Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pictures galore

If you are interested have a browse around http://picasaweb.google.com/cbmtanzania for the lowdown on travels around Tanzania and Kenya. Enjoy!

Yep - a real bad photo...
Thanks for reading

Friday, April 13, 2007

Last Days

Mbeya Central Ecclesia
Left to right: Ruti, Grolia, Matilda, Jonathan, Adraham, Mwakabana

Well it was rather unreal - the trip was about to end. It was back to Mbeya for three days to say good-bye to old friends and family (above). We were able to meet up with the Mbeya Central ecclesia to say our good-byes.

Kwaherini ndugu katika Kristo...

Monday, April 2, 2007

Kilombero Part 2, Masai-dom and a chicken

Giraffe in Mikumi National Park
The "ecclesia" at Kilosa

Masai Village Chairman and family with Jonathan

As I mentioned last time we had arrived in Mang'ula and found only one disinterested and drunk brother, Joseph. A tiny little disheartened we went for a few days to Morogoro. On the way back the daladala broke down in Mikumi National Park, next to some giraffe and impala! Well relatively close. So I got my first and so far only pictures of wildlife. There were smiles all round.

Back at Mang'ula, three more (two bro and a sis) had been located. They live most of the year at Msalise which is about 3-4hrs into the unkown in what we term "shamba land". Ie they live there whilst cultivating rice and only return via the swampy water logged terain out of season. They had been tryng to come every Sunday to meet but did not get a good hit rate with the brother who lived permanently in Mang'ula. So Jonathon and Carl travelled through nasty squishy and soggy highways and byeways to reach the now 5 baptised who live in this area. They were grateful for the visit and were really interested to discuss the bible. We left them ecclesial fund items (biscuts, wine etc) and opened a post box so they could receive mail (SLP 111, Mang'ula, Kilombero, Tz).

Before we left Mang'ula we did a mail drop of the Mang'ula Post Office inviting people to sign up for the bible correspondance course. Out of one hundred boxes so far we have received aprox 25 requests via SMS. May God bless their search of the bible.

Now it was off to Kilosa armed with only a name and tel number, Hosea. To get to Kilosa we had to travel back to Morogoro and then on another bus to Kilosa a total of 12hrs travelling. The next day we sat down with the 7 bro and sis at Hosea's house. We had an interesting 9 days with them. Basically they were not meeting as an ecclesia and had two rather standard excuses why not (no wine and having to cultivate). The real reason came out: they were attending their own churches in the morning and meeting together in the afternoon as "Christadelphians". They werent intending to tell us this but by God's grace it came to light. We hope that our time together has promoted them to attempt to walk on the narrow way together.

Kimamba is the last on our trip. We sent 9 days here also. There are four baptised here in Kimamba and now as the result of our trip over 80 interested Masai who would like the swahili correspondance course. Yes, there is a stronghold of Masai in this area. We got to know quite a few of them (including the village chairman and a few other "big-cheese"), learn what the different robes meant and get to know them a little. Carl and Jonathon cycled to their village twice and gave some talks to those interested.

I was given a most interesting gift by the bro and sis here in Kimamba - a chicken. They knew I was cooking most of our meals (since Kidodi) so what more appropriate! Well, I sub-contracted out the death (ouch) and slicing and dicing as I am a Mzungu after all and not experienced in the art. Observation in childhood doesnt count Dad.
PS. She tasted rather good.

Another feature of Kimamba (along with Morogoro at times) is the lack of running water. You get used to it and it comes by the bucket load each day. But sometimes you just yearn for a ice cold shower and want to feel really clean. Well Carl and Jonathon had the right idea. It rained a few times and they were both out in the courtyard with the soap. This caused much mirth with the locals at the guest houses. We went through bottled water (drinking and cooking) at the rate of 5 1L bottles per day. What brightened our time here was the fridge. Yep this marvellous guest house had for 10,000/= a night (4 pounds) - bedroom, bathroom, sitting with fridge and TV and lots of sofas!

There ended (bar 5 days) our year schedule in South Tanzania. It was only off to Mbeya for the last good byes before Dar and our plane home (BA 46, 15th April).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Kilombero Valley

Bible Readings in IfakaraIdilic View in Kidodi

Carl, the boy racer in his Ford in Kidodi

Well we've arrived at the last leg of our safari, phew. Kilombero valley, comprising the ecclesias of Ifakara, Kidaoni, Kidodi, Mang'ula, Kilosa and Kimamba. We are planning to spend about 10 days with each ecclesia.

In Ifakara, Fiona was still with us. We had initially difficulties as no one met us at the bus stand. We spent a day and a half looking for anyone (to no avail). Jonathon arrived back with us in the nick of time and combined with waking bro Michael Owen up (in UK - pole sana kaka) at 5am for a tel number we managed to meet the bre and sis for an excellent week together. We mainly had the day to ourselves which was welcome and came together at 6pm every evening to do the readings together. Bre Stafford, Kimimino, Pelegrin, Kirua, Carl and sis Fiona are represented in the picture.

Ifakara was really eventful. Fiona gained two admirers, one misc (at dinner) and one being a Immigration officer (called Victor) who thought she was cute. We had a good explore of Ifakara, took in the sights (market) and attempted to get a authentic tanzanian puffy sleaves dress made for us both (to no avail).

Just before leaving Ifakara I took Fiona back to Dar es Salaam to catch the plane home. Whilst there we spent the Sunday morning with the Sinza ecclesia. As normal Dar was stinking hot, humid and both the water and power had decided to stop on the Sunday afternoon at YWCA. Fiona feeling hot, generous and wealthy decided that the only solution was to move to another hotel. The criteria was AC, water, AC and more AC. What a lovely sister! We had quality chilly (brrr brrr) time at the Holiday Inn, including the first apple pie in over 10 months (room service) - what bliss. After Fiona flew back to Perth I went back to YWCA, its an old friend and very cheap after all.

So after Fiona's departure it was back to Ifakara and then on to Kidodi. We found the only guest house in this small village was also a bar/music area. Argggggh. Well our tolerance for 3am finishes is about 2-3 days. After 7 days we were feeling tired and cranky. We found out that our day of rest was combinned with a marathon musicfest. So I made an executive decision and we shifted for two nights to Kidatu where we found quiet rooms with AC and had a rest. A rest for Carl is bible marking, Joanthon is bible study (preferrably Daniel or Revelation) and me well it was inputting personal data collected from bre and sis.

During our time in Kidodi we were able to facilitate ecclesial elections, explain the rolls of the elders, have a business meeting and do some bible group work around the book of James.

So at the moment we are alternating between Mang'ula and Morogoro. We have only found one bro so far in Mang'ula and hope more will surface this weekend from their shamba's.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mwandeo, Kenya

Yippie, we were back in Kenya again to visit the Mutunga's and the Mwandeo ecclesia.

We travelled from Dar through to the Kenyan border by Scandinava bus and where met by bro William. From there a matatu journey to Sammy and Christine's house accompanied by William, Zachayo and Theresa Mutunga.

A very happy couple of days were spent here in Kenya. Instead of the planned Youth Camp, there was a bible weekend instead. Carl spoke about Christian living to a full hall for two days. It was nice to meet again everyone we had met in June last year. The hospitality and love shown to us was awesome, A+++!!!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Zanzibar Life

Zanzibar Scene
Beach View

An example of a Zanzibar Door

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Zanzibar (doors, chests, AC & spice)

Well we were all looking forward to our short holiday in Zanzibar. Well its a lovely place but they all want dollars US and lots of them. From the time we booked the ferry to the accomodation and shops, $$$$$ (che ching). Well its a good thing Floss (aka Fiona) had brought bucket loads of US dollars with her.

We found a nice Guest House (Florida!) with a room with three beds, bathroom, TV (news and football) and AC/fan (the only thing that made us relent in regards to the staggering price). Boy we all really enjoyed the chill provided by the poor AC which ran non stop during our stay.

We explored a little of Zanzibar, soon (15mins in fact) getting tired of looking in wood carving shops (all clones). It did seem at the time that all in fact we ended up doing was eating lunch and dinner again and again (yummy). Not quite true however. We also popped into one or two Zanzibar chest shops, walked past the Old Fort, admired lots of Zanzibar doors, wandered aimlessly through the maze that is Stone Town and bought a bag (plaited from Palm fronds) and a back scratcher ;o). Us girls had a pampering (facial, pedicure and henna) and spent quality time in a shop selling lovely silver jewlery (these two stops curtesy of Dad's little pressie). The boys were slightly bored at this point, with Jonathon falling asleep whilst waiting the soon to be beautiful maidens (not).

We managed to get out of Stone Town on our last day and had a Spice Tour. Firstly at a Spice Shamba, via Sultan's baths, to lunch at a very expensive resort (eeeek) followed by a dip in their pool (v nice) and a snooze on a bed on the beach under one of those straw thatched umbrella things (those you see in expensive brochures - v nice too). If only they werent so much money...