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

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

More Adventures with Animals and Cooking!

As is often the case, a lot of our news end up revolving around animals and cooking! Most of you probably know now about the bee episode (Amisadai wrote about that on her blog). That involved a fair amount of traumatic excitement with the pigs and the dogs ... and Amisadai! The next trauma was while we were away in Magozi. A rabbit happily gave birth to six little bunnies which we have been eagerly anticipating. Unfortunately that night, one of our dogs broke into the hutch and ate the mummy, so the next day, the six bunnies were dead as well. But our animal woes are small compared to the animal action in the village where they face crocodiles whenever they go to collect water or catch fish in the river. Or as happened this week not far from Magozi, four aggressive elephants came through, completely destroying three shambas (crop fields). As well as the danger of these big animals near the village, at harvest time now, that is really bad news for those three families. So a few dead bunnies and traumatised pigs pales in comparison.
Getting the pigs back in their banda after the bees!
We were back in Magozi for three days this week with Rachel and Auntie Ann. We did some more gardening, checking on the trees, planting more seeds and helping the tomatoes along. We checked on the work of the stoves group, who are now back to making stoves after the harvest and have about eighteen made and about twenty fired and ready to sell at the agricultural fair next week. Rachel, the girls and I got mucky with some creative clay work. We all walked rather too far in the heat to visit the Masaii, but were warmly welcomed! And we had a good meeting with the "leaders" group in the evening. Working through Joshua, we were talking about leadership through his example.
Carrying the "kuni"
Louisa managed to create the first minor trauma .... the first day we were in Magozi, we went to the little vegetable stand to buy a few tomatoes and onions to cook a sauce to eat with our ugali. I then got the fire going in the jiko and proceeded to cook the sauce which went into a pot to keep warm and then the ugali. Louisa then picked up the pot of sauce (which had a broken lid) to carry inside to eat, but the hot sauce spilled out and then as she dropped it, poured down her! I ran to her shrieks, and stripped her top off and poured our precious drinking water down her tummy. She was fine, just a little red and very shocked! But the worst of it was all the sauce in the dirt. For those of you who have eaten ugali, it is not so easy to eat without a sauce! And there in Magozi, I couldn't just quickly heat up something else. I had been cooking for over an hour and that was all the tomatoes! After that, we kept Louisa away from carrying food. And while we there, cousin Rachel also perfected her jiko cooking skills!

Tim teaching at the Kilolo Conference
The day before we went to Magozi, we were in Kilolo with Andrew. We were doing a day of teaching for the Pastors and Evangelists Conference. Tim taught on Leadership, I did a cooking demonstration teaching on healthy and efficient cooking, and Andrew taught on Mission and Development. It was a long day, late to start and lunch not until almost 5pm! And it was cold! We were shivering in the morning with our fleeces on! But it was a good day, and Rachel was a great help assisting on the jiko! Amisadai helped as well with showing the pictures and holding paper plates for healthy meals. Louisa on the other hand was a case, and ended up curling up under the flipchart board in the middle of the demonstration!
Louisa dozes while Rachel teaches!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

From a Tiny Seed

We are back up and running with phone and internet again, so here I am again, back blogging! Things have been rather unreliable again - phone/internet, very unreliable water, and a power cut. It has all been a wonderful introduction to life here for Tim's Auntie Ann and cousin, Rachel! And then with tummy bugs and Auntie Ann's fall on day one which gave her a smashing black eye, there hasn't been a dull moment! But all are currently upright, clean and happy, so that's good!

On Wednesday, we all went to Mafinga for the final day of the Mission Course which Tim has been teaching at the Bible College. We took with us Yuda and Ezekiel from Magozi as we were using the Stoves Project as a case study for the course and they came along to speak about it. Tim brought the course to a close and then they looked at the project in the light of all they had learned through the course. At the end, I did a cooking demonstration on the jiko and talked about the other aspects of the project that we have been able to do alongside (gardens, reading and glasses, bread and cake making, nutrition and efficient cooking....). It was a long day due to the long 2 hour wait in the roadworks! But a great end to the course and a real boost to Tim's Swahili!

Tim teaching at the Bible College with Ann and Rachel following along

Rachel doing the cooking demonstration for the students and their wives
We were off early the next morning to Magozi, taking Ezekiel and Yuda with us. We just had two days there, but were able to introduce Ann and Rachel to many of our friends there and show them around. They are still having problems with their water too. There was no water coming out of the new water system. We take drinking water with us each time, but it isn't easy for the people in the village. Rachel was with Ezekiel as he made a stove with some new clay they found in the new village. It thankfully looks much better than the last lot! We did another bread-making lesson. But a lot of the time we were planting trees. We took the ten little seedlings with us and took them to plant near the gardens recently started and also the homes of Mendrad, Yuda and Ezekiel. It is such a small thing, this spindly tree in the middle of dry barreness, but everyone was happy and we hope it grows and encourages hope and growth in many ways!

Tree planting

We were so encouraged and happy to see Mama Juliana's garden. It is a blaze of green in the brown surroundings! Her first tomatoes are ripening (Rachel helped her snip off the side shoots), her cabbage is growing and she is thinking of new things to plant and do with the garden! Thanks, Canada Team ... she would love to show you herself! Kalista is battling bravely on with her garden. She overcame the bugs only to have the pigs break into her garden and completely destroy all the carrots. She is left with a few tomato plants, but when we go back next week, we will help her get things going again and see that another protective barrier is built!

Mama Juliana's garden

The first tomatoes

Monday, 4 June 2012

Happy Birthday, Tim! Karibuni Phil and Helen!

We have had a lovely flying visit from Phil and Helen all the way from Basingstoke! They arrived on the infamous bus on Monday night, toured Iringa on Tuesday, Phil went with Tim to the Bible College in Mafinga on Wednesday, we all went to Magozi on Thursday, came home on Friday to celebrate Tim's birthday before driving with Tim back to Dar early on Saturday morning! It was lovely to see them and show them around, and so very exciting unpacking their bags! Thank you SO much to all those of you who sent things for us with them. We were overwhelmed by your generosity and the girls are SO excited about having all these new clothes! THANK YOU!!!! We just can't wait to see you all now.

Helen has a go at weaving mats
It was great taking them to Magozi, and they managed to be the first visitors not to see any snakes, bats, scorpions, rats ... for which Helen was, I think, most grateful! It was also the coldest there that we have ever had it, which also blessed Helen (although I would have liked it a little warmer at night!) They were able to meet with the stoves group, do some threshing, lead the Bible study evening group and also visit Itunundu, the village where we are planning to work next. We were looking for more clay, but that wasn't so successful!
More threshing!
We celebrated Tim's birthday on Friday evening after getting back from Magozi. We were all very thankful to have the water back on! We had a fruitcake (big treat here!!) with dried fruit I had saved since Christmas after the Tadley team brought some over! I am relaxing the rationing now! It was great to see Andy and Angela, back after their three months in the UK. They felt right back at home arriving to have no water, limited electricity and no internet! After tea and cake we went on for another treat at Sai Villa Restaurant!
Happy Birthday, Tim!
Now Tim and Phil and Helen are in Dar es Salaam (where I hear it is pleasantly cool and breezy, although Phil and Helen may beg to differ!). Tim will be picking up his Auntie Ann and cousin, Rachel on Friday and we are looking forward to some time with them in the next few weeks. Until then, the girls and I are back to school for a bit! And if you want to know more about what that means, check out the girls' first magazine article! They recently wrote for the EI Down to Earth Magazine on their experience of school in Tanzania! Yesterday we enjoyed celebrating the Diamond Jubilee with friends, but watching the celebrations in London, felt very thankful for our warm, dry weather! Check out the girls blog for more on that!