Village life

Although our lodging in Livingstone Falls, Zambia was a five-star establishment that could have existed anywhere in the western world, just outside the hotel and national park were traditional lands. Families live in primitive conditions which looked like a historical reenactment, not 2015 housing.

Groups of round huts, one for each family, were scattered about.  These were made of a circle of tall branches, spaced about a foot apart, with smaller twigs woven in between, leaving a 6″ lattice effect.  

  On houses and toilets, the walls were filled in with mud collected from termite mounds, resulting in a smooth Adobe-like finish.  The houses have thatched roofs, made with grasses collected by the women but placed in layers by the men.  

  Kitchens are separate huts, with roofs and open sides for the smoke to escape.  The round house shape kees snakes from nesting in corners.  The toilets did not have a roof, leaving the top open to the air to dissapate smells. Some toilets are simply made of a round of thatch or bamboo twigs; this seems common near bars – I guess they relocate them frequently. 

 For people with greater means, a house may have a tin roof instead of thatch, or be made of bricks or concrete.  The government power company will not wire a mud house in case of collapse and possible electrocution, so only the sturdiest homes have power.  We did see one house with a small solar cell to generate electricity. 

 Water is collected in five gallon buckets from a community well.  We saw people using pumps alongside the road.  Children are not allowed to carry the heavy water; that would be considered child abuse.  The buckets are repurposed from cooking oil containers, paint buckets, and assorted other found items.  People seemed to have quite a distance to walk carrying one bucket in each hand, maybe two miles. 

 Everywhere we drove, women were walking alongside the road carrying baskets or plastic buckets of laundry or fruit on their heads. Most were wearing western style blouses or tee shirts, but traditional cloth skirts. Men pushed wheelbarrows of sticks, carried one long log/pole (for a house?),  or pushcarts of bananas for sale.

These photos are not great; we took them through the car window.