We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.
Wednesday, 4 January 2012
Gold Prospectors and German Loot
A Tanzanian New Year saw us and Andy and Angela sitting outside our beach banda by citronella candlelight, well covered with DEET, with some English party poppers and some fizzy drink! In true African style the power had gone out ... we had been squeezed inside with our little light as the heavens opened earlier in the evening! With great effort Angela and I managed to keep Andy and Tim up and awake with games of Pass the Pigs, Chicken and cards! All good fun and a happy start to the New Year!
The "early" party poppers!
Happy New Year!
We enjoyed a very relaxing few days at Lake Nyasa with the Sharpes. It was really too hot to do much of anything during the heat of the day, so we enjoyed lots of reading and games. And the lake was lovely at both ends of the day for a swim and some water balloon fun (except for paranoid Louisa who screamed in protest as the balloons might be forever lost!) Amisadai loved trying out Andy's snorkel and for a good deal of the time all we could see was her bottom!
Our first full day at the beach was Amisdai's 8th birthday! We had brought a cake and candles and plenty of balloons - including some really cool LED light-up balloons from Mama and Papa in Canada which lit the evening dinner table festively! She opened some lovely presents, mostly from the super grandparents who planned very well ahead!
After our time at the Lake, we went exploring for the last two days. First a volcanic crater lake full of German coins and treasures! Just above the lake are the remains of an old German military post and when British forces were pursuing the Germans in the First World War, before evacuating the post, the Germans threw their valuables in the lake rather than let the Brits get their hands on it. But approaching the lake confidently, Amisadai said "these Brits will!" The coins are still being found and the girls enjoyed treasure hunting with the snorkel. Unfortunately they were unsuccessful, but a young guy did show us his find; a 1910 German coin!
It's just another shell!
Our second exploration was to the Daraja la Mungu (Bridge of God). This fascinating geological sight is a natural bridge over the Kiwera River, cut out of a lava flow overlying the metamorphic rocks. We crossed over it on foot and made a good study of the different rocks around for our upcoming study unit on rocks!
Crossing over the Bridge
After a night's sleep in Mbeya we finished our explorations with some gold prospecting! We drove up an amazingly scenic road to one of the highest points of all Tanzanian main roads. The view was spectacular and its location as the center of the great "Lupa" goldrush of the 1920' and 30's was very exciting for the girls! Apparently there is still some small scale mining and prospecting done today and we found some deeply dug holes scattered about so the girls were in to check them out. Alas, unsuccessful again! The last time we went panning for gold was at Fort Langley in Canada. I think we have another history study unit developing...