Chabwino (It’s good)! 3 Months in Zambia

December 12, 2011 § 4 Comments

We have now been living in Zambia for 3 months today! We spent last week visiting one of Zambia’s treasures of the world at Victoria Falls with dear friends Elizabeth and Kelly. We said goodbye to Elizabeth and she headed back to Malawi and Kelly left for Seattle this morning. We are missing them already! More on our trip tomorrow…


It’s been a challenging 3 months but both Ben and I are so happy living here – we know this is where we’re supposed to be. I’ve been learning one of the local tribal languages in Lusaka. I was practicing with the grocery clerk yesterday and she was so happy to talk with me. Many of the mzungus don’t learn the language and so Zambians feel very honored when you take the time to learn to speak it. I can only do short phrases and greetings now but am practicing every day!

The best things about living in Zambia:

  • The community of friends we have. We have so many friends, both Zambians and mzungus (foreigners). It’s been great having such a great variety of people in our life
  • Being forced to learn to cook well – Trader Joe’s hasn’t made it’s way to Lusaka yet
  • The friendliness and hospitality of Zambians. We stopped at a small village to use their latrine on the way home from Livingstone and they wanted to make sure we used the “clean” latrine and they didn’t make us pay to use the facilities ($0.10 in USD) just because we were strangers passing through town.
  • The slow pace of life. We go to bed around 9pm each night and are up from 6-8am. We mainly only have social activities on the weekends and enjoy quiet evenings during the week.

The Worst Things about living Zambia:

  • Having people always ask you for money because you’re a mzungu. It’s part of the culture but it gets tiresome.
  • Errands taking 3 times as long (or an indefinite amount of time).
  • Gastro-intestinal issues. Need I say more??
  • Not being able to get what you want when you want it…for a good price. You have to learn to make do with what you have. And when you do get those things you want, to savor it. I found ricotta cheese at the grocery store. Case in point.

Even with the hard things, we know this is where we’re supposed to be and we’re savoring each day. October 2012 will come quickly enough and I’m sure will miss this place that we now call home.


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