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

Friday, 27 September 2013

Jikos, Spice Cake, Fish, Spaghetti and Ugali Cake

What's cookin' this week in Kimande? Jikos, spice cake, fish, spaghetti and even ugali cake to name a few! But the big news is that the first stoves are fired! The first firing is such an encouraging event for all of us involved and it has been a good week! We arrived with a Jiko Spice Cake (which went down a treat!) and began celebrating and commending the great work of the group over the past few months since we began together in July.

Celebrate with cake!
We then began preparing to fire. The stoves were carried out and loaded very slowly and carefully into the kiln as many of us tried to count... easier said than done! Firewood was brought out to fuel the kiln. Great bundles of grasses were brought to roof the kiln and mud was made to slap on the grass to seal the kiln. It was a busy morning! 

Ready to load up the kiln
Simoni, our cheerful leader!

Rachel carries grass to the kiln ... yes, it makes for a bad hair day!

Making mud - just what we all really want to do! It felt delicious!
And yes, a pedicure would now go down a treat!
In the afternoon we went to visit Rachel, the young girl that Tim, Kate and the girls had gone to visit a few weeks ago. She was suffering from evil spirits which had caused a very disturbed mind. Tim, along with some others, had prayed for her and she is completely better! It was so lovely to see her these weeks later, looking so well and so completely peaceful. No more crying or wandering around the village in the middle of the night. As she said, "I now feel myself." Her father is teaching her to read and she followed along as we read Psalm 23 together sitting on the mat outside her house.

Rachel (middle) with her mother and siblings (left) and Simoni (right)
Later in the afternoon it was time to light the kiln! With the extremely hot temperatures in the village now, no one wants to light a fire like that in the day, thus the stoves were fired into the night. We went back to check on the fire after the Bible Study that evening, and there was lots of music and dancing as wood was fed into the kiln and women served rice and fish to eat.

All set!

The kiln in action

The next morning with the Stoves Group, we taught a short session on business management... the basics of keeping an inventory and keeping good accounts. Kate, Amisadai, Louisa, Tim and I did a funny little sketch (skit) on what could go wrong, which hopefully made for a memorable lesson in a humorous way! We presented the Group Treasurer with a shiny blue cashbox and so the business begins! Let the sales commence!
Many women were asking for more cooking lessons, so we did some impromptu cake-making in the afternoon... all we had were five bananas, so it had to be banana cake, but we also made bread rolls and attempted a version of "cornbread" which basically took on the name "ugali cake" and tasted only as good as it sounds! Actually, although none of us wazungu liked the ugali cake, the Tanzanians all loved it!
Dinner that night was a treat! We had taken spaghetti and frankfurters from town with us, and had the cheese sauce mix Kate brought out from England. The women found the pasta all rather amusing and intriguing, but I don't think they considered it a "proper" meal. We put a bowl of spaghetti out for the kids and they loved pulling out noodles to eat!

Eating spaghetti

Yesterday morning the kiln had finally cooled down enough to take out the stoves. So after an early Bible Study on the feeding of the multitudes (which seemed apt in many ways), the unloading began. There were some cracks (one stove completely cracked in pieces) but overall we were all really happy with the results. Especially given that these were the first stoves made by the group and included various tests (testing clay with rice husks, clay with crushed bricks etc.), to get 68 stoves out of the kiln was fantastic! So after sharing a little bread and cake between us (unfortunately no fish that morning), everyone in the group was able to take a stove home for their own use while the rest are all ready to sell! God is good!
Unloading the kiln

It is often hard to include much of what we "feel" as we write about what we "do." Living in the village is not easy and to be honest, really not very enjoyable in lots of ways! But at the same time we just love it! We know we cannot "do" any of this on our own. So just to "be" part of this group, part of this community, especially sharing in these moments of encouragement and excitement is such a wonderful thing! It takes so little to see our friends in Kimande and Itunundu happy, thankful and excited! To be loved and accepted and helped by them as we fumble along is fantastic! 

 Mama Christina


1 comment:

  1. We're fired up about the progress you're making!


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