Monday, 29 October 2007

Mbozi Meteorite

On Saturday I joined some friends on a trip to Mbozi Meteorite. This meteorite is supposed to be the 8th biggest in the world (or the 4th – depending on which guidebook you read), but despite that it was disappointingly small. We had travelled for a couple of hours, overshooting the turnoff by about 20km (as the signpost was barely discernable as such), before finally arriving – so that it’s diminutive stature felt like something of a joke, especially when we were charged for the privilege of looking at it. However, we still had fun eating our picnic there, by the 12 ton stone (about 98% iron), and there were some lovely views to be seen through the trees and on the journey.
Unfortunately, as the day passed I started to feel a bit rough, my whole body began to ache and when I got home I felt so cold and headachy. Malaria? Not sure, but took the medicine on the advice of my neighbours, who then took good care of me all Sunday – providing me with meals. So I enjoyed a quiet Sunday at home, listening to a sermon on my computer on the book of Ruth, and then reading the whole book of Ruth in my Swahili Bible for a bit of practice, writing e-mails, watching Jane Eyre, reading and dozing. Today I’m back in the office, and work continues as usual.

Monday, 22 October 2007

A Sunday afternoon stroll

Monica, Tina (landlady and daughter) and I decided to go for a walk, after returning from attending the early service at church (8-10am) and then going to a cafĂ© for ‘supu’ together. ‘Supu’ is a stew/watery soup with either goat meat (including offal) or chicken in it, accompanied by chapatti or grilled plantain. Not quite what I’m used to for breakfast, but tasty all the same!

A mountain rises up behind our neighbourhood (as you can see in the picture on the right, my house is the one on the right), so off we set. Not sure if you can call climbing a hill a stroll, but we took our time as we made our way up through the wooded hillside. There was a lovely scent in the air from the eucalyptus trees, birds were singing and at one point a stream trickled down the hill.

We didn’t make it all the way to the top, but we got some fantastic views over the city of Mbeya.

You could just about make out where our houses were (as I’ve tried to show by the red ring on the picture, and the arrow is the drive down to our houses). While the others took a rest, I pressed on and found the main path heading up the mountain – there was still a long way to go, but even after a few minutes more of climbing I could see for miles in all directions. One day I’ll get to the top!!

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Chai time at the office

Every morning we have a chai break (chai is tea), sometimes accompanied by fresh fruit from someone’s garden, and always accompanied by mandazi (doughnut like cake things). As you can see, there’s quite a crowd of us working in the office when we’re all there (and not out running workshops or visiting different project locations to gather language data or meet with the translation teams or church leaders…)

Monday, 15 October 2007

Off to work

Work is a 15 minute cycle ride away (not the easiest of rides with steep hills in both directions). Biking the journey is working well at the moment, but how it will be in the rainy season I don’t know!

Here’s the office (we rent rooms from the college there), and our very own Scripture Use office - needs a bit of furnishing, but the space is great for creative thought and when you need a stretch after sitting in front of the computer for too long!
The view from the balcony is pretty good too!

Meet the Minja family

Monica (left) is my landlady, and then there’s her husband, their daughter (who is my age) and their daughter-in-law who was visiting for a while. They are the most welcoming people I have ever met. I’m always popping round there for one reason or another, and more often than not end up staying to chat for a good while and eat with them. If it wasn’t for them I think I would find this place rather quiet and lonely, but as we live in the same enclosure I can always have company :-)

Karibu nymbani

Welcome to my lovely new home! Here's some more photos of the house - now looking a little more lived in!What’s different about this house to an English home? Let’s see… the floors aren’t carpeted, there’s a lizard to keep me company in the lounge, there’s no washing machine and the electricity likes to go off occasionally (like every other day for half an hour or so)! What you might not have expected was the fireplace – the weather can get pretty chilly here in season so a cosy fire is welcomed. And what about the garden? A profusion of the most beautiful flowers, sweetly scented, and then there’s the banana trees, the pigs and the dogs. The dogs are just for security, and only let out at night, when they set up a harmonious howling together with all the other dogs in the neighbourhood. It settles down after a while though so I can sleep peacefully (so long as the frog isn’t croaking right outside my window)! I’m really enjoying living here, with the mountains around that I am just aching to climb, town centre a convenient 10 minute walk away and my lovely neighbours - the Minga family.


Just thought I’d pop this picture in here too – God’s wonderful creation!

Language School Graduation Day

Going back a bit in time...
We’ve finished! Showing off our new (and very bright) T-shirts from Riverside Campsite - our congratulatory gift for completing language school.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Moving house

I've finally arrived in Mbeya. Language school is over and it's time to start out in a new place, a new house, a new job...So, here's a sneak preview of the house I will be living in. It's a lovely house, but not the most convenient location so I'll just have to see how it works out over the next couple of months. I'll be moving in there this very afternoon - Monday 1st October!!

Taking a walk

The path I have walked many a time into the village. Once again last weekend I traipsed along it - this time to go to the church in the village. The singing is wonderful there, I just hope that one day I will be able to understand the preaching! My mind just can't keep up with the speed at which they speak. It was a hot walk along that path. The last couple of weeks the weather has noticeably warmed - this is a relief in the mornings, which were so cold, but it means that in the afternoons you want to stay in a nice shady spot!

Beautiful floweres

Despite being the dry season, it seems to be the time for trees to come to leaf and flowers to blossom. The colours are startling - reds, pinks and purples.