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

Friday, 6 January 2017

Happy New Year from the Mongers!

Yes! We are still here! It has been a ridiculously long time since we posted anything. Our apologies for this and we hope regular service will resume now for 2017!

I write this now on the eve of entering my forties. With this coinciding with the start of 2017 and all those "new season" thoughts, I thought I should write something on reflections or resolutions. But although 2016 has been a difficult year in which we have also seen many good things happen, at the moment I don't feel particularly reflective or specifically resolute. I see all those posts on "Things To Do Before You Are 40" but don't have any regrets on what I might have missed! So I will just contentedly enter my next decade and have more adventures! I also see all the posts on what to do when you turn 40. I won't be having a weekend getaway to New York, an over-the-hill bash, a West-End show or a cruise somewhere exotic. But I will take a cake to the Mamas Group and come home to a wonderful roast chicken lunch cooked by my wonderful husband and lovely daughters. And there is great contentment in celebrating life meaningfully with love! (that isn't to say I would not still enjoy the above, but I am nonetheless content!)

So with reflections and resolutions to rest, here are some photos with some brief updates to give you a picture of life over the December we've been blogless.

Andy and Angela and Kome Island

It was wonderful to have our good friends, Andy and Angela visiting at the end of November! Tim and Andy went to Kome Island with Dr Makori, where they were making preparations for fundraising for the Rural Island Health project. We are really excited about this project moving forward! Tim and Andy were able to visit the new site for the clinic as well as the existing clinic which was getting a paint job!

Coffee time with Andy and Angela! We miss living by this couple!
Kome Island
Tim with Pastor Peter outside the Anglican Church on Kome Is.

With Dr. Makori and Dr Isaac outside the freshly painted clinic
Meeting with village leaders discussing the health situation on the island

Meeting with pastors about their involvement in the health project

Tree planting at the new site for the clinic!

Farming News ...  Drought

The following photos were taken in early December; the situation has changed since then. Tim and I went to check on the beehives at the Demonstration Farm in Kisesa. All was well, although not enough honey to harvest. The farm was doing well; so much improved since we started! With so little rain, there was huge uncertainty about when to plant this year. We did plant and were encouraged to see the mulch doing its job to conserve as much of the limited moisture as possible in the soil.

Beekeeper Tim

The pigeon peas and beans (and beehive) at the Kisesa Farm in December
However the situation here in Mwanza now is not good. With the unusually high temperatures and serious lack of rain, farmers everywhere are really struggling. With the drought, the price of food is soaring. For example, a bucket of maize (used to make the staple food, ugali) which used to cost 8000 TSh now costs 20,000 TSh. People are obviously very concerned and we will need to think how we approach this issue with the church through the agricultural project. We personally feel the pinch, (added on to the Brexit pound drop which has rather drastically reduced our monthly allowance); this just makes us more acutely aware of the situation that people living so dependently on the land are in. It is really tough, yet leaves a place for trust and perseverance that I might never understand.
May I introduce you to "Calgary," our new goat.
Mr Calgary is now good friends with our other goat "Miss Vancouver"
and we are looking forward to some baby goats in the near future!

Happy with a good bunch of bananas from the trees we planted!
And happy with these awesome cobs of sweetcorn from our garden!
(we were able to water our plants)

Upendo wa Mama

Before Christmas, with hopes of rains coming, the Mamas group got busy planting beans and mchicha (like spinach). Joseph came to help us and teach a little on how to make the most of mulch and compost. We hope to be able to harvest food to eat while we work and to help supplement meals at home. We also planted lemongrass and rosella plants to use in some of the products for income-generating. Sadly with the lack of rain, we have lost most of our beans. But in time we hope to be working more and benefiting more from this garden project!

Hot, hard work!

Hibiscus (Rosella)


Christmas Fun!

We enjoyed some fun times over Christmas! It was good to spend time with other friends here we don't often get to see! It was great to have Katrina and Chris Williams (from Tadley) with us for some fun over Christmas! We had a sunset lake boat excursion, carol singing, games nights, and even a trip to the cinema! Yes, on Christmas Eve, the first-ever movie theatre opened in Mwanza!

A great laugh when the waves crashed over!

Christmas preparations with Katrina and Chris
Christmas Day Breakfast

Amisadai Becomes a Teenager!

On December 30th, we celebrated Amisadai's 13th birthday! It is hard to believe we actually have a teenager now! We decided to go to a new ice cream parlour for ice cream. But when we arrived we were told they were all out of ice cream, but we could have some juice instead! She also had a fun party with the Youth Group she is now a part of!

And if you made it all the way to the end of this rather long post... thanks for following along! Thank you so much to those who sent Christmas cards and greetings - it is always exciting to hear from you! We thank you for your support throughout 2016 and look forward to sharing more with you in 2017!

Happy New Year!


  1. Keep up the hard work!! You guys are just amazing!! Much love, Karissa

  2. Looking forward to joining you. Xx


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