Today was such a great day! We started the morning with our first children's program at the United Methodist Church in Tarime. There were probably about 40 kids there, some from Our Father's House (the program we visited yesterday) and some who just wandered in from the town. We did a few Swahili songs and also taught the song Jesus Loves Me in English with hand motions. Then we acted out two Bible stories: Doubting Thomas and Jonah and the Whale. Katie did a lovely faith share about doubt and then we broke into several smaller groups to go over a few discussion questions. We also did a craft that involved paper plates shaped like whales and little paper Jonahs that the kids got to color. Overall the program went really smoothly and the kids all really seemed to enjoy it!
After the children's program was finished we all went to lunch at our new friend Mwita's house. Mwita and his whole family were incredibly kind and welcoming to us, and they cooked us an amazing meal! It was such an honor to be welcomed into Mwita's home and to be able to share a meal with him and his family.
For the afternoon we split into two groups: one group went back to the church to teach English to the kids from Our Father's House, and the other group (the one I was in) went to the community development center for our first official day of stove teaching.
For the stove teaching we had about eight women from the community come to learn and we talked with them all about the brick stove that we built yesterday. We started by explaining why we think that this particular stove design could be useful to them, especially the fact that it produces very little smoke. We demonstrated how the stove works, and while it took us a little while to get the fire started once we got it going we were able to bring a pot of water to a boil with very little fuel and almost no smoke. We really wanted input from the ladies who came to learn since they would be the ones using the stove, and they asked us a lot of really insightful questions. They all seemed to be open to the concept of the stove and I think that the next few days will be really important for continuing to demonstrate how well it works. We are planning to teach them how to build the stove tomorrow and then hopefully the next day we will be able to let them cook on it themselves, which is super exciting!
It is really interesting to try to teach a concept like these stoves with a language barrier, but our translators have been so amazing! But one funny miscommunication happened today that we didn't realize until we got back to our compound tonight. We kept trying to explain that the brick stove keeps the heat in better than the one of the alternatives, three stones placed on the ground with a wood fire underneath. As we tried to explain this one of our translators was very insistent that no heat could escape with the three stone method, which we didn't think was right but we decided not to argue. When we got back tonight we were talking about it and Davis pointed out that in Swahili there is one word for both fire and heat, so our translator probably though that we were saying that with the three stone stove fire would be shooting out of the sides, which definitely doesn't happen! So tomorrow we are planning to try to figure out a way to communicate the difference between fire and heat, so hopefully we will be able to explain everything better.
I wasn't with the English teaching group, but they said that everything went really well! Apparently some of the kids already know a little bit of English and the rest are eager to learn. It sounds like everyone had a lot of fun playing games and learning.
Well, that's about it! We're having an amazing time and we can't wait to keep doing this work tomorrow!
La la salama! (sleep well in Swahili)
I have heard this word (mambo) at least a thousand times today, but it's my favorite! (it's an informal Swahili greeting, and I actually know this one). When we drive through town, I love opening up my window and waving at the children, maybe throw a little mambo in there; they don't always respond, some of the children are super shy, but others will flash a brilliant smile your way and return the mambo. BEST FEELING EVER. They say the smile is a universal hello, and I love how true it rings here in Tanzania, Africa.
Our team is growing in so many ways, namely through our late night devotions, intense uno games, and bonding through chaotic transitions in a new country. I love and appreciate each and every one of them; what a team! Keep praying, thinking about, and supporting us. God has some wild plans for us and we need to strength to carry out His Will.
Much love and desire for Christ
(My desire is to know my Lord!)
2017 Tanzania Team
Okay. I have been thinking about this joke all day after our lovely evening rain:
Why does Snoop Dogg always use an umbrella?