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

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Variety is the Spice of Life

"Variety's the very spice of life that gives it all its flavour." (William Cowper, 1731-1800) I loved this about our life in Tanzania and life here seems as varied as ever! One day I was shadowing the village butcher in Kingsclere, then the next soaking up culture with a string quartet in Covent Garden, followed by discussions on agricultural development in the Houses of Parliament. One minute I am reading up and planning units on Vikings and outer space and and then I'm thinking about nutritious, medicinal gardens in Tanzania. One moment I feel quintessentially English, welly-traipsing through the beautiful Cotswolds in all its Autumnal glory, and then I am wrapped in a khanga, Tanzania-style cooking ugali on a jiko in someone's back garden - yes, freezing cold!

The Cotswolds
It was great fun shadowing the village butcher! But really, it bore little resemblance to my butchery experience in Tanzania. This pig (actually, just half a pig) had been drying out for a few days, and was a clean cut of pig with no slimy guts, squelching fat or dripping blood. The butcher was rather incredulous when I told him of my tree-hanging, blood-draining, gut-removing antics when he asked if the pigs arrived to me to Tanzania in the same prepared state! With his razor sharp knife and saw, he had the half in sections in minutes. But that was as far as I got in my lesson ... not into chops, steaks, mince, bacon. It was a stark contrast to my Lulu endeavour! But I took plenty of notes and photos and hope to return for one more lesson.

 This week we are in Devon with Tim's family for half term. We arrived last night and are staying in a lovely big house on Pitt Farm, with the original Lulu! We stayed here together the Easter before we moved to Tanzania, and met Lulu the pig, the namesake of our own late Lulu. The cousins are having great fun being together. But unfortunately, in the rush and excitement to get to the swimming pool this morning, Louisa went flying and cut up her knee. So she added a little spice of a different sort today as she had her first experience of A&E in the UK! It was too bad to do this on the first day of holiday, particularly when this week was her opportunity with a swimming pool to learn to swim. But I was just thankful it happened here rather than Magozi! Here, there is a hospital nearby and Auntie Carleen is a nurse ... and there is chocolate (thanks to Grandma) and a Hello Kitty magazine treat (thanks to Auntie Carleen)!

So with all that variety, I feel life has plenty of flavour at the moment! And I think it is more a case of "what's chilin' in Devon" rather than "what's cookin'" as we were shocked to find ice ("Wow! Real ice") outside this morning! Oooh - it was for sure and certain the coldest I have been yet!

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