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

Sunday, 17 May 2020

The Hive Bee-gins!

It is so exciting to finally share this news! For several years now, it has been a dream of the Upendo wa Mama group to have a place to sell their beeswax products. We have come close several times but things kept falling apart at the last minute! Five attempted houses later … and with the amazing support of Under the Same Sun, we are so thankful to have this house which is being transformed into The Hive! As well as being a shop for the Upendo wa Mama, The Hive will also serve as a local honey centre where village beekeepers can bring their honey and wax to process and sell. We hope it will serve the community… and in particular, the albinism community and beekeeping community! And it will be a base for orders further afield. We hope people will not only enjoy coming to shop but also come to understand more about living with albinism and find out more about where their delicious honey comes from! My prayer is that however this house is used in the future it will be for blessing!

The house is in a great location, near to the mamas workshop and easy for customers to find on the main road between the airport and town. It is easy for beekeepers to bring their honey to from the villages as it is right on the Mission bus stop. It was quite a dreary building covered in grey cement, but now it is bright and very far from dreary! We hope we can get some fun "bee" murals painted on and everyone will know where it is!

The Hive work in progress!
I think I was in a state of denial about the amount of work involved in this building project! It has been an insanely busy week and I am now certain I was not cut out to be a building contractor and overseer! I was so relieved to have today to rest … or simply collapse with exhaustion and sunburn! But very thankful for teamwork! Elisha has been fantastic helping through all the hurdles of agreeing a rental contract and the building work that needed to be done. Peter is helping now with some outside shrubs and trees. And I have a fabulous global advisory WhatsApp team helping with interior decorating and design ideas!

Looking around the front room checking the work that needs to be done

Pulling the ceiling down after fixing the roof outside
The week has had its share of challenges! Friday was particularly frustrating as the carpenter was a day late finishing the door, where we already had a hole in the wall. I arrived in the morning to find that the new fence had been vandalised and the gate had not been put in well. I went with our workman (who arrived 2 hours late) to pick up the door and we discovered it was 4cm too long for the hole and the matching iron gate. It took two attempts of sawing to get the measurements right! It was a huge relief to get the door in the hole by the end of the day. 
Knocking a door out for the beekeepers to enter the Honey Centre

Sawing the door back down to size

Moment of truth!
The next challenge was buying the paint … after long agonizing over colours and how to decorate the house! After finally committing to a decision and buying the paint, we then had to wait ages for the shop network to work in order for them to be able to give us a receipt and by the time I came out to the car, I was well blocked in by another car and a man setting up a shoe stall!
Blocked in by cars and a shoe stall!

White walls and "escapment 34"

Yesterday we started work outside. We ordered five loads of soil to be dropped off and added some reeds to hide the wire fence and the messy area outside. Tomorrow we plant some trees and shrubs!

Coming together!
I will try to post more photos as the work progresses! Once all this hard work on the building finishes, the real work will begin! Please follow along and support us as we work to advertise and promote the new venture soon! It won't be easy, particularly with all that COVID-19 now throws at us. But we have some resilient and excited mamas who are trusting God that they can take hold of this opportunity and run with it! I pray for this with them! 

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