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

Friday, 27 April 2012

Seedlings and Stoves in Dodoma

Papaya seedlings
The new car passed its first test! We bumped and bounced for six hours on the dirt road to Dodoma and arrived all in one piece! Crews are working on a new road, which will be great for a future trip, but for now, it just meant you had to stay alert to which bit of road was the right bit to drive on as great chasms would suddenly appear where water drainage was being put in! Actually the branches in the road or the red and white tape did a good job most of the time, but at times you felt the need to doublecheck!

We went to Dodoma to check out the work of Sunseed, a UK/TZ trust that works in rural villages in the Dodoma region with energy development programmes. They have a fuel-efficient stoves project similar to ours and also have an agroforestry component which is something we would like to add to what we do. We thoroughly enjoyed spending two days with them as they toured us around the various projects they are involved in and we shared together information and ideas.

Studying a "rocket stove" in a village home
We visited several schools where they have helped to install large institutional stoves enabling the school to cook daily for the children. We also visited villages where they have trained a small number of people to build rocket stoves in local homes. It was interesting to see the different methods and technology they use to address similar problems to those we address here in Iringa.
The institutional stove at a village school
(being used to cook porridge for the children)

Uji (porridge) for the school children
We visited the home of a man Sunseed have trained to manage a small nursery business, growing and selling seedlings for reforestation. And we visited several schools in which Sunseed have run agroforestry projects to teach and encourage staff and students to grow and plant tree seedlings. They grow a great variety of trees for shade, fruit, firewood and timber. We were able to learn a lot and think about all that is involved in the practical care of the trees and issues of project sustainability. We are excited about the potential for incorporating tree-planting into the work in the Iringa region and now need to look ahead as to how this can best be implemented! If any of you readers can offer any expert advice, we would love to hear from you; or if you know of any means of funding this type of project, please get in touch!

A local nursery (run by the man on the right)
A school seedling project
Then God planted a garden in Eden, in the east. He put the man he had just made in it. God made all kinds of trees grow from the ground, trees beautiful to look at and good to eat. Genesis 2:8-9

In Dodoma we stayed at the MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) guesthouse.What a great place! We were well looked after, with delicious meals being prepared for us to order! And we met some lovely people there, working with MAF and also SIL (Summer Institue of Linguistics). The girls thoroughly enjoyed being on the compound with new playmates and a playground and ... a swimming pool!!  What a treat! A great place to be for a birthday, and Louisa really enjoyed herself! I think the girls will blog their side of the story this weekend!

Happy 6th Birthday, Louisa!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Get Around

As much as it is nice to be back home, to settle back into our own bedrooms again and get back into family routine, it does also feel rather flat after the fun and activity since the beginning of March! We have so enjoyed all our visitors and the blessing and encouragement they bring themselves and also from many of you. We feel we have so many thank-you's to say, and can't seem to do justice to the appreciation we have for so many people!
Thank you, Langley!

Thank you, Tadley!
It was great to be in Magozi with the Liriano family from Tadley for Easter. We saw the kitchen gardens, ranging from not so good to very good in their progress! But we are really encouraged by the response from the individuals involved and their push to continue with this idea! We made bread and a failed cornbread on the jiko in Magozi, but didn't attempt hot cross buns!

Easter in Magozi
We had Easter Monday back in Iringa, and then had a more traditional celebration with some homemade hot cross buns and a special gift of some lamb! We enjoyed lots of fun with the Liranos ... and lots of treats! Hasty Tasty samosas, a meal out at Sai Villa, lots of sweeties, horse riding, chocolate chip cookies (thank you, Janice!), days out and ... a lovely time at Tandala complete with a swimming pool and a gamedrive in Ruaha National Park! It has been a really fun and special time!

Swimming at Tandala
We took the Lirianos back to Dar on Saturday and while there had the great excitement of picking up our NEW CAR! It has been an amazing process getting this car and we are so thankful for God's provsion and blessing through so many of you! It proved to take much longer than we had thought to find a good vehicle, and I know many of you were wondering what we were doing! But with the help of Mr Harold, a friend in Dar es Salaam who owns a number of serivce stations and knows cars like the back of his hand, the wait was over just two weeks ago! We arrived at Victory Service Station after dropping off the Canadians where we and Mr Harold met with the owner of this Toyota Land Cruiser. We watched and listened in awed amazement to the negotiatons between Harold (on our behalf) and the owner. He started negotiations a full 9 million below the asking price, and then wouldn't budge! He is a master of negotiation! In the end, despite the attempts of the owner to push the price up, Harold told him in quite clear terms to park the vehicle in the station, drop the keys at his office and return in the morning to complete the deal!! We were stunned! We returned to Iringa with the Lirianos and while they literally pushed us around in the old car, Harold saw to all the fixing up of the new vehicle like AC repairs, new seat covers, new tires ...  We are very excited to be getting around without needing to push to start, without losing the clutch and stalling when you come to a halt, without having to stop suddenly on the road and start again in first gear and without rolling backwards on a hill without a handbrake! Today, while the girls and I try to remember what school is all about here, Tim is in Magozi along with the Development Officer of the Diocese. It will be a good opportunity to look at all that is happening there and consider the future of the project. We are looking forward to this next season of work in Magozi, establishing and consolidating the work for it to be self-sustaining and also meanwhile looking ahead to how we grow the project elsewhere and also strengthen, encourage and equip individuals for leadership.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Bye, Hi and a New Car!

I wish I had much more time to write as there seems so much to blog! But we had to pass on some good news! During all the goodbyes to the Canadian team and welcoming the Liriano family, we have now found and bought a car!!! More about all this later, but we wanted you all to know, especially those of you who so generously made this possible! We will pick the car up when we take the Lirainos back to Dar next week! Very exciting! Thank you so much for your help and prayers!

The new car ... any name suggestions?

We are all having such a lovely time with Karl, Sarah, James and Dan. The girls are so thrilled to have the boys to play with! It has been fun doing "holiday" things with them, exploring rocks and riding horses ...

Tomorrow we are all heading off to Magozi for the Easter weekend. We are looking forward to seeing how the gardens are doing as well as celebrating this important holiday with the church there! No hot cross buns there though!

So as we head off, we want to say Happy Easter to you all!

Farewell to Patti, Tia and Dean at the beach with samosas!

Fun with the Lirianos

Rock climbing!