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

Monday, 13 August 2012

Woven into Something Beautiful

In Magozi last week, I was practising my mkeka-making skills. Long khambas (like rushes) are woven into strips which are sewn together into mats. I brought dye powder with me from Iringa for our friends, the evangelist and his wife, Rose. On the jiko they boiled the water in which we dyed the pale brown strips pink, purple and yellow. They were then dried in the sun before being bundled up ready to weave. About 27 strips of khamba (including a few coloured strips) are tied together and then woven in and out, It is a beautiful and simple handicraft, one that we see quite a few people in the village doing at this time of year when the harvest is in. The girls and I have enjoyed weaving strips, and have collected khambas to bring back with us so that we can do some weaving in England!

Khamba in the dye

Khambas drying in the sun

Laying out khamba to dry

Weaving the mats

Learning with a few khambas
A strip made with many khambas

Individual strands are woven together and what results is something beautiful and something useful. Sometimes there is some pulling and tugging, sometimes there is some trimming and cutting. Some strands are different, and that is what makes the uniqueness of the pattern. But if one strand is taken out, everything is misshapen and the pattern broken. If one strand becomes hard, it cracks and will break unless soaked and softened. Underneath looks messy with strands hanging out at angles as one strand ends and another enters to take its place, but on the top all is smooth with the pattern continuing and unending.
Lives intertwined, we have a Master Weaver with a master plan. We each have our place if we bend in His hands. Woven into something beautiful.

EI has just posted this video clip which is all about the school here in Ikuku where Andy and Andrew have been working on the water, sanitation and hygiene project. Take a look!


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