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

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Water, Water Everywhere ...

El Nino. The rains started in October. The water came in our house downstairs on November 4th. But this year the rains haven't stopped in December as they usually do and are continuing in ongoing torrents. Usually, we would get a second rainy season starting in April. But rumour has it this year with El Nino, the rains will carry on through until then.
We had a few delighted days of a dry downstairs after a week of no rain just before our visitors, Samuel and Megan arrived (more about their visit later). We set a bedroom up downstairs for Samuel in hope that the rains were over. But alas, after just three nights, we were deafened again by the great thunder and heavy rains and all the water was back with a vengeance cracked by fierce, power-zapping lightning. And so the mopping continues! So now with Samuel in Louisa's room and Megan in Amisadai's room, we have Tim's office, Amisadai and Louisa and Tim and I all squeezed into our little bedroom. A squash and a squeeze but at least all dry (even if all the washing hanging in every remotely available place is still wet)!

It is an ongoing fiasco, creating havoc inside and outside. On the night that Samuel and Megan arrived, it didn't look like we were going to be able to pick them up from the airport. A truck delivering grit and sand (which was to help the solve the problem of floods and mud on our driveway), skidded very almost into the trench and got stuck. It took ages to get him out. Then the second truck came with another load. Believe it or not, he also got stuck in the mud on the other side of the driveway, in our bougainvillia bush. It was getting dark and Tim needed to leave soon for the airport, but the truck was blocking our way out! Finally the truck managed to get out and left... left a huge pile of grit in the middle of the drive so we were still blocked in! After some quick digging in the dark, we managed to get Tim out the gate just in the nick of time to meet the plane!
Rain floods the front steps and car port
The trenches start to overflow

The truck bringing grit gets stuck and damages the new trench
The road outside our house becomes a fast flowing river when it rains
and this is what it is like when the rain stops!
Following are a few photos of our efforts to get to villages during this rainy season. So many roads are impassable or incredibly slow and difficult to drive on! We are ever thankful for our trusty land cruiser! But as we travel to these villages, it is a stark reminder for me about perspective again.

Yes, it all puts my own woes into perspective! It is not just the roads we drive on damaged by the continual heavy rains; the maize crops in particular are badly affected and things do not look so good for the harvest this year. While we may have a fiasco mopping our wet floor, others face the loss of their homes or the loss of their year's worth of food. We've been reading the news of all the flooding in the UK recently. But not all flood victims have emergency services available to whisk them rapidly to safety, healthcare for accidents or water-borne illnesses, insurance to cover their losses, a job to carry them through or any savings to fall back on.

But now on a lighter note... as wide-spread mould, continual flooding, intestinal parasites, power cuts, a broken-down car, lice and various other problems and bad news hit in a week of losing our house help and the imminent arrival of our guests, we decided our situation classified as an "emergency" and we had fun bringing out some MRE meals someone had given us! We had a great time with our own self-heating packets of survival food! Sometimes you just have to laugh so that you don't cry!

Emergency Survival Time

Figuring out how to heat the MRE's!

Tuck in!
Also in the midst of it all, it was good to enjoy celebrating my birthday! Even in all the chaos, my wonderful husband baked me a scrumptious birthday cake! And now as I write, a wonderful friend has offered to bring us all a meal this week! Thank you to all those who have encouraged us these past few weeks! You are God's grace in action to us and we really appreciate it! So many more reasons to choose joy!


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