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

Thursday, 28 April 2011

A Rice Cooking Competition!

We are back home now after our Easter in Dar-es-Salaam. It was sad to say goodbye to my parents after our fun two weeks which passed all too quickly, but we went from the airport to have a night at the beach in Bagamoyo with Huruma and Joyce and family, which was a welcome and fun distraction! And we went on to stay with them and celebrated Easter and Louisa's birthday.

Louisa's Party! With Kenny, Jimmy and Joan and Edmund.

On the last Sunday that my parents were with us, we went to Magozi for our first jiko (stove) demonstration ... a Cooking Competition! Magozi is an hour and a half drive way - and it was a pretty bumpy ride at the end of the rainy season here! But we were pleased to make it after the car wouldn't start at home and then again wouldn't start again after filling up with diesel! But thanks to the vaseline in Mom's purse, a small pair of pliers and good friend Andy, we were soon fixed and on our way!

After the church service, we all went outside and two women volunteered, amid the cheers, to cook rice, one on the three-stone fire and the other on our jiko. We provided all they needed - equal amounts of water, oil, firewood and rice and at the signal, they got cooking! People really enjoyed watching the whole thing - I'm not sure where else such a crowd would stay for such a time watching water boil! But there were cheers for the jiko when the water boiled! We had done a series of tests beforehand comparing cooking on an open fire with a jiko; tests showed that the jiko really does use significantly less firewood and also produce less smoke. We were fervantly hoping all would go according to plan and the jiko would win! It did! It was good fun and the jiko definitely gained in popularity! We gave two as gifts to the pastor and the evangelist and have since heard they are using them and really like them!

Stout, our invaluable worker, measuring the temperature of the water on the three-stone fire

Weighing the remaining firewood (yes, my lovely Canadian kitchen scales are rather worse for wear now!)

Today we were really pleased to find the pastor of the Magozi church was in Iringa and able to come and have lunch with us. He and Tim along with other village leaders and Mr Duma (the government official responsible for development in the area) are meeting next Friday to officially initiate the project. Following that, a "jiko group" will be established, who we will work closely with to start the production and marketing of the stoves. We are really looking forward to working with this group; building relationships, making stoves together, studying the Bible, discussing business training, and the practice of efficient, healthy cooking. We plan to move to live in Magozi for the summer as this groups gets going.

And so we are busy getting ready for the project, (including making more stoves, which has hiccuped a bit as we try to get the Magozi clay to stop cracking!). I am having a Tanzanian cooking morning next week with Mama Kiri to practice cooking on the jiko and try out nutritious local recipes. The girls and I are pushing ahead to try and finish the schoolyear a bit early. This is involving some late nights as I prepare for the end of this year and also try to plan out Year 1 and 3 for September to see what resources we need to get here before then! Tim is preparing to teach at a Pastors Conference in Mwanza next month and preparing some sermons in English and Swahili for the next few weeks. And that is "what's cookin' in Tanzania"!  

Monday, 18 April 2011

Family Fun

We have had a wonderful few weeks with my parents visiting from Canada! I brought them back from the airport in Dar es Salaam on the bus, and they were greeted by two very excited girls at the bus station in Iringa. We have had two weeks of fun; we have celebrated a record number of birthdays and Christmasses in two weeks and had more visits to Hasty Tasty for mandaazis and samosas than we've had all year!

A meal out at Sai Villa

Teaching Mama to make a jiko

Celebrating Louisa's birthday (which really is on Sunday!)
We are leaving for Dar es Salaam very early tomorrow morning to catch the Upendo Budget bus and hope to arrive in the afternoon in time to enjoy a farewell dinner by the Indian Ocean. Mum and Dad then fly home and we are going to join our good friends Huruma and Joyce and children for a few days at the beach. We will join them to celebrate Easter with their church and return home early next week. And we will be back in our blogging routine again then! Until then, Happy Easter to you all!