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

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Chickens, food and water!

Yesterday we had the exciting arrival of our chickens! We picked them up yesterday afternoon and are now the proud keepers of nine hens and a cock! The girls are making friends with them and deciding on their names, as given by their friends in England for their past birthdays!  

 We had a great day on Friday. As part of our language training, the four of us went for a day of cooking with other language students, learning how to cook Tanzanian food and learning the Swahili food and cooking vocabulary! We set off at 7:45am, picking up our teachers and live chickens on the way. 
Preparing vegetables, sorting rice

And then we had a busy morning preparing all the food. It is a very time-consuming task here, starting with preparing all the vegetables (outside, without the chopping boards or peelers that we are used to!) Then the chickens had to be slaughtered and plucked, I must admit that neither Tim or I actually took the knife. And then it was all gutting (ew!!) and chopping (nothing is wasted!) and boiling and frying. We hacked open the coconuts (much more pleasant), grated the fruit off and then squeezed all the goodness out for adding to our beans. We kneaded, rolled and fried mandazi (like donuts) and chapattis. We simmered spicy African chai. It was hot work and the flies were everywhere! But we had a feast by 1:30pm! It was well worth all the hard work and time! It was great fun and very good food, but I have to admit I'm not sure how much my Swahili improved!

Tim and our teacher cooking chapattis!

    

Chicken ready to pluck!

This week we have had trouble getting running water. We lost running water on Tuesday and so the following afternoon, rather than wait for the “water officials” to fix the problem, which was just up the road from us, Spedito and Mikdadi thought we could solve the problem much quicker ourselves. We all went to the Kihesa market where a new pipe section was bought. Then they went with their spades and dug up the problem, put the new piece on the pipe, wrapped things up with rubber and buried it all again! And lo and behold, we had running water again! We would never get away with doing this in the UK! We enjoyed the running water long enough to have a shower and refill our buckets. But the next morning (Thursday) the water stopped again! We had further water problems on Friday, which is a whole other story which involved the help of the Sharpes visiting friend, Howard, who happens to be a plumbing expert who looked incredulously into the whole state of affairs while Spedito got very wet!
 
Spedito and Mikdadi working on the pipe!
But we got our water again on Friday afternoon and now appreciate, very much more, our water supply and the great blessing it is to have running water. We were fine, as we had buckets on hand and could buy drinking water, but for so many people here it is a very different story. It is still hard (although a little easier now) to imagine travelling hours each day in the heat with a heavy bucket of water on my head. And seeing how quickly our garden suffered without water, and seeing the dryness of the land at the moment, we see firsthand the reality of the problem for so many people here, and are excited to be here and see the rainwater harvesting projects in action! In Uhambingeto they have almost finished the seventh and final rainwater tank for the secondary school, which means all the tanks will be finished in time to collect the first rain! And what a huge difference that makes for those teachers and children!

1 comment:

  1. Rebekah will be so jealous of the chickens! She has plans to hatch our own....
    The water saga reminds me of when we were in Ghana and had to collect all our water from the well. It certainly makes you appreciate what a precious resource it is!

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