We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Chickens, pianos and lemon trees

We just had the most amazing news! Thank you to everyone who has been praying for our houses - here in Tadley and there in Tanzania! We haven't yet found tenants for our house here and were having hiccups with getting a house in Tanzania. Well, Andrew and Miriam skyped us this evening and told us about the house they have just found for us .... First, it comes with chickens! So we actually now, already, have chickens, complete with henhouse and everything! Wow! Second wow ... we can have it fully furnished, which includes a piano!!! Can you believe it?! Third wow ... it has a lovely, very established garden with all kinds of things including papaya trees, orange trees, and LEMON trees! Lemon bars, lemon cake, lemon meringue pie (with huge meringue - thanks, chickens!).... oooh! And now we don't just have one dog (we sadly have to say goodbye to Treeva!) as we have THREE dogs! And rabbits too! About 20! But we don't think we'll keep all of them on! It has three bedrooms and lots of land including a wooded area which Miriam says the girls will love for making forts and things! We are so thrilled - we can move in as soon as we arrive and it is just a five-minute walk from the Wingfields and Sharpes, and the landlords (a family who are moving to the UK for two years) are giving us an amazing deal on the rent! We are so incredibly thankful!

We have had a wonderful weekend, staying with the Lloyds in Birmingham - it was really good to see Debs, Jess, Rachel and Steve as well! We were at Darren and Rachel's wedding on Saturday which was a fun and happy celebration! And we enjoyed being with the Birmingham Community Church International on Sunday and met with lots of Tanzanian friends! Our sincere thanks to the Birmingham church for your support and love to us! Thank you.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Growing support and other things!

We have just updated our Growing Support! If we include all the one-off donations and fundraising (spread over a two year period) we are now about halfway to reaching the monthly amount we need. Thank you to everyone who is supporting us, we so appreciate it!

We now have 46 days left till take-off! And the to-do list is continually getting checked off and added to! This week we had our blood tests done, Louisa and I had our medicals done, the girls got their malaria tablets. We have found new homes for most of our furniture now! We still need a buyer for our car and tenants for our house and our dining table and chairs is left free for the taking!

Today is Amisadai's last day at school. She is sad knowing she is not coming back in September, but is looking forward to lots of letter and email writing! Her teacher gave her a lovely book from the class with all their photos and little messages to take with her. Both girls are looking forward to the picnic with their friends on Tuesday. It's at Tadley Green at 12pm for those of you in the area! You're all welcome ... just bring some picnic food to share!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Waterproof mascara

What a wonderful evening! We were told to expect a babysitter (thank you, Amy!) and a chauffeur at 7:30pm. And our friends in the church treated us to a scrumptious meal in Paul and Rachel's lovely garden! A farewell meal before everyone disperses for the holidays! We are so thankful to have such a great group behind us as we go to Tanzania! What a great time with good friends and good food! All of you, thank you for your kind encouragement, support and your ongoing prayers. You are wonderful!

And thank you also to all those at the Aldermaston Toddler Group who donated to our Africa Fund this morning and found new homes for our toys and games! Thank you, Karen! (and please pass this on!)

It is so strange at the moment, realising that this is the beginning of all the goodbyes. Today we had the last violin lesson, next it is the last ballet and tap lesson! And this week we finish at Amisadai's school and Louisa's playschool. And this reminds me, we are having a big farewell picnic on Tadley Green on Tuesday, August 27th for all Amisadai and Louisa's friends (and their families). Just please bring some food and we'll lay it out in the Memorial Hall and then share it together! We'll start with a Scavenger Hunt at 12pm. Please let us know if you are able to come! I am terrible with goodbyes and think I should probably invest in some waterproof mascara very soon! It is never easy to say goodbye, but it does so make me appreciate all the more how much it means to have friends and family. It means so much! How much worse it would be to have no one to miss!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Cakes, books, blood and malaria...

Cakes, books, blood and malaria but not all at once! First of all the cakes ... thank you very much everyone who bought cakes and recipe books at the Community Centre yesterday ... particularly all the Tadley-Under-Fives mums and teachers! We made about £90! So thank you! If you enjoyed the cakes and want to make them yourself, you can still buy a recipe book from me or Mandy and Gaenor in the office!

Cake Sale at Louisa's Pre-School
And on the fund-raising note, thank you also to everyone at Tadley Community Church who bought a book or more at the second-hand book stall and for your kind donations which raised over £60! Thank you, Sue!

Today I have been sorting out all things medical and have filled the diary with all kinds of doctors appointments! Over the next few weeks we are all going to get full medical exams done at various times. Tim and I will have our blood tested six times over for all kinds of things! And Amisadai and Louisa will get checked out for malaria tablets and go on a malaria tablet trial for a week to make sure there are no adverse effects!

Never a dull moment! ... and just 8 weeks to go!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

A Garden Party and the road to Isanga!

We have enjoyed a lovely day at the E.I. Garden Party! The Bendells were our lovely hosts and we met with many people who have worked with Emmanuel International over the past 25 years! We enjoyed a chance to chat with Andrew Wingfield's parents who were in Iringa in March!

We enjoyed reading Andrew and Miriam's newsletter last night! It is exciting to read about all that we will soon be involved in! They recently went to the church in the Isanga village up in the mountains. This is the site of a proposed water project that will bring clean piped water to the community. Here is a photo of the Wingfields on the 3 and a half hour journey to church!

There is a lot going on in Uhambingeto ... they have been working on the rainwater harvesting tanks at the primary school and are still working on improving the latrine facilities and the education programme. They have been teaching on the importance of water, how to care for water sources and how to avoid disease from unsafe water. The plan is also to teach on sanitation and household hygiene.
Teaching about water at Uhamingeto Primary School
Thank you for reading! We've no idea who is following this blog, but we hope you enjoy it! And please, if you haven't already, don't forget to let us know if you would like to receive our emailed newsletter when we are in Tanzania!

Friday, 9 July 2010

A Helping Hand!

We had a very welcome gift last Saturday! The help came from Helping Hands in Tadley, a local charity that last week was giving to local people for charitable purposes. As Tadley locals off to work in third world development, we were very kindly given a cheque for £50! Thank you, Helping Hands! It all helps!
We are off tomorrow to the Emmanuel International Garden Party! We are celebrating EI’s 35th birthday (EI was founded in Canada in 1974), and EIUK’s 26th birthday, as well as Sue Fallon's (EI Manager) 25 years of working for EI! It will be great to meet up with many people who have been involved in the missions work of this organization over the past 25 years!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

A dog with a name, a bed and a jab

Our dog has a name! We have just found out that the dog is called Treeva! We wondered if this was short for "retriever" but it isn't! But we are told that she (we assume "she") isn't a typical Tanzanian mutt! We hope to get a photo soon!

We have also heard from Miriam Wingfield in Tanzania that a bed is being made for us! We are sending our specifications! I hadn't even thought about bed sizes when I packed all our bedding last week! Isn't it good of them to sort that out for us! It would have taken us quite a while to build it ourselves in September (I have to admit to going a bit wrong sometimes even with the flat pack IKEA furniture which comes with instructions!)

On Monday, we go back to our surgery for yet another jab! This will be our fourth appointment for vaccinations! As you can imagine, the girls are not too impressed! Even the lollipop waiting for brave girls has lost its charm! Having had Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A&B, BCG, and Dip/tet/polio ..... this one is meningitis and then we only have typhoid left to get just a few days before we leave! Playing "travel nurses" has become a bit of favourite game with the girls who enjoy dishing it out a lot more than they like getting them!

Support Update!

Our support is gradually building up! If you are not sure what this is all about, a few words of explanation ...! As the work we are doing is unpaid, we need to raise money towards our monthly living costs. Emmanuel International gives us a target of £2000 month. This covers all various living costs in Tanzania as well as different insurance costs and things like malaria tablets, and a watchman (guard). It also takes into account a monthly average of all kinds of other costs such as flights, vaccinations, vehicles etc. So far, we have reached about £450/month. We have also had very kind one-off donations of around £3600 which will greatly help, contributing to our monthly support! And our fundraising has raised over £800 as well! But, we still have a way to go! If you feel you are able to support us in this work, (anything at all from £($)1-99/month!), please contact us or Emmanuel International. Every little helps, and with many people behind us, the little does become a lot! So thank you! Asante sana!