We are the Ott Family! Just over a year ago we moved to Zambia from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We are part of Action Zambia and work primarily in HIV/AIDs education and discipleship. Since being here, we moved from a small city 7 hours north to the capital, Lusaka. Life in Zambia, along with our 4 kids, keeps us busy!
Every morning, I wake to this. I can count on one hand the number of times my husband hasn’t been reading his Bible and drinking coffee when I get up. I admittedly married better than I deserve!
Since it is sunrise at pretty much the same time, year-round, I head out on a run by 6am. We live on the campus of an indigenous seminary that has a 1/3 mile loop around campus. Since there are only about 14 Westerners on the campus and 200 Zambians, I make quite a sight running in circles while people are out watering their gardens and sweeping the dirt in front of their houses.
We have water when I get home (it’s off all night), so I decide to do our monthly water filter cleaning. I think making sure we have clean drinking water takes about an hour of my time every day!
Water didn’t last long, and I try to shower under a trickle of cold water. We have constant water problems, and we won’t have water the rest of the day. I try not to complain since most of the city doesn’t even have indoor plumbing. But it’s irritating.
Hanging laundry. One 4kg cycle of washing took over 24 hours and has been sitting in the washer, so I head out to hang it to dry while one of my daughters gets out some energy. When it’s dry, we have to either let it sit for a few days or iron it all to let the botfly larvae die. Guess which option I choose most often?
Today is a “home day” for me and the kids. We try to stay home 3 days a week to get school done, so my husband takes our vehicle and heads out to work. We are so thankful for a small study we can use to do school this year. But, frankly, homeschooling 4 kids here has been much more difficult than I ever imagined!
We take a break to catch the skinks that were trapped in a dusty wash tub. My son loves reptiles, so we put them in an aquarium until he can catch something bigger or ‘snakier’.
It’s hot today, and we had a big breakfast of eggs and toast, so I decide on smoothies for lunch. We don’t have the variety of produce here that we enjoyed in the States, but frozen bananas, oranges, and some apple juice make a decent cold drink. Mango season is just around the corner though! Power will go off this afternoon, so it’s now or never.
We smell something burning, and we go outside to investigate. Thankfully, it’s just trash burning over the fence, but it still doesn’t smell very good.
My husband returns from a day of teaching. He also ran a few errands while he was out, so we are excited to see him!
Our produce box arrived with my husband! We were warned away from much of the produce we can buy by the side of the road by some agricultural workers (there is little regulation over chemicals used on food here), so we purchased share in a small experimental organic farm. Such yummy food, and it helps me decide what to cook for dinner!
The younger kids are done with their school work, so they decide to take over the living room with their toys. We came to Zambia with only 12 suitcases, but Lego and Polly Pockets made the cut!
Thankfully my husband was home to kill this nasty wasp! We don’t have screens on our windows and doors, but we like to let the breeze through until dusk when the mosquitoes come out. This means that critters and bugs find their way in.
This is my kitchen arsenal! We don’t have power or water this evening (we have a battery to run the lights), so I use my gas oven and hand-washing stand. These two things have helped maintain my sanity here!
It’s a horrible photo (only so much I could do with one lightbulb!), but my favorite part of the day: we sit together in the evening and read the Bible while eating popcorn and drinking Bush (Rooibos) tea.