This Global Home | Day 2: Zambia


Hi!  We are the Ott family! We are currently in Lusaka, Zambia, but we are about to move about 5 hours south to a small town for our new roles. We have 4 kids (at the moment; we also do foster care, so sometimes we have extras), 2 dogs, a kitten, and whatever other animals my son has decided to rescue/capture.This is our 5th house in 3 years in Zambia. In the States we flipped houses, and I loved to stage houses for sale, but I must admit I lost my mojo in the move overseas and all the transitions! Maybe my house will encourage others with limited resources, not much space, time restraints, and a lack of energy? Our house is fairly small (about 800 square feet) in a residential complex with about 70 houses that look just like it. We host guests regularly, and love having people in this small space with us!Connect with me:     Instagram     Blog 

We have a small backyard right next to a busy road, but the trampoline and water tank are important enough to justify the space they take up!
You can see our front door and dining area in this picture. The vaulted ceiling has been so nice in this small house!
Our dining table was made by a local trade program. We use it for eating and homeschooling, so the space it nice.  Our chairs are from a UN employee who was leaving the country. Good furniture is very expensive here, and we got these 8 chairs for a steal!  I recovered them with 4 patterns of citenge (chitenge); it is the ubiquitous fabric of life here in Zambia and is worn around nearly every woman's waist. The maps are a necessity and have hung by every homeschool space we have ever had.  My kids know more geography than I do by far! We are currently reading, "Stowaway", and they love tracking the path of the ship by longitude and latitude.
This side of our living area has our favorite piece of art. It was made by a NGO that works with street children called Street Wise. Our electric piano isn't working right now (something was damaged by the varying and low voltage), but hopefully we can find someone who can fix it soon. The cabinet holds all our homeschool materials. I love closing the door on all the supplies and clutter that comes with homeschooling 4 kids. As my kids have gotten older, the supplies and materials are less cute than they were when they were younger.
The other side of the the other side. The cabinet on this side holds all our game and printed ministry materials. The baskets on the wall are from all over Zambia and represent many tribes. The largest one is over 3-feet across and weighs over 30 pounds. My husband wasn't thrilled when he came home one day and found that I hung it by myself with only an 8-foot ladder, hammer, and screwdriver. But, it has stayed up there just fine!
The girls have the biggest bedroom because they share it with all our excess storage and books. The stack of bins holds medical supplies.  Our oldest daughter likes to climb on top and hide with a book.
I have tried to limit how many books we keep around, but we love books! Right now my rule is that we can't have more books than fit on the shelves we have. The washer is a replacement for our old, leaky one, but we decided not to install it until we move and store our empty bins on top. All the buckets are for water filter distribution. It's a bit chaotic right now as we prepare to move...
Their closet is giant! But we manage to fill it with empty suitcases. We brought over-door organizers with us and use them inside closets to help sort all the miscellany kids collect.
Their bathroom is a pain because it always fills up with bugs for some reason. The shower curtain hides the tub that has leaked since we moved in. The IKEA rail and buckets hold their toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss. Separately.  Never touching. Fewer arguments. Our bathroom is very efficient.  You can use the toilet, sink, and tub all at once.  But we have two bathrooms, so I won't complain!
And finally, our kitchen.  It isn't the smallest we've had nor the largest. It works for us. Cooking in Zambia has its challenges since all produce has to be cleaned well and pretty much everything is made from scratch. The ugliness on top of the cabinets is our inverter and batteries. When we moved to Zambia, we were without power 12 hours out of every 24. Lately it has been only maybe 3 days a week. The inverter keeps our lights and fridge on.
That's it! We have loved living in this house and getting to know our neighbors. We are excited for our new jobs in a another town, and I am hoping to be inspired this month by how other people have made their houses a 'home' as we go through that process again.