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

Friday, 23 August 2013

Tim's Trousers

"Tim's Trousers" sounds like something for Wallace and Grommit, but that's as far as it goes! Someone recently commented on the blog that Tim's trousers were remarkably clean in the video. Well, the video was taken on our first day arriving in the village. You should see the state of Tim's trousers or to be honest, any of our clothes or bodies, later! In Louisa's words, the water after washing our clothes looks like hot chocolate!

Tim's other trousers were in a far worse state. Tattered, faded and stained, they had really reached their end! Most of you reading this would never see the likes of them worn in public, but in the village no one bats an eyelid! Then one day the market came to Kimande and Tim went shopping! There were piles of old clothes in all sizes and conditions laid out on sacks on the dusty ground. I didn't hold out a whole lot of hope! But Tim found some trousers. A bargain at $4 (£2.50)! Pretty much his size, in pretty good condition, and guess what? They came all the way from Mark's Work Wearhouse in Canada. Good old Denver Hayes! An unexpected piece of home found in a village in the middle of Tanzania!

Tim's Trousers
Now moving on from Tim's trousers... Also during this past week in Kimande (it's been a busy week, thus three blogs in about as many days!), the long-awaited English classes began! We have been very surprised by the number of people who have come to us asking for English classes. But we thought it was something we could do. So we announced to the stoves group that people were welcome to come to our home on Monday afternoon, and if they wanted to bring friends that was fine. So I prepared some material to cover (getting advice from Angela, who teaches English at the Bible College in town) and made some flashcards. And it was good fun and a great way to get know people. I had a group of 10-11 people and we started with our English greetings and lots of laughs! We are all looking forward to the next class when we get back.

English class
On Monday, I finished the English class at about 4:30pm after an hour and half of teaching, and started to prepare food for the evening meal. Then from down the road, a crowd of school children appeared. They had walked with their pencils and exercise books all the way from the next village, hearing that there were English classes here! I couldn't possibly turn them away, so we sat under the tree with my flipchart and as we started our lesson, the crowd of children grew! It is hard for these kids. Most will not go beyond primary school. Those that can afford to go to secondary school, suddenly have to start learning everything in English. But from what I hear there are no English teachers in Kimande, so as you can imagine, learning in an unfamiliar language makes it a real challenge to excel. If we can give these kids a head start in English, it's a good thing! But needless to say, dinner was cooked in the dark and eaten rather late that night!

There seems so much more to say about all that is going on, and I never seem to get very far in these blogs! Jesca has completed surveys of families in the two villages, finding out about the use of firewood and health matters. The group had a long meeting on Saturday to draw up their own Constitution for the Stoves Group. They were deciding on things like appropriate fines for tardiness and group responsibilities.

Ezekiel's morning seminar on making good stove handles
(the group had been struggling!)

And I'll finish with one last story ... "Jesca and the Trees."  As you know, Jesca is on a steep learning curve, learning how to make jikos, how to manage a project, improving her English and also, as part of her training she must learn to drive the land cruiser. She had mentioned that she had already had some lessons, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to get in some driving practice on the road between the two villages. So after working in Itunundu one day, Tim talked her through things and Jesca practiced. We didn't get out of second gear, but all was going well. But then steering became a little eratic and we were going from one side of the road to the other. A sharp turn of the wheel sent us straight over to a large trunky bush on the left of the road, but Jesca, in her panic with the steering wheel, forgot about the brake and we plowed straight over the bush and carried on. As Jesca over-compensated with the steering wheel, we turned sharply to the right, straight across the road to the other side. By now we were all shouting "Brake!" but all she found was the accelerator and before we knew it, we were in a tree. All fine and amazingly the only reminder of the incident is a misshapen front bumper! But now, we can all laugh about it. Ezekiel and Mendriad had a good laugh with Jesca; she came to Kimande to help the tree situation, but instead she is wiping out the few trees left with a land crusier!

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