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

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Canada Comes to Tanzania

It's all happening here in Mwanza! Right now we are excited to have the team from the King's School in Langley, B.C. here with us. They arrived on Sunday morning and were whisked quickly to the second service at MICC before the adrenalin wore off and jet lag set in! After their three-day journey and with the 11 hour time difference, they are doing well to cope with all the activity and all that taking in a new and different culture means! Today they started teaching at Mama Minja's orphan's nursery school. Not all of the children are actually orphans; Esther, for example is a lovely little girl whose father has died of HIV Aids, whose mother is sick with it also. But Esther herself is also a sick little girl and so Mama Minja has taken her in at the school and the love between the two is so beautifully evident. Today Taylor (one of the team) was sitting with her, helping her learn to write the number 4.

The team arrives in Mwanza!
The team doing a "drime" at MICC

Louisa enjoying morning uji (runny porridge) with
Mama Minja's nursery children

 Before the team arrived, Tim had an interesting and fruitful few days visiting a couple of villages. The first was a place called Nyakato, a village on the edge of Mwanza. Here he visited with Pastor Elia Swai who is in charge of community development for the TAG Diocese. They were able to discuss what churches are doing in the Mwanza area, what the recognized needs are for these communities and what opportunities there are. Things are really just starting to get off the ground in terms of practical development, but already they have a project running teaching crafts such as knitting sweaters and making shoes. I was excited to hear about the keen desire for development in areas of farming and gardens and health and even bee-keeping! More honey on the way ...

The shoe-making project

The next day, Tim had agreed by phone to meet a pastor and his church ... before realising just how far away this pastor lived! It was a four-hour drive on some bad roads including a ferry across the Gulf of Mwanza to the village of Nyehunge, about 116km away. But well worth the effort as the meeting was incredibly well organized with a good number of church members there for the meeting.

The Nyehunge Church

The church in Nyehunge

There is not much happening there at the moment but they are keen to do something! Tim found that the people were looking to him for what we could bring them rather than looking at what they already had themselves or could generate and do themselves. He worked at turning that view around. One thing that the women mentioned was that it took the whole day to collect firewood for cooking which would last three days. So a stoves project would be a good idea! We were all very relieved when Tim got home that evening, after a long drive home with a hold-up at the ferry for a rather dramatic rainstorm!

Squeezing on the ferry ... with rather over-loaded trucks

And speaking of bad roads ...
The road outside our house became a river on Sunday and Monday with water pipe problems
...so unfortunately no running water for the team when they arrived from the airport! All fine now!

And still on this note of long drives on bad roads in rainstorms and more bad roads, I would like to recommend the girls' latest blog and efforts at a website to you! They are raising money for a land cruiser for our work! It is a real and valid need that we all recognize, which we will hopefully post some more information about soon. The girls came up to us with their pocket money a few weeks ago and asked if it would help ... which was very sweet of them! They also saw the need for medical help on the islands and wanted to help Dr Makori's work (which we have written about in previous blogs).

A few weeks ago, they started getting very busy making cards as they decided they would make and sell gift cards to raise money. But we had a chat about markets (which they hadn't yet thought about) and realised the market for homemade cards wasn't a good one. So we started thinking of what else they could do ... i.e. a sponsored fundraiser. Swimming was the first idea as Amisadai's friend, Emily in England is doing a sponsored swim for Sport Relief, but that was quickly out-ruled as neither are good swimmers; biking was the preferred activity (Amisadai was quite taken with the ride for water that Canadian, Jason Manning is currently doing from Japan to Vancouver), but that was out-ruled because their bikes are still in Iringa (and Japan is a long way away). So that left walking! But ideas started coming as we carried on with our school topic on water and sanitation. And we ended up with the great 100L SODIS Shake ... although Louisa took a little while to come round to this idea as the novelty of shaking bottles to treat the water has long worn off and as she said firmly in her own words, "I was not born to shake!" ... But she agreed in the end that she could make the sacrifice!

So you can find out all about it on their blog and website (www.mongergirlswaterworks.webs.com) which includes videos on how to treat water with SODIS and how to make a Tippy Tap. And if you are able to comment on their blog or sign in their guestbook they would really love it! And if you are able to sponsor them or organize a fundraiser or share the websites with your friends and family, that would help too! Thank you!

Making a Tippy Tap in Tanzania from Rachel Monger on Vimeo.

SODIS Treating Water in Tanzania from Rachel Monger on Vimeo.


  1. I'm amazed that just by shaking water for a minute and then leaving it in the sun for 6 hours it purifies the water - that seems impossible - thank you for your video :)

    1. We have done it ever since we arrived in Tanzania over three years ago ... and never had a problem! Simple and basically free (once you have some bottles!) so a good thing to teach to others!


Please leave us message! We love to hear your news and thoughts too!