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

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Celebrating Guy Fawkes Demise and Magufuli's Inauguration

We hit the road at 6:45am on November 5th. This felt decidedly wrong when it had been announced the previous afternoon that it was to be a national holiday in honour of the new President's inauguration. So with school suddenly cancelled and the rain coming down, it felt like I should still be in bed. But to the village of Malya we all went ... along with Peter. No fireworks here, but time to plan for a Beekeeping Project!

It was a long and bumpy 3 hour drive (although the rain stopped and the roads were slightly better than the ones to Kayenze the day before) but at the end, we were warmly rewarded with lovely hot, sweet milk and chapatis from Mama Gloria. We were ushered to the church building and proceeded to be amazed at the excellent planning of Pastor Kayuli and this group in Malya. Often it can be a challenge getting people together and even more of a challenge to get people together on time! But here, a well-prepared group of people were sitting waiting for us!
Tim shows the Top-Bar Beehive as he explains about the project.
We had the village leaders, we had existing beekeepers, we had interested beekeepers and we had a womens group. Except for the carpenter, who was travelling and entered the meeting briefly by mobile phone, it was exactly the people we had wanted to meet with, all in the same room at the same time!

It has been over a year since we visited the church in Malya, and it was then that they asked us about the possibility of a beekeeping project, an undeveloped concept in our thinking at the time! So it was wonderful to be back, to see their excitement and enthusiasm, and see a plan develop! They will gather 15-18 people to form a community beekeeping group who will train, work and meet regularly together as we establish the project with the help of Julian Wilford from the UK. While we work with the Malya group, we will also help them to establish their own tree planting project which will work well with the bees.

It was great to see Lucas as part of the group. This young man has just graduated from the Church Planting School in Kisesa and so was part of the missional and agricultural training Tim gave there last month. It was also lovely to meet some of the women from the Upendo Group set up by the church for very young women as well as older mamas and widows from the village. I think we were all rather excited about making things out of beeswax together in February!

After a quick tour to see the bees in the tree project plot, we were all ready for bowls of rice and ginger beans. We left at 2pm for the long drive home, and arrived back in Mwanza rather tired, but just in time to get to a Bonfire Night party with British friends in the evening. Brilliant fun, complete with hot dogs and potatoes cooked in the fire, eaten with hot chili and guacamole and cheese! Finished off with toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate. We didn't have fireworks, but we did have four rationed mini cake sparklers from Wilkinson's (thanks to a surprise parcel quite some time ago). A wonderful end to a fruitful day!
Mama Gloria and Lucas take us to the bees in the tree
(this after avoiding the snake in the tree opposite, but I didn't get a photo of that!)

We finished off our busy and bumpy 485km week in the landcruiser by going with Joseph to the church planting school in Kisesa early the following day. There we planted more trees and encouraged Joseph who is single-handedly taking on the planting for us there and facing his own frustrations!
Planting an avocado tree
Our third snake of the week!
(He didn't really eat it and it was really dead!)
If you regularly read this blog, you probably know much of the ups and downs of our Beekeeping Endeavours! But if you want a synopsis of the happenings and want to know a bit more about the plan, check out the "Down to Earth" article we wrote for the latest EIUK monthly news.

Click Here to go to the article

And now for another exciting update! As I post this blog, we have just picked up 90 honey jars ready for the harvest! Now for some snazzy labels...

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