Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Zambian Home

Greetings to all from the Eastern Province of Zambia! I was posted to my site on May 11 after swearing in at the Ambassador's house on May 6. I will post pictures from swear-in on Facebook within the month, but I left my larger camera at home.

So, home. I'm sure you're curious to know where I now call home. The picture to the left is my yard...big mango tree right there up front. I'll be rolling in mangos in November. I live in the middle of Kasosa Village, Chiparamba Sub-District, Chipata District, Eastern Province. Look up a map via Google, find the cities of Chipata and Mfuwe. I am about 25-30 km from Chipata toward Mfuwe. My village is about 5-10 km off the paved road. My preferred form of transport is bike, because it gives me freedom; it's free; and it helps to keep me in shape. 35 km up and down big hills to town is a good 2 hour workout. The ride home is a breeze, though, even with pounds of fresh, local produce loaded in my saddle bags.
My house is constructed of mud bricks with a concrete floor and thatch roof. It's divided into two small rooms. The entry room is a combo kitchen, office and living room. The back room is my bedroom/storage area. From the front door, a little brick walkway leads to my nsaka where I do most of my cooking.
The nsaka is the Zambian village form of an entertainment room. I sit over my mbaula (the little metal thing in the center of the nsaka), coals blazing and cook all manner of tasty foods. Mexican flavored soya and banana/sweet potato curry...for example. Around the back of my house, I've got a bafa, bathing hut, and a chimbudzi, outhouse.
Bafa to the right, chimbudzi to the left. The bafa was constructed with live poles, so it's starting to stretch green towards the sky...a quaint way to bath. My chimbuzi isn't much more than a baby sized house with a hole in the dirt floor. So far, I've rescued a baby goat from the hole (well, a villager physically did the resue work) and been rudely greeted in the evening by a bat flying into my face. The hole is now covered to prevent anymore unfortunate animal activity in the poop dungeon.

So, that is just a brief introduction to my new home and where I'm staying right now. I've got so many more pictures to share but right now, this is the best I can do. I have another blog post planned to introduce everyone to my daily routine. Something to look forward to...

And, since you haven't seen me in so long, here's a picture of me helping with the maize harvest.

Law #9: The heart needs a home...even a mud brick home in Zambia.

1 comment:

  1. So nice to see pix of you Jenny! You are looking so strong, happy and determined! ... okay, that and also like a cute skinny honky version of Aunt Jemima. God, I know, you're 10,000 miles away and I'm still harassing you. Its just cuz I love youso much ;-) Hope all is going well! Hugs and massages from me, kisses and toe nibbles from Jess - Mike xoxo