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

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!

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