One year of Expat Life in Mazabuka

Today we have been in Mazabuka for 1 year!  Part of me feels like it was just yesterday we arrived, but it also feels like much longer.  Just a few memories of the last year …

  • We lived out of our camping trailer for 4 weeks until our container arrived. Great way to learn how little you need.
  • We have built an awesome vegetable garden from a rough patch of land, and we share the produce with neighbours, staff and monkeys.
  • My computer died and I lost all my photos.  All of them.
  • Lucy has only caught one monkey, killed one bush baby and two snakes, and been spat in the eye by a cobra once.  She was also chased by a 2.5 metre black mamba, and rescued by our domestic worker Priscilla. That dog.
  • Since we moved to Zambia we have seen over 40 species of birds we have never seen before. Our favourite is the collared palm thrush which hangs out in our garden.
  • We went to Woods Camp near the Lower Zambezi National Park, also to Kafue River Lodge.
  • I made marula jelly with fruits from the marula tree in my garden, nearly time to do that again.
  • My mother visited us from England and we went back to Kafue River Lodge and Victoria Falls.
  • I went to my first ever Ladies Retreat at Lake Kariba and was baptised, in a pool not the lake!
  • I said farewell to a fellow expat, This African Daughter, who moved back to Zimbabwe.
  • We had friends from South Africa join us in Mazabuka for Christmas and then spent New Years on a houseboat on Lake Kariba.
  • The Brits joined us for a roadtrip to Malawi & South Luangwa. The list of places to see grows.
  • We celebrated 4 years of marriage, thanks to everyone for the reminders.

One of the best bits, is that God is teaching me so much through softening my heart and placing wonderful people along my path.

I truly love being an expat; I have chosen to see it as an adventure. Being an expat has taught me patience, to be adaptable, to roll with the punches, to be happy with my own company, to reach out to others and to use my time wisely. It has taught me to keep perspective.  Expat life is great, but it comes with it’s challenges and risks. Not knowing where you will be in a year or two can break you or make you; your choice. I just remind myself to keep my eye on what matters to us, and take each day as it comes.

There are the odd few days when I think how wonderful it would be to have drinking water straight from a tap, shops closer than a 20-30 minute drive, old friends & family nearby. But then it just reminds me to be grateful that I even have a tap, a car to drive that 20-30 minutes and for all the new friends I am making. Perspective.

So there you have it; one year of expat life in Mazabuka, and I still haven’t got my own chickens.

Are you an expat?  How are you enjoying your time?


  1. Awesome! So sorry about your pictures. Your dog is a monster 🙄🙄. You have had some awesome experiences. I haven’t really counted our new birds yet and there are some bucket-list visits on my list. Wonderful that you got baptised! I love being an expat and I miss my family most of all.


  2. Hi Colleen So enjoy your newsletter. Well done on doing what you want to do. So many of us just wish we could and dont take that final step. My husband was born in Northern Rhodesia and I share your newsletter with him. Maybe we will visit again sometime. Life is rushing by. Best wishes. Heather

    Liked by 1 person

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