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

Friday, 28 June 2013

Malawi: Amazing Creation!

Here are some photos of our time in beautiful Malawi! Didn't God do a good job of creation!

Click here for a slideshow!
Malawi 2013

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Babu and Bibi visit Malawi and Kimande

Sorry we haven't been updating the blogs recently ... technical difficulties! Thankfully it seems to have sorted itself out! So we are back!

We are in Dar es Salaam at the moment, but we have been all over the place recently! We have had a great time with Tim's parents, who flew home last night after a lovely stay at Kipepeo Beach. Since our last blog, when we were exploring tea in Mufindi, we have been down to Malawi. We had two nights up in the mountains near Livingstonia and two nights down by the Lake. We stayed at The Mushroom Farm on the steep, 15km winding road up to Livingstonia, a "don't-look-down" rough road with hair-pin bends! The Mushroom Farm is just incredible with spectacular and breath-taking views. The best view is from the shower in the only ensuite banda which is perched on the edge of the mountain. Without a wall of any kind across the back, you sit on your throne or stand under the shower on the edge of the mountain, looking over mountains and the lake. Another lovely view is from the hammock in the eating area which hangs from two trees on the very edge of the cliff! A fantastic place to stay! 

Relaxing in the hammock

The sunrise view from our bed

Louisa on the "throne!"

Bathroom with a view!

At the Lake
We had a day exploring Livingstonia, with its rich history from its beginnings with the Scottish Mission of Dr Robert Laws. We saw the rocks which in 1959, spelled out a message to the world of living together peacefully, breaking down dividing walls. It was during a time of racial tension as Malawi sought its independence. The British, knowing that there were Brits on the mountain in Livingstonia, flew over and dropped a message, asking for a return message regarding their safety. They would fly over the following day and wanted to know if they needed help/evacuating so would look for a sign on the ground. After prayer and discussion, the people in Livingstonia wanted to give a message to the world, so they took stones and spelled out EPHESIANS 2:14 on the ground in front of the mission house. They wanted everyone to know that black and white could live together as brothers and sisters. They were doing it in Livingstonia. The photo of the stones and their story was published in the newspapers the next day. What a brilliant message to the world. And the stones still stand there today.

Ephesians 2:14
We also hiked to the caves behind a large waterfall, which was where locals fled to hide from the slave traders. It was a sobering feeling to crouch in those rocks behind the noisy falls, thinking of those people and families who had crouched in the same place in fear for their lives. But another awesome and spectacular part of God's creation! Standing on the edge of the falls, in all its power and beauty.

The caves behind the waterfall


Soon after getting back to Iringa from Malawi we were off to Kimande. This was our first overnight visit to the village where we will be starting the new stoves project. The work on the house has been completed, with the dirt floor covered with a layer of concrete and doors and windows put in and an outhouse (which is bigger than our Magozi one, with a separate area for washing, which is pretty exciting really!) We were so warmly welcomed by the Pastor and his family who have given us the house to live in and served us so generously with food while we were there. It was good to be with the Church. Tim's Dad preached and Tim translated on the Sunday morning. In the afternoon, Tim's Mum led an English class for a small group. Several people had asked if we could teach some English while we are with the village, and this was a lovely way of starting something. We had chai together and Tim's Mum started, with a couple of whiteboards, on some basic English phrases and vocabulary.
English Café

People in the village are busy getting their rice harvest in and will soon be finished and we are pleased the house is ready for us to move in then. We are probably going to move in next week (beginning of July) which is exciting. But feeling slightly daunted as well at the thought of all that needs to happen before that, and all that living there will entail!


Saturday, 1 June 2013

Blocked in by Tomatoes

It's been a week full of excitement here with adventures in Dar es Salaam, Tim's parents arriving laden with exciting things, a Medieval Feast, a fuel-efficient stove cooking demonstration, a trip to a tea factory ... and  more excitement to come tomorrow with Tim's birthday!

We travelled to Dar last week - stopping off as usual for a lovely (although far too short) break with the Dixons on the way. While in Dar, we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to visit the International School of Tanganyika and speak to young students there about the work we do with Emmanuel International with the fuel-efficient stoves project. Our invitation to speak there came through Martin Shaw and we had a lovely time catching up with Martin and Esther, who are from our church in Tadley and now live in Dar. Also while in Dar, we didn't enjoy the opportunity to go shopping for bags for Lucy's cinnamon buns! We drove into a huge market area and were soon surrounded by traffic (on foot and all kinds of wheels) and loads of tomatoes. It was utter madness! I had been given helpful directions to find a guy that sold bags with my reference point being Mr Button's Shop. As soon as we spotted it, I hopped out and Tim attempted to park - without crushing too many tomatoes being sold from the ground. Clinging close to my bag, I made my way through the covered market, through stalls and stalls of all kinds of things from chicken feeders to drums to baskets and pots and pans... and tomatoes. With a little help, I was led to the bags and found the perfect size for the cinnamon buns. And then struggled to find the way back to Tim and the car. I found the car buried behind a group of ladies who had all spread their tomatoes and onions out in front of the car! So I helped them move all the piles of tomatoes so that we could reverse out. I was happy to have bags (now I won't keep temporarily losing my baking tray every time Lucy sells buns!) but Tim was far from happy navigating through the chaos, especially as we came perilously close to a cart loaded with wood (not tomatoes). I'll take a taxi next time!

Things perked up that evening, as Tim's parents arrived! As well as relaxing in some beautiful spots, we enjoyed a lovely time with Huruma and family, and an amazing "International Day" with Victory Christian Church on Sunday. It was vibrantly exciting to be part of their service, celebrating the fact that with all the many nations that were represented there, we are all part of one family.

Lunch with Martin and Esther
Back in Iringa this week, it was sadly the end of era as we finished our study of Medieval History. But we finished with a flourish with a fun, although rather thrown together Medieval Feast! With hay on the floor and no plates or cutlery, as you can imagine, the girls loved it! And I have to say, we were all pleasantly surprised with the Pease Porridge!  I'm sure the girls will have more to say about that in their blog soon! They will also have more to say about the latest field trip to a Tea Factory. We all learned so much about how we get that cup of tea and that is another thing I will now appreciate more!
Louisa tucking into Pease Porridge
Tea Picker

The Tea Experts

The "tea trip" was a brilliant tag-on to a trip we took to Mafinga to teach at the Bible College. As you know, Tim is currently teaching a course on "Introduction to Mission" and this week was a case study using the stoves project as an example. It was lots of fun getting all the students (including the other year group and wives as well) outside for a cooking demonstration on the jiko. It was rice, ugali, sauce and bread in 30 minutes (well, almost!) and demonstrated not only how you can use the jiko, but how you can cook efficiently and also for good health. It was a great team effort with Louisa and Grandma helping with the sauce, Louisa as chief hand-washer and Amisadai as chief visual aid assistant! I was most relieved when it was over as it's always a bit nerve-wracking wondering whether everything will work with the fire and the timing of everything all the while keeping my Swahili going under pressure!
Cooking Demo
Now we are looking forward to celebrating Tim's birthday tomorrow with a special lunch out after going to two different church services in the morning!