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 »

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 »

Active Storytelling: 100 Days of Play

Active Storytelling-Mud Hut Mama

When I signed up for the 100 Days of Play Blog Hop, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. Storytelling has always been a part of our family play but recently it has gotten much more active. My husband started it all by telling the girls made up stories about themselves. They always begin with “Once upon a time in the magical land of Majete there were two princesses.” When the girls were younger they would bring us empty notebooks and ask for a story, knowing that if the book had no writing the story would definitely feature them, but as they grew older they started participating in the stories and acting them out. “No Dada I want the one where I ride […] Read more »

Zambia or Bust

Zambia or Bust-Mud Hut Mama

The move has begun! The packing is finished, the vehicle was loaded yesterday and this morning at 4am Dorian left for Zambia with all our worldly goods. The house feels so different without our personal touches and the girls seem a bit more angsty now that it is clear our move is imminent. Kooks told me this morning that “it is not supposed to be only three girls – we are supposed to move together with Dada!” When I explained that if we all went together we would have to leave all our things (including their toys) behind, Boo shook her head and said, “it should only be two girls, I should have gone with Dada.” They keep asking about when we will come back […] 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 »

Home Made Advent Calendar out of Matchboxes

Home Made Advent Calendar - Mud Hut Mama

This year my girls both get that Christmas is coming and they are so excited. I wanted to feed their enthusiasm and add to the anticipation with a countdown calendar. I’ve been searching online for DIY options and found a matchbox advent calendar from Martha Stewart. It is perfect for us because it is small enough to pack when we travel and I love that as you pull out a numbered box and turn it around a picture is slowly revealed. The trick (if you, like me, are not artistic) is to find a picture that you can replicate. I googled easy snowman coloring pages and copied (to the best of my ability) one of the designs at Kids’ Turn Central. I drew it in chalk […] Read more »

Cabbage Patch Kids and a Perfect Moment

Cabbage Patch Kids

On the last Monday of each month Lori at Write Mind Open Heart posts about a perfect moment she has had. She says, “it is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one.” I really love the idea of being mindful of perfect moments and dwelling on them when they happen so please see mine below. To read other perfect moments or to link up your own visit Lori’s post. Do you remember the Cabbage Patch Kid craze of the 1980’s? I think I was about eight years old when I really, really wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid for Christmas. I knew they were hard to come by but I figured Santa’s elves would be working overtime and I was hopeful. When my parents […] Read more »

Our Family Vacation at Lake Malawi

Family Vacation-Lake Malawi

I was really hoping to come back from this beach holiday and write about how much fun we had and how recharged we feel, but it wasn’t meant to be. I thought we were finally just about healthy again right before we left but I woke up the morning of our departure with what I thought was just bad allergies. It is that season so I took my allergy medication and we piled into the car. My “allergies” just kept getting worse throughout the day and by the next morning they were accompanied by body aches and fever and it was clear that it was actually the flu and a really bad one at that. The following day Dorian was sick with it too so […] Read more »