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

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Maisy is a BOY!!!

We recently came to the shocking realization that Maisy, our favourite hen is actually is a cock! And another one as well! So that explained their lack of egg production! So very sadly, in yet another Monger chicken saga, we returned the two “boy” chickens, including our beloved Maisy, to their birthplace and swapped them for two “girl” chickens! These two are very young, so we will be waiting quite a while for these to lay … that is providing we don’t notice a suspicious red bit appearing on their heads! But the Great Chicken Swap was another adventure in itself, and that story I will save for the girls to tell you about!

Tim has been getting into more stoves work! We had a two-day visit from Dr. Leonard from Dar es Salaam who is an expert in this field. He came to share his knowledge and skill with Tim and Andrew as they worked together with a team of workers on a large stove for the school in Uhambingeto. This is the school where the rainwater tanks have just been completed. Since getting water, they have been able to serve uji (like porridge) to all the childen. They have been cooking on a large three stone fire, but now, with this stove, they will be able to cook for the children using much less firewood!

The new stove!

Uji time!
While Tim was working on this stove in Uhambingeto, I was at home wishing he might have been building one for me here! We had already been several days without phone or internet, and power has been very off and on, and then on Thursday, the power was out all day … I kept hoping it would come on in time to cook a meal for Tim and Dr. Leonard when they returned! But nothing, and then things got worse with no running water! 6pm approached, and we were expecting them back anytime, and I was wondering what to do! But then it was on! I raced into action, not sure how long it would last, and enchiladas were quickly prepared and cooked! Thankfully, the men were late and we enjoyed a hot meal together at 8pm! But the following morning, we still had no water (we don’t smell too bad, really!!) and again couldn’t wash the clothes! When the water did come on later that morning, we rushed to get the laundry in the machine. And it had a good 5 minutes, and then the power went out again! And so it continued all day … later we had power but the water was off again! So we learn again to appreciate, without taking for granted, the wonderful resources of water and electricity … and make the most of it when we have it! And it is exciting, seeing the need around us here, to be able to help people benefit from having water and managing other resources!

Cooking in our wonderful outside area!

And now today, a week after having no phone or internet, we are very excited to be back online and hope to catch up on some news ... I hear Canada and the UK have snow now!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Let's get cookin' ... almost!

Work has begun! This week all four of us worked together to produce our first fuel-efficient stove! It is exciting to feel we are really starting! Even if we don't yet feel Swahili-confident! The girls thought it was great, mucking about getting very dirty with the red clay! They are looking forward to lots more of this, they made their own little pots as well! The stove has to sit for three weeks and then will be fired and then be ready for use! I can't wait to cook my beans on it! There is lots to do to plan the stoves project .. where and how, and how it will be funded! There are some initial thoughts and plans, but beyond that ....! More about this soon ...

The Monger Pottery

Our works of art (the centre stove was our model!) 
Tim is away at the moment. He is in Dar-es-Salaam for five days. He has gone with Brad, our new Australian friend, who was picking up some Australian missionaries from the airport. Today, Tim has preached four sermons in the four services with Victory Christian Church! I'm sure he is now feeling rather tired! A long day today, following a long drive yesterday, following a rather difficult and eventful few days prior! But tomorrow he has the very important job (amongst other things of course) of buying as many porridge oats as he can to bring back to us!

Meanwhile, the girls and I are being well taken care of here! Lunch with Andrew and Miriam yesterday and roast pork Sunday dinner with Andy and Angela today! Louisa is struggling with a bit of an ear infection tonight, which I hope will quickly clear up! And Amisadai is fine, other than the many bites she got from climbing the dudu-inhabited mango tree today! But my next trick is to climb a papaya tree to get the sap out from an unripe papaya (still on the tree) with which to treat Amisadai's ringworm! I think that will warrant a photo for the blog and we will let you know if it works! Until then, lots of love from Tanzania!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Tim goes up a mountain ...

After missing our usual weekend blogging, there seems to be so much to share! Tim enjoyed an overnight visit in Uhambingeto which I will let him write about! But I just have to say that he went up a mountain and up there in the middle of nowhere, asked a Tanzanian to please do his ironing!! (He meant to ask him to take a photo! The difference between "piga picha" and "piga pasi.")

The girls and I have enjoyed learning about natural dyes, looms and weaving, and after visiting Tanzanian artisans at work are looking forward to working on our own crafts at home! This has also been a good opportunity to learn our colours in Swahili!

The girls and I have been twice this week to a neighbouring house to play with some local Tanzanian girls. Amisadai and Louisa have enjoyed doing crafts and playing with hula hoops and skipping ropes with Alice (10), Grace (7) and Miriam (4). It is great for Amisadai and Louisa to pick up more Swahili! And on the subject on playing outside all the time, the girls have never had such messy legs! Dirt, cuts, scratches, scabs, bites and now ringworm too! It's quite the procedure at bedtime, cleaning and creaming! 

Saturday bike ride round the block!
We cannot let a blog go by without mentioning kuku (chickens) ... and the good news is that we have now had three eggs! For the past three days our big black hen, now appropriately named Furaha (Happy) has laid an egg!

We have bought a solar light! This should help us in the frequent events of power cuts! We have had numerous and various problems with our electricity recently ... this has created minor hassles for things like showering and cooking (especially when the electricity goes out in the middle of these activities ... which has, in both cases, happened!)
And now to Tim: Being invited to go to Uhambingeto to take part in surveying a water project installed 15 years ago was a great privilege. It so happened I had a week off Swahili, as I had no teacher. We left the village at 6:30am so we could climb our mountain before it got too hot. Never have I taken such interest in pipework! I was the official photographer, and filled our memory card with photographs of pipe joints (many of which were broken) as we journeyed up the pipeline to the springs. Unfortunately these sources of water are not giving the amount of water the village needs in the dry season.
Following the pipe
Praying for rain