2 March 2015

My Zambian Home

In an effort to answer questions and alleviate prejudices, I have decided to dedicate this blog post to my Host Home. As part of VSO ISC each volunteer is partnered with a native volunteer home counterpart and assigned to live with a local family. A prospect I initially found extremely daunting, however it has so far proved to be an extremely awarding experience. 

For almost four weeks now I have been living with the Tembo family. Consisting of Mrs Tembo, a strong, independent, entreaupeneur, and Mayamiko (Mimi), her very cheeky and naughty five year old daughter.
Their small peaceful home is located a mere 10 minute walk from the centre of town, away from all the hustle and bustle. As soon as the enter the front door (which is rarely used as the back door is considered the better option for some unknown reason) you enter the living/dining room area.
This is where most time is spent, dedicated to watching television and eating. Once you progress further you enter the kitchen.
A usually unorganised space, where things are rarely put back in the same place, rather you have to rummage through all of the cupboards to find the special Nshima cooking spoon. The next and arguably most important room of them all is the bathroom.
Fortunately we have a fully functioning western toilet and sink, but only the cold tap works. Unfortunately the taps for the bath tub do not work at all, meaning we have to fill the bucket with water from the outside tap, and proceed to clean oneself by using a small cup. It could be worse however, as at least they no longer use their outside toilet.
Finally, you enter mine and Coster's (my home counterpart) room. A small but cosy bedroom.
Its lack of space has forced me and Coster to become closer friends and bond like brothers.

I am frequently woken early in the morning to the aroma of cooking samosa, just one of my host mum's many business ventures. Along with the household goods shop she runs in town, she also grows avocados and guavas for sale and raises and sells chickens. As soon as you step outside of the back of the house you are hit by the warm, wretched smell of chickens. 
The chicken run, connected to the side of the house, currently houses 200 chickens. In the short time I have been here I have witnessed their rapid growth (shown in the pictures below), as they are beginning to be primed for sale.

Although I still have a long way to go on the program, living with a host family has already provided me a valuable cultural exchange. Gaining first hand experience of Zambian life has allowed me to feel more integrated in their society. This has been extremely beneficial when discussing and promoting our cause to the public, throughout Choma.

I hope this blog post has answered some questions and shows that Africa is not all mud huts and straw roofs. Even when I have traveled into the more rural areas surrounding Choma, although much more basic, brick houses with metal roofs are present.

I am hoping to do another blog post next weekend, covering what I have been doing on my work placement. Once again Twalumba for reading and sorry for the mistakes.

Luke T.
Bonus picture of me attempting to cook Nshima.

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