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

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

To the Boatyard and the Hospital

One week down and two and half to go! We are missing Tim very much ... but I have to say that I appreciate all he does even more after this week! Doing some of Tim's side of the work has given me a far greater appreciation of him and what he does! And this current multiplication of labour has reinforced my appreciation of the division of labour! 

Tim and his Dad and the rest of the family are especially in our thoughts and prayers today as we await news of how the surgery went to removed the brain tumour.

It has admittedly been rather a struggle this week. Trying to get everything done has been an uphill battle.  Realising on Tanzanian time I was never going to get through everything, I scheduled simultaneous appointments in confidence that one or more would be cancelled or delayed. In my time-conscious and orderly mind, this was very risky. But it worked! I was supposed to be meeting two people at 11am and I was shopping in town at the time. Even getting stopped by the police twice, I still got the shopping done (except for the toilet seat ... which is again, another rather unfortunate, on-going story), made both appointments (which were predictably late) and was back in time for school pick-up!

Of all the things I have been doing (which includes a lot of chasing compost, 4 days worth of chasing purple T-shirts, going to get a new post box, but being told to come back later when the lady with the form has come back from visiting her friend in hospital)  probably one of the most interesting was a trip to the boatyard.

To the Boatyard

The girls and I went with Dr Makori to look at some fibreglass boats which have potential to be ambulance boats. It would be a huge asset to the health work on the islands on the Lake, helping the many people in remote areas without easy access to medical help. It is a very big dream, but such a good one! It was fascinating to see the boats in progress and it stimulated some architectural thinking, as I designed in my head a floating mobile clinic, this emergency service boat with a solar-charged drugs cupboard! I, along with Dr Makori, do hope this dream will come true!
Checking out the boats with Dr Makori and Dixon
A 12m hull

A very big boat!

A small boat!
Amisadai checks out the workroom

Hospital Visit

Saturday was an interesting and good day. Mamas group was planned for the morning. But on Friday evening, I heard that Mama Penina had given birth that afternoon and with another mama away, the group was postponed. I made plans to visit Penina in hospital. But then as we were enjoying a bonus lie-in and leisurely breakfast on Saturday, I had a call from Mama Faith at the school wondering where I and others were! The girls and I ran out the door and drove down to meet her and started making bead necklaces. Mama Wilson also turned up along with little Dora.
Making necklaces with Dora
At the end of the morning, we all went to the hospital together. I was so thankful they were with me as I'm sure on my own I would never have found Penina in the confusing scrum of people and babies! Delighted to see us all, she suggested as we had a car, we all go to her house ... and so with the three girls, three mamas, a new heavily wrapped baby, thermos' of uji (porridge), washing bowls and bags, our entourage made its way out to the car. Another lady, I have no idea who she was, came with us! We squeezed in amongst all the freshly varnished beads which were hanging to dry from every available place in the ceiling of the car.

You may remember from a previous blog, I have been to Penina's house before! It is up a bad and bumpy road, one which almost defeated me when I got stuck on it. I drove as far I could before getting to the very dodgy bit. Then we all, baby, bowls, bags and all, traipsed up the mountainside. I most certainly would never have dreamt of such a hike the day after giving birth! Penina took it slowly, it must have been torture! But then, she does this every day. It was a steep and rocky walk! Amisadai has written more about our visit on their blog.


At the house, having a cuddle with this precious baby, we gave thanks. A beautiful baby girl! A healthy baby and safe delivery is never taken for granted here. The lives of children of these mamas are not taken for granted. You may have seen there has been yet another attack this week. 6-year old Baraka's hand was chopped off and his mama injured as she tried to protect him.

So many things are not taken for granted here and it is so good to be learning to do the same.

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