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

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Ups and Downs

This week has not been such an easy week. It has had its share of frustrations and sadness. We felt very far away for the funeral on Wednesday of our dear friend, Janet Field, who recently passed away after a tough battle with cancer. Our little frustrations here pale in comparison. But we have been frustrated with language learning and changing lesson schedules! And frustrated with our ongoing failure to get any internet – we miss being in good communication with people, but more particularly for the girls’ school I had am missing the accessibility I had counted on for online resources! The three girls have not been too well – Louisa came down poorly first last weekend and Amisadai and I followed. Nothing much, just tummy upsets, feeling generally grotty! And when I was feeling most disgruntled about it all, the power went out and then when I felt even more disgruntled, the water turned off. So I should learn not to get disgruntled! Really, we have so very much to be grateful for, but I do regretfully sometimes forget!

We had a lovely time Saturday evening with our gardener/day watchman, Spedito and his family who came for a meal. He and his wife have three children, and Amisadai and Louisa had a great time playing (and practicing their Swahili) with the older two, Roberta and Raymond.

On Sunday we went to the nearby Pentecostal Church in Iringa. We had phoned to say we would be going to visit the church, and somewhere in translation lost a few things! We arrived at 9am to discover that they had been waiting since 7:30am for Tim to preach. So while Tim put a sermon together in his head, I took the girls out to the Sunday School where I then found myself teaching (in attempted Swahili) a class of children ranging from age 2 to 16! We returned at 10:30am to find the adult Sunday School finishing and the Swahili service starting, in which Tim preached very well (with a translator). We left at about 1:30 to go with a lovely family for lunch at their home. They were so hospitable, generous and kind and would not let us leave without giving us one of their chickens. This I had to carry home on my lap as the girls who were in the boot (as we had others needing a lift in the back seat) did not want it flapping about with them back there! We felt very welcomed by the whole church and are hoping to make this our church home!

And to finish off with some more good news, Tim has completed 4 stoves and has started the kiln this week. And … we got our first lemon from our lemon tree so lemon bread today!

We will try and add some photos later!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Bandas and Bunnies and a View from the Rock

The Jiko Banda

 As you will see from the photo, Tim now has a banda for stove-making, as well as some lovely blue overalls! He is now on his third jiko, although unfortunately the first was washed away in the heavy rains before the banda was built. They will soon start making the kiln in which to fire the stoves. We still need to find a local Tanzanian to work with him as the projects gets underway in the villages and would appreciate you prayers for the right person. Language studies continue to go well. Tim is practicing hard with lots of flashcards and preparing for his first sermon to preach in Swahili in a couple of weeks. I meanwhile, have just learned how to construct hypothetical sentences in Swahili – very useful!

Bunnies are growing quickly. They are very cute and a lot of fun! Over Christmas, Tim worked on the large rabbit run and much to the girls delight, they fit in as well as the bunnies!

A few weeks ago, we climbed Gangilonga Rock with Laura and the girls’ three friends, Tianna, Abeni and Kaiya. It was a relatively short, very steep climb to an amazing viewpoint on a sheer rock! From here we could see our house and across Iringa to the hills on the other side. Beautiful!

We are again posting this blog from Andy and Angela’s house, as we are still without internet! So our apologies to many readers for the lack of communication on our part! Now to post the blog Amisadai typed up after school today! Find the girls at http://mongergirls.blogspot.com/

Monday, 10 January 2011

Happy New Year!

This is first blog in a while and there seems to be so much to blog about! We haven’t had any phone or internet at all for over week and before that it was very sporadic and infrequent (as our electricity continues to be!). But we were very pleased to get Andy and Angela back with us from their Christmas in the UK, and right now I am using their internet…

Since Christmas we have celebrated our first two family birthdays in Africa! Amisadai turned 7 on Dec 30.. My birthday was on Friday and we celebrated with our first meal out in Iringa. Tim and I enjoyed a curry and the girls were very excited about their first pizza since we were in England! I enjoyed a bit of pizza just for the cheese on the top! And the exciting news on my birthday was that a third chicken started laying eggs for us! So we persevere with the chickens after some doubting moments over Christmas with yet another death and no egg production. Hamna shida sasa (no problem now).
My birthday meal out

Our five new bunnies are almost two weeks old now and have opened their eyes, gained some fur and weight and started scampering about! They are very cute, and the girls love them. We are still waiting for the other rabbit to give birth… any day now!
Playing with the bunnies

The two old rabbits met their end last week. This was all another very new experience! Spedito did the duty with the knife and with amazing speed had him skinned and gutted. Then he gave the poor thing to me! I had hoped Lucy would do the next bit, but she unfortunately had a family funeral and so I was on my own. But with a little help with the bone cutting from Spedito, I soon had it simmering and made into a delicious pie. As I grated in some nutmeg, I felt just like Mrs MacGregor. All in a day’s work!

Rabbit Pie
Back to work
After a great break, we are enjoying getting back into the swing of things. The girls started school again on January 4th and we are into Florence Nightingale for studies in literacy, history, geography. And we are doing a unit on “Forces and Movement” for science, DT and math. I started language school again on Thursday. Tim has been several times to Uhamingeto for work on the water harvesting and church building projects there and also saw the new “banda” (shelter) that has been built there for the institutional stove that was made last month to cook porridge for the school children. Here at the office, he has been doing research for the stoves project and is seeing a banda completed for our “pottery” so we can begin making lots of stoves.

Happy New Year
We hope we will soon be back online and back in communication with people again. Sitting in the dark with no power or phone lines, does make you feel rather out of touch with the world. Thank you for your Christmas cards; we love hearing from you and the Christmas cards are still coming! Happy New Year to you all!