. I believe kalulu is the word for scrub hare in many of the languages in this […] 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 »

Preparing for a Malawian Wedding

Malawian Wedding

You might remember that Saliyapa (our housekeeper) had her traditional wedding back in June. Since then we have been gearing up for her church wedding. In some ways the traditional wedding could be compared to an engagement party in the States. While after that wedding she was considered married in the eyes of many, she and her husband did not move in together until after the church wedding which was last Saturday. I had offered to make the wedding cake for Sali’s reception and she asked me to be a part of her wedding party as the “cake cutter.” I was honored to be asked but not sure exactly what would be involved and with my family being the only muzungus (white people) at the […] Read more »

Book Review – The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece

Children's Book Review

There are so many different versions of the Cinderella story from a multitude of cultures and Becky, over at Kid World Citizen, has asked a whole bunch of bloggers to get together to review some of these stories. I was excited to participate and chose The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece by Anthony Manna and Soula Mitakidou, or more accurately it chose me. I didn’t think I would be able to get a book in time and this version was available as a Kindle book, because of that I was able to participate. It is a really lovely version of the story but was a little old for my two girls. The recommended age is four and above and I think that  is pretty […] Read more »

Guest Post: Exploring Geography

Lake Malawi

MaryAnne at Mama Smiles has a lovely blog about “celebrating everyday parenting through education, crafts, and play.” She is the first friend I met through this blog and has been an incredible support to me. MaryAnne has wonderful ideas for keeping her children engaged and entertained as they have fun learning about the world around them. I am thrilled to have a guest post on Malawi for her Exploring Geography series. Please click over to read it and then spend sometime looking around Mama Smiles. Read more »

Learning How to Make a Wedding Cake

Malawian Wedding

I don’t know why I tend to offer my services for things that I know nothing about but this wasn’t the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Sometimes it works out well and sometimes not so well, but it always pushes me to learn something new. Saliyapa, our housekeeper, is getting married. She had her traditional wedding the end of June but the church wedding will be in October. We’ve been talking a lot about it lately, especially about all the things that she needs to purchase for this celebration. Since Saliyapa comes from a rural community in one of the twenty poorest countries in the world, I have been really surprised at the price tag attached to a local church […] Read more »

Summer Camp at Home!

Cross Culture

School’s out for the summer! Ok our winter is just ending so I guess it’s actually spring but school is out because we found a way to make our own mini version of summer camp. My two kids along with three girls about their same age are enrolled and we have an energetic camp counselor who is keeping them engaged with activities, games, and lots of music. Saliyapa, our housekeeper, has a younger sister Kwamvera who is still in school but is on break until early September and looking to make some cash. I asked her to come help out on Monday thinking she could ease Sali’s load and that the littles would enjoy a new personality in the house. It was better than that […] Read more »