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

Monday, 30 January 2012

Life at the Equatorial Arctic

Louisa's Antarctic snow scene
We had snow!
We've had great adventures exploring the Arctic and Antarctica this week! It was one of those times that homeschooling is just so much fun - and as much as I am happy teaching the girls, I can't always say that! But I learnt a lot too - I learned how to gut a fish! We ate fish and bannock (Inuit bread) and made snow scenes and experimented with blubber and insulating materials.  Thank you to all those of you who have sent craft supplies out - the white card, cottonballs, glitter, glue, paint and tissue paper and even all the packaging came in very useful and we had fun making marshmallow polar bears - thanks, Sarah! I'll let the girls say more when they post some of their explorer logbooks later!

Life size penguins and polar bears
Tim went on his own to Magozi this week and after a delayed start due to a collapsing road which left him VERY stuck in the mud he did arrive in one piece! You can see Louisa's blog for her literary version and some photos, but it was a bit of excitement, as even with all the people out there helping, we still had a very difficult time! We tried pushing then pulling; we had to help out the rescue Landrover which got stuck trying! We had a herd of cows traipse through the action, the front hook flew off ... And now over to Tim for his news from Magozi...
Rescuing the rescue vehicle!
While in Magozi, I picked up the stoves which were to be given as Christmas presents for our house workers here in Iringa; rather late because we were out of phase with the cycle of making, drying and firing stoves and so there were no fired stoves ready at Christmas time. Never mind, our workers were delighted to receive them this week. The stove group fired 60 stoves last week, so well done to them. On the Wednesday, four stove group members asked to go to Itunundu (a large village about 20 km away) for a reconnaissance visit looking for selling and marketing opportunities. We found the village office, were welcomed by the village leaders and the group gave an impromptu stove presentation. The leaders were very impressed and welcomed us warmly. Afterwards, we found the Itunundu village market and the four started trying to sell stoves. The group were impressed at what an opportunity the market gives and are inspired for next time with ideas of what to do with presentations, cooking demonstrations and food tasting! We then visited the home of the Pentecostal pastor whom I had met previously and who had said he'd like a stove project in Itunundu. We finally made it back to Magozi in the dark but pretty satisfied having sold 3 of the 5 stoves we took to show. Not bad for a fact-finding mission!

Showing the stoves
On Thursday, I drove several of the stove group into the forest to get some clay samples. Two had previously gone the 3-4km on foot. After checking with them it was possible to reach this place by car, I set off with them. There followed a tricky 2 km drive of trying to find the way and avoid getting a puncture by missing prickles. Eventually I was told, "we're lost!" They did find another way and what looks to be plenty of good clay. We just had time to visit a nearby Masai community and I was given 3 litres of fresh Masai yoghurt, before returning to Magozi!
The Masai children washing the "kibuyu" (gourd for carrying milk)


  1. Linda Fitzmaurice30 January 2012 at 03:58

    Just out of interest... how much do the stoves sell for?
    I see that Masai are potential customers as they use a (albeit adapted and more modern version of) three-stone stove. :-)

    1. 5000Tsh which is just under £2.50 or $4Cdn (would you like to place an order, Linda?)

  2. Great news about the stove sales. This will really encourage the Magozi team about the business opportunities. Maybe we should start importing jikos to the UK. Edwin


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