The final chapter

Goodbyes are hard to avoid when you do a bit of traveling. Today, I’ve said quite a few goodbyes to many wonderful people who have made my stay here in Mkushi, Zambia so much better than I could have imagined. There is such a warm friendly community here and people didn’t waste any time making me feel totally at home.

However, there is one family who deserve a very special mention! The Vissani family who live down at The Nest, came over from America last year to start working for Foundations Zambia. They worked hard to prepare a place for me to call home these last 2 months and welcomed me into their family with open arms!

I’ve had the privilege of not only living in an amazingly beautiful place but also getting to know Dan and Mary and their two children, Olivia and Simeon.


Dan and Mary are one of those couples that complement each other so well. They both work so hard to make their home inviting to others and a great place for their children to grow up in. It’s not easy living out here where many things we take for granted in the UK are not readily available. They pump water up to the big tank every few days, decisions have to be made about when to use the washing machine and slow cooker if there hasn’t been enough sun for the solar panels and they can’t use a kettle, toaster or hairdryer. But they do life here with enthusiasm and joy and have made my stay here so comfortable…I can’t tell you how excited I was about having my own hot shower in my cottage! (Thank you Dan). So this blog is my way of saying thank you for letting me be part of your family! I will miss you all very much!


Joas and Given were also very much a part of the family life here too. They live next door but are often over at the Nest playing with Olivia and Simeon and coming on our nature walks.




They may fight like only siblings can but Olivia and Simeon do love playing together most of the time.


Simeon is 3 years old and has the cheekiest grin! But he is so kind and thoughtful. He frequently inquires on whether I have had a good rest/evening/day out and shares whatever he has with those around him.



Olivia is 6 years old and is the most inquisitive little girl I’ve ever met! She wants to know everything. She is also creative and smart and wonderfully observant. She is a day dreamer in the best sense and her enthusiasm for life is a delight.


What I loved to see in the evenings was Olivia on the swing singing as loudly as she could for as long as she could. I had to get my camera out for at least one of the evenings and I managed to get some beautifully dreamy photos. These are my favourite ones of her.




It’s been a real privilege getting to know both Dan and Mary and Olivia and Simeon. I can’t wait to come visit again soon.

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Posted in Family Portraits, Photography, Travel
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