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

Saturday, 26 January 2013

A Hot Landing

From sub-zero temperatures and falling snow in the UK at 5pm to the stifling, humid heat of Dar es Salaam at 7am. A shock to the system! Hard to believe that less than a week earlier we'd been in Canada. Hard to believe that it had been over four months since we last touched African soil. We didn't adjust very quickly to the heat which was soaring into the 40's. Even in the air conditioned tent where the church met on Sunday, although cooler at 7am when we arrived, by the time the service finished at 1:30pm, it was up to 32! Whew!And driving back to Iringa, we were very disappointed that our air conditioning didn't work as we seemed to melt into our seats!

Fun with Geoff on the Pod at Heathrow Airport
But despite the heat, it has been great to see friends again! We were with Huruma and Joyce Nkone in Dar, and then visited Matt and Amy Dixon in Morogoro on the way home. And then warmly welcomed home (and stocked up with food!) by Andy and Angela and the Wingfield family on Tuesday. It is great to be back with the EI team again and catch up and join in with all that is going on! It is also great to be back in our home as a family again! It felt really strange and quiet being just the four of us - I was getting too many knives and forks out! We were all in bed and fast asleep ridiculously early, enjoying the chance to catch up on some much-needed sleep. And then the unpacking ... the girls have been excited, unpacking all the stored boxes of clothes and toys and books. And as well as unpacking the contents of our house, we have been unpacking the bags and boxes we brought with us. With school set up, the kitchen sorted, the supplies of toiletries and "treat" foods stocked up, all that remains is to sort out the clothes ... the girls seem to have grown a bit too much since we left this warmer climate! So we are adjusting well ... even to the shower problems! Louisa's rash on her feet has cleared almost completely for which we are very thankful. We are enjoying our fresh cow's milk again and have tucked in happily to our Tanzanian beans and rice.

I am putting my teacher hat back on again, and have been pulling together plans for this first half term. We will start on Monday ... bring on the Vikings with force and motion! A little daunted but ploughing ahead!

It is exciting to be back and we are so looking forward to this fresh start with perspective gained from our time away. Tim and I have taken some time these past few evenings to talk through and reflect on what we have learned and gained from the past number of months and how we work things out in the coming weeks and months.We know God is ahead of us, and just want to step out and follow! And the exciting thing is that we never really know where that will land us!

We celebrated Impelo's birthday at VCC on Sunday

In true Tanzanian style, Tim is fed some birthday cake

Louisa enjoys her first soda and chapati since last summer!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Tanzania, Here we Come!

This will have to be a quick blog, because we are in the midst of final packing and sorting! Boxing up all the things that just would not fit in, and labelling it in priority list for when someone wings our way! I never did get a hard guitar case, so if anyone hears of one going, please let me know as I'd love to get the guitar out as soon as we can! All that we could fit in, is now weighed and re-weighed and re-weighed again! Labelled with things like "needed in Dar," "needed in Morogoro," "must stay dry," and "can get wet!" Driving 9 hours in the rainy season, we will need to have the right bags on the roof ... not all the new school books! Two bikes are carefully packed up in a rather giant box and hand luggage is weighing a ton! But we are very pleased to be as ready as we are as we had rather an unexpected morning.

I decided to take Louisa to the doctor to check out this very strange rash on her feet. It started on Christmas Eve, and after mystifying two doctors in Canada, it still hasn't gone away, although has faded. But with her still being rather purple and itchy, I thought we should check it before submitting her to further altitude swelling and Dar heat. Two more doctors looked at it and admitted her to the day unit at the hospital for urine and blood tests! So the rest of the morning and early afternoon was spent there, which certainly wasn't on the plan for the day! Two more doctors looked at her, and although mystified as to what it might be, were not worried about kidney problems (which was the initial concern) and have prescribed cream (rather than blood tests) which we really hope will work. So please pray this rash heals quickly and gives us no reason for further concern! Thanks!

As I finish, we want to again thank so many of you for your friendship and support! We have so enjoyed seeing so many of you in the UK and Canada and are just sorry we couldn't do more! Please keep in touch with us while we are back in Tanzania - and we'll try to do more of the same! We already miss Canada, and are about to miss England, but we are very excited about being back in Tanzania! We fly from London at 7pm on Thursday, arriving in Dar es Salaam early on Friday morning. We will be with Pastor Huruma at VCC on Sunday and then drive to Morogoro on Monday. After some time with Matt and Amy Dixon, we will arrive home in Iringa on Tuesday. So until then .... kwa heri!

Goodbye, Canada!

Snow in England!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A Canadian Christmas and New Year

Happy New Year! To our friends all over the world!

We have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and start to 2013 here in Canada. We have enjoyed time with Mom and Dad and Caroline, James, Taylor and Matthew. Swimming, sledding, eating, playing! In less than a week we have celebrated Christmas, Amisadai's 9th birthday and the new year! We also celebrate, with the sadness of saying goodbye, the life of Tim's grandmother who passed away just after Christmas at the amazing age of 101.
Finding Father Christmas at Heathrow Airport on Christmas Eve

Amisadai's 9th Birthday with the Canada Team

Making a gingerbread house with Mama and Taylor

Sledding up Mount Seymour
We are looking forward to our open house on Sunday ... and hope many of you in the area can make it!

Open Afternoon with the Mongers
2:30pm – 5:30pm on Sunday, January 6th
At the King’s Centre (in the Ark)         21783 76B Avenue Langley

We would like an opportunity to thank all those who have been supporting us financially and with prayer and encouragement during our two years in Tanzania with Emmanuel International. We would like to share details about the work we have been doing and plans for the work when we return. So for all those interested, we will be sharing news, stories and photos at 3:00pm with time for discussion and questions following. From 4:00pm it will be an open time to drop in and have a chat!

(Please bring a small plate of finger food to share)
RSVP Brian and Roz Watts wattsb@shaw.ca