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

Monday, 6 December 2010

Mzungu Woman on a Bike!

Yes, this Mzungu (white person) now has a bike! And I was a great source of entertainment to Tanzanians as I tried it out on a lap around the market last week! It is no easy feat riding a strange bike, in a skirt, through throngs of people with bananas on their heads, water cans on their carts or sacks on their bikes. They are all staring at me, pointing, laughing, smiling, as I try to remain decent with my skirt flapping about and remain stable and erect while avoiding the bumps and deep ditches! I have never seen a Tanzanian woman on a bike in Iringa and this may be why! But now I have a bike, it will save so much time going to and from school, not to mention the running costs of the land cruiser! The only downside is now I must also use it to go to the market. And this is where I really am a Mzungu, as I cannot imagine being able to ride up that hill back home, with my bike overloaded with pineapples and bags of rice, with mangoes and bananas on my head and buckets of flour hanging from my handlebars!

Last week, amidst the excitement of bartering for my second-hand bike, we enjoyed a visit from the new EI International Director, Doug Anderson. He came to see how we are all getting on here in Iringa! It was great to meet him, share what we are doing and be encouraged by him.

The EI Team with Doug Anderson (third in from left)
 I am typing this blog entry with no internet, and wonder when I will be able to post this! It has been another day without power, but we now know the pattern, and so it is possible to plan (flexibly!) accordingly! We seem to have a day/evening with power, followed by a day with no power until 8pm and then on the third day, power until 6pm. So the candles are getting low and we have even resorted to eating frozen bread as hunger strikes before we can cook anything! We did end up in the dark when Doug came for dinner last week. Thankfully, the meal was almost ready when the lights suddenly and unexpectedly dimmed. I ran to the kitchen, hoping to quickly fry the meat before we lost all power. But I only made it as far as the door! We were able to cook the meat on the kerosene burner outside and ate by candlelight – the only further mishap, caused by our lack of candleholders, was a lit candle that toppled onto Doug’s serviette! It was all rather miraculous, that we (1) enjoyed a hot meal and (2) didn’t go up in flames!


  1. Linda Fitzmaurice7 December 2010 at 02:30

    I do wish to see a photo of you after your first day of shopping, please! That description above just BEGS for a photo!
    I cannot ride a bike (no balance!) and would be the very last person to blame you if you still use the land cruiser for shopping! xx

  2. You may set off a bike trend in your part of Tanzania. As well as stoves Tim may soon be assembling push bikes by the dozen!

  3. This bike looks super cool I want one for myself.Love your smile in the last picture!It looks like you and your family had an amazing time enjoying.Let me start by saying I think this is great.Awesome find and write up.

  4. This is pretty awesome! I find that just waking up with a positive attitude works.Great post on getting trip sponsorship from a real pro. Thanks for sharing your expertise. This has some great advise to go school with bike.Love his smile in the fast picture! Thank you for the link to the bike.


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