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

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Brilliant Rays of Brightness

Living in the light is really so much easier than living in darkness! I am so thankful for light! We flew into Mwanza last Thursday night and arrived home as darkness fell. With no candles and none of our solar lights charged, we fumbled about taking bags into our empty house and heating beans over the single burner in the dark while Tim walked to a small shop and found some candles and matches. Tired after eating, we decided to call it a day and wait for dawn's early light to start unpacking!
A long wait at Dar airport to avoid any chance of a missed flight!
The power situation in Mwanza is not so good right now ... we've heard different stories going around, but basically there is not enough for everyone so it's getting cut. They say they are sharing it out, but it doesn't seem fair sharing to me! Here in our part of town, it is cut every evening, or day, or sometimes both. So we are very quickly again appreciating the blessing of light when we have it in the darkness ...like right now as the power has just returned! And also seeking to appreciate the enforced slowing down of living by going to bed early when it's dark!
We also appreciated the light last night. With a howling canine cacophony here every night (which we have yet to get accustomed to), we have been struggling somewhat to sleep well! But last night the noise was all the more dramatic. Tim woke first to quite a commotion - but this time a human commotion outside our house which clearly involved our night guard. We tried to figure out what was happening as we heard a lot of shouting, constant whistles, crowds growing and then more violent sounds of attack. Then flashing lights and authoritative voices and a lot of chatter. Basically thieves had broken into the house opposite ours. The house is not yet occupied and the thieves were after things like windows, wood and materials in the house. But the single guard managed to alert others and then all broke loose in "mob justice." Beating thieves to an inch of their life is common here and I truly can't imagine how anyone could contemplate crime with the potential of death if caught so high. As far as we know, the police took two men and I'm not sure what happened to the windows.
This event, along with driving though election demonstrations in town on our way home from the church meeting on Sunday, is leading us towards looking for two "real" guard dogs. On Sunday, a presidential candidate arrived in Mwanza and demonstrations and marches led to some minor rioting. It was nothing too serious, and elections are not until the end of October, but we are aware that the police will have more than enough on their hands during that time and things could be a little unpredictable!
All in all, England seems a very long way away! But we are enjoying catching up with friends and eating fresh pineapple. I'll skip over all the "transitioning" bit ... I feel like I have been thinking about it too much and probably over-analysing somewhat and for most of you, it won't make any sense anyway! But although not always the easiest of things to do, we have been "transitioning." And here we are now, just the four of us again in our own (almost set-up) home. The girls are now happy to be back, finding forgotten treasures and familiar books and climbing their favourite trees. For sure, goodbyes are so sad, but hellos are a ray of brightness! And it was brightly fun this week to have a "Staying Party," with other friends from overseas, simply celebrating that we were not saying goodbye, after a season of goodbyes!
And now to the really good, exciting news... we have two hives full of bees! This was beyond my expectations and I am of course, quite thrilled! I talked to Joseph about when they arrived (thinking they would have come in swarming time) but he said, most surprisingly, specifically, July 11. And I immediately remembered it was on July 11th that we were at the Emmanuel International event and David Varcoe prayed heartily for swarms of bees to be there! Amen!
Not the best photo, but proof that there are bees busy here!
We had a meeting with Peter and Esther (our agricultural trainers) on Monday and were able to catch up and plan ahead for the agricultural project. They have been faithful workers in our absence. Joseph also has worked well for us while we have been away. We found a crop of harvested pigeon peas and beans waiting for us. So tomorrow I will make some mbaazi wa nazi (pigeon peas in coconut) to eat with rice and chapatti.

Pigeon Peas

"Suddenly in the middle of that blackest night, right at midnight, when stars, moons and planets are utterly dimmed by enchantment, day comes. Light splits the darkness again. Day falls - shafts of glorious light, brilliant rays of brightness, dawning come untimely."  
Tales of the Resistance (David and Karen Mains)

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