I love living in a city. There’s always somewhere to go, something to do and plenty of people to hang out with. And I must admit I never gave much thought to how I would cope with rural life in Zambia. Here on the outskirts of Mkushi, the land is full of crops. There are a few commercial farmers as well as many small and subsistence farmers.
And out at The Nest we are surrounded by bush and grassland with just one other family living next to us. We need to drive 4 kilometers to reach the small community based at Chengelo Training Farm and Chengelo School.
This short commute has itself been a bit of an adventure for me. I had assumed I wouldn’t get to drive whilst away. A sad thought for someone who loves driving as much as I do. But I was wrong! Enter a huge beast of a ‘truck’ (as my lovely American hosts call it) and I am super stoked. However, there are no paved roads. There are tracks through the fields leading to the better formed dirt roads in Chengelo. And in the rainy season…? Well, they get a little muddy to say the least! I’ve learnt that it’s important to avoid muddy puddles but if you can’t, try make sure one set of wheels is on dry ground and if that’s not possible, accelerate a bit before and bounce through them. And whatever you do, don’t go too slowly! There have been a few heart-stopping moments but hey, it makes life a little more interesting. 🙂
The abundance of wildlife is another wonderful part of rural life here. I went for a run the other day and what a wonderful sight it was seeing swallows swooping down in front of me, a bird of prey soaring above and the water birds making themselves at home in the new dam.
At The Nest we have a lovely chorus of frogs and insects to sing us to sleep each night and I never get tired of seeing dragonflies darting about and geckos on the walls. The down side to all this wildlife is having a whole lot of bugs wanting to have a party in your room! But thankfully the resident spiders eat most of them.
On a less wild note, we have also had a new addition to the domestic pets here. Lolo the dog and Skye the cat have now been joined by this gorgeous little kitten called Ichushee (not entirely sure this is the correct spelling?) which is Bemba for Smoke.
Last weekend we went out to visit another farming family. Frank grows his own grapes and makes his own wine! As a fellow wine lover I was intrigued to see his little home wine-making set up. But Frank and his wife Catherine also have the most amazing fruit and vegetable garden I have ever seen!
We also got to meet some of their goats, including a baby goat just recently born.
I’m loving all the amazing photo opportunities around me and there is still so much more to share! This is just a small glimpse into rural life out here in Mkushi, Zambia.