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

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Prince without a Name

I'm trying to figure out how to start this post! Everything seems to be spinning a bit at the moment, and it's hard to process all that is going on! We have come back to Iringa primarily in order to pick up Jesca who now starts working with us. She is being trained to eventually, we hope, become the stoves project manager, replacing us. But there is also a lot of work to be done in the few days here before we start Training Week with the new stoves group on Monday.

It was hard-going in Kimande this past week. It is just plain tiring working so hard in the heat and I think I struggled more this time with everything being so constantly dirty - especially me! It was frustrating for various reasons. The pits had not been dug, there was no clay and despite trying every day to spur things into action, waiting for people to come and the work to start ... it still hadn't happened when we left.

The village meeting for Kimande was planned for Saturday. We toured the village on Friday, spreading the news, inviting everyone we saw to come at 12pm. But on Friday evening, due to great confusion between village leaders, the meeting was put off. It was then episodes of confusion and chaos as the meeting was changed, delayed, arranged and changed again. In the end as we had to leave midday on Monday, we had an impromptu gathering at 11am with whomever we could gather nearby the village office! The girls did a good job going round with photos of the stove, attracting attention and inviting people to come and hear about the project under the tree by the women selling tomatoes and maandazis!
Girls advertising the project and meeting!
 
Nothing like wazungu girls and tomatoes to draw a crowd!
I had hoped to work with Mama Esther (the pastor's wife) on our garden. We needed manure before we could do anything else and for that we needed to take our buckets further afield. I just wanted to go and get it, but waited and waited. Finally, on the second day of waiting, just when I had given up that we would ever go and I had started the fire to start cooking dinner, she said "Let's go!" We got back at 6:30pm and I was hot, so tired and filthy dirty, but there was a strange sense of actually accomplishing something, even if it was only getting cow poo after 2 days.

We were able to bring a new tap from Iringa for the water point that we use. The old one has been held together by rubber and was difficult to use, so we thought it would be a good idea to fix it. Usually there is no water in the afternoons (the water comes from an old system and is not able to supply the need of the large village), so we were waiting until the water went off to fix it. And for the first time, the water stayed on all afternoon! So we planned to do it the next afternoon. It was a major job to get the old tap off and took several people various attempts with different tools. Finally as night fell, the job was done. The water came back on in the morning, and it worked! But then the water ran out in the afternoon and stayed off ... it still hadn't come back on when we left the following afternoon. We keep a large bucket of water in the house and only once have we forgotten to fill it in the morning ... and then had to very carefully ration the water (the girls were delighted that their bath was low priority!). But seriously, we do learn here how important water is, when it is so difficult to get. It is not something to take for granted.

Fixing the broken tap
 
Our water "system" for water supply and hand washing

The other frustration is funny now. I had frozen some cooked cabbage in Iringa for our first dinner in Kimande, something easy to heat up without needing any preparation. But when I opened the pot to heat it up, I realised it wasn't cabbage at all. Frozen mango juice. It was frustrating to suddenly have to "rustle up" something to go on our rice at this late stage, but I thought mango juice would be a real treat with our meal the following night. So the next night when dinner was prepared, I poured the mango juice into a large cup and went to taste it to check the sweetness before I added sugar. Eghh! Not mango juice! It turned out to be pureed squash, a treat found in the Iringa market that was intended for a delicious soup in town! So then I just had to hope that it would last another day and I could make some kind of soup out of it. Well, I had a oxo cube, and still had a potato and a carrot, and it made a fine soup in the end! Just shows that freezer labels really are a good idea! My worn out marker pen scribbles on plastic clearly don't cut it!

But on a more positive note ... we ate Shepherd's Pie! I'm not sure how good it is that the highlight of my week was something as trivial as shepherd's pie, but it was even more uplifting than getting the manure! But really, it was such a treat for all of us, and Mendriad and Pastor and Mama Castory said they enjoyed it too! The word in Swahili for Pastor is the same word as for shepherd, so they found the name of the dish both amusing and appropriate! Pastor's Food. But eating one's own flock? That seemed a bit odd! I used the Wonder Pot, an amazing gift from Kathy in Langley! Sand is put in a small round dish and heated on the fire. Then the main pot (like a bundt pan) is put on the sand with a holed lid on the top. It works like an oven. As well as shepherd's pie, I cooked lemon cake and bread in it. It's wonderful! We have never had anything like shepherd's pie living in the village and it was pretty exciting. There was quite a curious crowd as I cooked it as well. Mashing up potato and putting it on the top? Very strange!

Grilling the top of the Shepherd's pie with charcoal on top
 
Yum!
 
Also on a positive note, we had a good time with another church, a small Anglican church in Itunundu. They are a small group, meeting under a small shelter, and they warmly welcomed us! They have the same problem that the Itunundu Pentecostal Church has; they have started a new brick building, but without sufficient funds, they have tried to shortcut or hired bad workers and one even attempted without a foundation! Needless to say, the work is wasted and they will need to start again. The importance of planning for the future and not merely thinking of the present and immediate gain is a lesson to learn.
 Itunundu Anglican Church
(notice all the spare "seats" outside!)
 
And lastly, while the birth of a Prince is being celebrated, we can share the story of another birth we celebrated in Kimande! A vastly different experience for Azizi than for Kate. Azizi walked for over an hour in labour on a dirty, bumpy road in the darkness of the middle of the night with our friend, Grace (the pastor's wife from the Itunundu Pentecostal). She arrived, exhausted at 2am. She gave birth at 9am, and I was there with other members of the church at 10am, praising God for his safe arrival! A child of the King! And like the new royal Prince, this little "prince" has yet to get a name.
 
 
 Amisadai unloading the new table and bed!
 
Louisa making us some candle holders
 
We plan to be back in town until Thursday ... I will hopefully get another blog up before we leave as I have lots more to tell about cheese and honey! But that's another story!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Another eventful week. We will pray that the stoves project makes better progress next week. Love. Mum & Dad

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