In The Village - Rural Zambia in 4 Days

Getting into Chileshya, Zambia (Kate's village) required several days of travel.  We had to take three planes and taxis to get there over a span of 4 days.  We then spent 4 days in the village before taking off and traveling to the southern most point of Zambia to Livingstone where we finished off our trip.  So in short, we covered a lot of ground in our two week trip. 

Chileshya is located in northern Zambia, very close to the Tanzanian border.  The nearest town that I can pull up in Google Maps is Mbala because the rural village is not recognized by mapping sites.  That tells you just how rural we are talking! ;) 

Where in the world were we?
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These two handy-dandy Google maps will give you an idea of the bigger picture of where in Africa we were and the approximate route we took in Zambia. 

During our village stay, we stayed in Kate's house.  Now if you have been following along with me for the past few weeks you know that Kate's house has no electricity, no running water, no bathroom, and plenty of spiders.  AND if you read my previous post you know all about my spider mantra - "It's just a spider. Or a butterfly without wings".   Rinse. Repeat. Relax. ;)

 Below you will see Kate's house and a glimpse into life in the village.  We experienced Kate's daily life, which includes getting your water from a bore hole, cooking over a charcoal fire, bathing out of a bucket, going to the bathroom in an outdoor "outhouse" (which is really just a hole in the ground with a brick structure around it), and sleeping under bed nets to keep the mosquitoes and spiders at bay.

Kate has been doing this for about 2 years... and I think she might be Super Woman.   

This is Kate's House. Inside you will find a bedroom, living room, bathing shelter room, and a storage room.  The bathing room is basically a normal room with a drainage ditch dug out in the corner so water will flow outside of the house while you bathe from a bucket.   The house was very much open to the outside as there are large gaps in the roof, doorways, and windows which leads to all sorts of critters getting inside.  We saw plenty of wall spiders during our stay. 

This is the outhouse or "chim" as Kate calls it.  Inside you will find a hole in the ground to squat over.  No toilet seat, no lights, no luxury.   It is a short distance from her house during the day but feels like miles away in the dark cover of night! ;)  

This is a tippy tap.  This is how we washed our hands and these are a big project in the community to make sure every house has a tippy tap to encourage more hand washing.  During Kate's two years, they have built over 3000 of these so far!  Yes, I meant to add all those zeros! 

Here we have the bore hole where Kate gets her water.  This was repaired recently and isn't too far from Kate's house.  Previously she had to walk a mile or two to go get her water so the repair of this bore hole was huge!  

On the left is an Nsaka- which is like an outdoor living and cooking area and on the right is a chicken coop that is still in the construction stages. 

One afternoon we were invited to a traditional meal.  We were able to watch as the Nshima was cooked and we even got to try our hand at the mixing stage.  Nshima is their staple dish, which unfortunately holds very little nutritional value.  It is a maize flour that is cooked much like grits, until it is very thick and then scooped into lumps - which you then eat with your hands.

Mixing nshima as it starts to thicken is incredibly hard!  That woman below is a power-house!   She made it look like she was stirring water, when in fact it felt like stirring quick-hardening cement.  It was incredibly intense and my arms gave out after just a minute of stirring.  Clearly I wouldn't cut it if that was how I had to feed my family. 

The woman standing next to me is the wife of Kate's main counterpart, Aaron.  Aaron is standing in the center with the blue vest.  We had our traditional meal at their family home along with a few other very important people to Kate.  

The other activities we fit in during our short stay in the village were playing with the kids (soccer, jump rope, picture taking), visiting the school and clinic, listening to the choir practice, biking/walking approximately 40 miles to Tanzania (which ended up being a poor decision and I have zero pictures of that day but Benjamin did manage to get most of it on his GoPro), and walking up the tallest hill near Kate's house to get a birds-eye view of the village and farmlands.   So enjoy the following pictures and captions showcasing all of those fun things!

All fun and games!
The Clinic

Here is the room where many women have given birth. 

If you were about to give birth, this is the table/bed that you would do it on. 

These are the medical tools used to deliver babies...  I think this photo alone proves how badly this clinic needs a qualified nurse.  

These are the medical tools used to deliver babies...  I think this photo alone proves how badly this clinic needs a qualified nurse.  

If you were a patient of the clinic, this is where you would sleep. 

School Time!

This is how water is carried and usually for fairly long distances.

One of the classrooms and a typical class.  

Choir Practice
Best View In Town

Thanks for reading, or browsing through the images!  I hope you enjoyed this rather quick recap of a very interesting stay in a rural village in Zambia, Africa.