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

Monday, 16 February 2015

Tim ECHOS in Arusha

It's hard to know how to blog at the moment ... suffice to say for now, it has not been an easy week. But what I can do now is go back to the week before my Grandma died and before all the other things that happened in those five days, and recount the excellent time Tim had at the ECHO East Africa Symposium on “Improving Lives through Agriculture and Appropriate Technology” in Arusha.

It was his turn now to attend an Arusha Symposium. And while I would have loved to tag along, I had to content myself with his report back, some of which I now report to you! He, along with others from all over Africa and one person as far away as Japan, attended seminars on all things agricultural: conservation agriculture, green manure and cover crops, fruit trees, integration of agriculture and health, integration of agriculture and livestock, biblical basis to motivate rural change, small scale kitchen gardens and yes, even beekeeping! I'm not sure how interesting this all sounds to many of you, and a few years ago, I'm not sure it would have sounded so interesting to me. But when you see the reality of life for subsistence farmers working in poor conditions and then see the possibilities for these families and communities, you can't help but get interested!

Tim also went with about 30 others on a field trip to visit a farmer who is working to help Masai in his area provide enough food for their animals while also providing enough for themselves.

A young Masai boy gets a view from atop his donkey!

Masai house with crops and livestock
Masai house

This area has a huge problem with soil erosion due to wind and rain,
 as you can see by the dust in this photo
It was encouraging for Tim to see how what we are doing seems to be on the right lines. It was inspiring to see the huge potential for where we can go with the agricultural project here in the Mwanza area.

The symposium ended with a banquet with entertainment provided by this skilled Masai choir.

Masai Dancing from Rachel Monger on Vimeo.

The girls and I were pleased to get him home after his week away; pleased he had found the whole conference so enjoyable and useful, and extremely thankful he made it there and back safely. He was travelling with some friends and while driving back they were following a timber truck which was being overtaken by a bus which came too close to the truck. The truck ended up going off the road and as his load of logs slipped, flipped over. The driver and his passenger thankfully walked out, but it was a scary reminder of how dangerous these roads are and to be continually grateful for God's protection.

And so the agricultural work continues. We have faced some discouragements this week, but still hope to get to Kayenze later this week for a village seminar, inviting more farmers to join us next season. And we hope to get the next planting underway in the next few weeks in Kisesa and Kayenze.   

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