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

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Dog food for a Watchman in Swahili

Tunajifunza kiswahili! (We are learning Swahili!) Tim started on Monday, and  I started this afternoon at the Language School in town - just a 25 minute walk away. It is going to be hard work - lots to learn and homework to do. And with the homeschooling now started and trying to figure out when and how to shop and cook, I am a bit tired, but it is so great to be learning! The girls have now had three days of school, which is going well! We have already had a very interesting Art field trip to a crafts workshop just near our house where the ladies make batiks. It is an Italian Catholic mission and the other very good thing about it is the amazing pasta and tomato sauce and other Italian goodies they make in the kitchen there!

We are learning things all the time! And having the odd mishaps in communication! We have a day watchman, Spedito who also works in the garden and with the animals (very useful indeed!). He cooks beans and ugali for himself outside but I knew we were to supply the food. I thought I had communicated there was food for him in our kitchen, but somehow, that didn't get across, and Lucy, our househelp communicated somehow to me that he had no beans and was eating the dog food! I felt very awful! We gave him a sausage roll we had treated ourselves to from the Italian sisters, concerned that he was going hungry at our house! But it seems he was fine - the fish that the dogs eat is quite edible, but he does now have beans! He is a very kind and understanding man! But it makes me wonder how many other errors we are competely oblivious to!

Cooking beans outside our kitchen
We have enjoyed eating our papaya with homemade yogurt! My first attempt at njegele na nazi (peas in coconut sauce) was a complete disaster. But now I have bought a mbuzi ya kukunia nazi (a folding stool with a razor-like knife on the end with which to get the fruit from the coconut) and will try again tomorrow with hopefully better success!
The "mbuzi ya kukunia"

The girls with Mama Lucy grating coconut
(Now posting this photo a day later, I can say the coconut peas were delicious!)

Thursday, 23 September 2010

A wind-up torch and a candle!

I am writing this on Wednesday night by candlelight as our electricity has run out! We will pay for some more tomorrow! So much yet to learn! We arrived in our new home here in Iringa on Tuesday. We were supposed to be leaving at 5:30am Monday, but because the car was still being serviced that was postponed to 9am, then 10am, then sometime before lunch, then sometime after lunch, and by 3:30, it was too late to make the 9 hour journey, so we ended up leaving at 4:45am on Tuesday!

With Huruma, Joyce, Kenneth, Jimmy, Joan, Marion
Amisadai managed to be the first Monger to get malaria less than 2 weeks after arriving in Africa! Yes, this was most unlikely given that she has been on Larium and covered in Deet, and must have been bitten very soon on arrival! But these things happen and we had our first hospital experience in Africa very early on without yet learning Swahili! Thankfully Joyce came with me and we were able to see a doctor from the church who was very helpful and sped us through the long process. Having now completed the course of medication, she is pretty much better – just rather tired! She just has to go for a check-up test at the clinic here on Friday. Thank you to those of you who heard and have been praying for her!

On our way home!

Driving from Dar-es-Salaam to our house here in Iringa, we spotted zebras, giraffes, monkeys, buffalo, warthogs, elephants, antelopes, as we passed through Mikumi National Park! How exciting! We are now happily settling into our new house! It is very spacious! The girls are sharing a room, and have been so excited unpacking all their things and setting it up! Our bedroom has an ensuite bathroom! Another bedroom will be used as an office and when we have visitors, a bedroom. We have a huge sort of wooded area outside, with an large vegetable and fruit garden, 4 rabbits, chickens and ducks (which very sadly are not laying at the moment!), and …. 6 dogs!!!! We now have them down to four! They are Woolly (our favourite), Wuki (means honey) Waffi and Lily. The two tortoises are yet to be named!

Our new house and land cruiser!

Amisadai and Louisa's bedroom

Our kitchen


We are really enjoying being with Andrew and Miriam and their boys, Ben and Sam, and also Andy and Angela. We all live a very quick walk away from each other which is wonderful! They have done such a wonderful job preparing things for us and now getting us sorted out and learning the ropes! There seems such a lot to learn – everything is so very different to what we are used to! But one step at a time! I keep my little blue notebook with me to write down the new words and phrases I learn! It is very interesting communicating with Mama Lucy who helps in the house and speaks no English! We’ve had some laughs today! I know she will be very helpful and she is lovely, but I’m having trouble getting used to the idea of leaving my housework for someone else to do! But she knows how to run the house and make ugali and do the right thing with the right foods and so will be invaluable!

For the next while we will be focussing on language training which starts on Monday. We will be learning our way around Iringa (I have a lot to discover and learn in the market!). We will make the house “our own” and the girls will officially start school (they have been doing some work while in Dar!) We have unpacked and set up the school library! We have an area marked out in the living room for school.

Now time to find another candle and wind up my torch!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Beds on Bicycles and a warm Tanzanian Welcome!

Pokeo salam toka Tanzania! We are all enjoying Tanzania and our time staying with Huruma, Joyce, Kenneth, Jimmy, Joan and Marion. They are looking after us so well! Louisa is notably enjoying the African food, loving the rice, beans and chicken and her first ugali! Amisadai is particularly enjoying the outdoor life and is running about barefoot, getting very sweaty in the mid-thirties temperatures! She is hard to scrub clean at the end of the day! The girls are continually being covered in suncream and topped up with water!

On Thursday we went to an interesting place – where we could see (and explore) many traditional Tanzanian houses built as examples from the numerous tribes. It was fascinating to see how the different tribes build according to local materials and community living styles. We saw many examples of the three-stone fires in the houses, which in some tribal houses, were next to the sleeping area.

Dar-es-Salaam is a bustling and busy city – rather a shock after quiet little Tadley! And with the amazing views looking out over the Indian Ocean, it is very different! The ocean views are incredibly beautiful! We are enjoying the African city life … travelling in taxis with doors that don’t open, watching beds go by on bicycles, and then tucking up under our mosquito nets each night!

We enjoyed our first Sunday with the church yesterday! Tim preached at two of the four services. I managed to speak and greet the church, giving greetings from Tadley all in Swahili! I had been practicing! And speaking of Swahili, it certainly doesn’t seem easy at the moment although we are trying! Amisadai is speaking with quite a strong African accent already though! It was great to be with the church and we were very warmly welcomed! In typical African style, there was lots of noise and dancing, and even an engaged couple being carried in on shoulders for excited celebrations!

We will be staying here in Dar-es-Salaam for one more week! Our many bags have been very kindly taken to Iringa by Andy Sharpe - who now calls us the “Humongers”!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

We have arrived!

Just a quick blog update to say that we and all our 18 bags are happily in Dar-es-Salaam! We were helped greatly by Adil at Heathrow to get all our bags checked in! We are at Huruma and Joyce's house with Miriam, enjoying chatting in the cool of the house during the heat of the day! We will have photos and more news to add at a later time!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Some good news!!

We are just flying out the door .... and have had a call to say we have tenants for our house! What good news as we go! They may move in by next Tuesday! Praise God!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Kwa heri (Goodbye!)

The big day is finally about to dawn! We are almost all set with bags bulging and passports and tickets at the ready! Travel-sick pills are handy for take-off (that is for Amisadai!) and sun cream, hats and bug spray are handy for landing!

We would like to say such a huge thank you to Tadley Community Church! We had a great send-off yesterday - albeit rather emotional! Thank you so much for the lovely gifts - the photo book is amazing and it will always be out in our new home! Amisadai took it to bed with her last night and has gone through it cover to cover several times already! The girls love their necklaces and we are all thrilled with the camera and will be happy to post lots of photos of our new home for you all to see! Thank you all so much for your love, kind words and cards - it really means a lot to us!

As Tadley Church sent us out, Emmanuel International commissioned us for our next step! And now we wait excitedly (and a little apprehensively maybe!) to see what that will all mean!

The plan as we know so far ...

Tuesday at 7:20pm Depart from Heathrow

Wednesday 7am (5am UK time or 9pm Tues. Vancouver time!) Arrive in Dar-es-Salaam where Huruma will pick us up and take us to his home and Miriam Wingfield will also meet us and take some luggage for us!

Monday, Sept. 20th We will drive with Huruma to Iringa and settle into our new home. Our new address will be PO Box 962, Iringa, Tanzania, East Africa! And we would off course love to hear from you!!

Monday, Sept. 27th Tim and I begin language school - Swahili!

We also would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all of you who have made this possible with your kind support. As you can see from the Growing Support on the blog, we have had amazing and overwhelming support! Thank you all so much! We will send our first newsletter out from Tanzania when we are slightly settled and have something to write about! All our supporters should receive this, as well as anyone who would like to sign up to receive it! We cannot say enough how much we appreciate all that has been given to make this happen! We will do our very best to put your gifts to great use in Tanzania and trust you will appreciate seeing the results! Thank you so much!

So this is it! Amisadai has gone to bed a little teary about it all. Louisa is fine and talking excitedly about it all! I can't believe it is really happening and Tim just takes it all in his calm stride! But we are looking forward to all that this new adventure will involve and know that God goes with us and has it planned more than we could ever imagine! And that is good!