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Monthly Archives: February 2009

We had a dream …. Tanzania Feb 2009

By | Africa, My Stories, Tanzania | No Comments
Hetton Law Feb 2009 1

Our journey started from snow covered Northumbria, skidding down the narrow icy lanes towards the A1 and ended 3 days later (after various forms of public transport – car, plane, taxi, dalai, coach and three wheeler cycle!) in hot and humid Dodoma which is situated in central Tanzania.

Tanzania Feb 2009 gr3 033Tanzania, although one of the least urbanised, is East Africa’s largest country. With a diverse landscape of savannah, bush, lakes and highland plateau. It is renowned for its wild life, game reserves and Mount Kilimanjaro, (the highest mountain on this continent). Its 126 different tribal groups, each with their own heritage, are welded together by the Kiswahili language, a mix of Arabic and old Bantu originating from Zanzibar. Before 1972 this diverse group of people had no cohesion and lived in scattered pockets throughout the country. Between 1972 and 1974 under the Presidency of Julius Nyerere the Government forced these pockets into village formats. Read More

Carry me on (Hawai’i)

By | Oceania | One Comment
 Carry Me On

For over 20 years Mark Riley, a Californian by birth, has come to appreciate and embrace the life, culture and sounds of the Hawaiian nation. In order to honour the people and respect the friends and place he now calls home, this recording has involved cultural expressions, natural soundscapes and Hawaiian musicians to help tell Mark’s unfolding story of journeying with God on the island of Kaua’i as well as internationally. The melding of modern music and indigenous Hawaiian instruments on this project is a symbol of different people groups coming together in unity and exploring their God given heritage and unique musical gifts. Want more info about Mark www.markrileymusic.com

Dispensary on the way

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Next stop was to see the progress of the medical dispensary. The building project has brought jobs to men from Mnase and an adjacent village. At the moment the only medical help is a visiting doctor, once a month, for pregnant women and children under 5. Men, children over 5 and all other women have to walk or cycle 10km to the nearest small dispensary. Inside the new unit will be a waiting room a doctor’s room, an inoculation room and dispensary hatch, a store room and 2 small bedrooms for men and women.

Water in Mnase

By | Tanzania | No Comments

Seeing the renovated water pump working was very moving and hugely exciting. A dream in 2005 had become a reality. The village committee had decided to charge 20 TZS for a container of water (about 0.1 pence), this enables someone to be employed to look after the pump, pay for the fuel and allow people from the 4 other satellite villages to collect water.

We have put together a short video using pictures and video snap shots of the unfolding story of water coming to the village of Mnase in central Tanzania.

Watching moving pictures!

By | Tanzania | No Comments

Watching the DVD and pictures6It was a full house as we showed some of the video clips and pictures from our recording trip in 2005. Initially we had decided to show the clips outside under a corrugated iron roof – but there was such a huge crowd (the news had got out – even though we had only told a few people) that there was a fear that the roof and structure was going to collapse when we started playing the music. We had to quickly stop the showing and run!!! There was much laughter later with the elders of the village, as they joked about possible news headlines – white people kill half the village of Mnase!

When we regrouped in a smaller venue with restricted numbers – we had an amazing evening. People were laughing, screaming and pointing as various members of the village were noticed in the photographs. The first time that any of them would have seen themselves on a computer screen.

Back to Mnase

By | Africa, My Stories, Tanzania | No Comments

Early this morning we set off to Mnase village in what can only be described as a metal moving object crammed to absolute capacity with people, chickens and general household objects. This picture gradually got worse as people finding no room through the doors started climbing in through the windows ….. and every once in a while there would be startled looks at the realisation that there were Msungu’s (white people) on the bus! Read More

Welcome to Tanzania … that will be £100-

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Tanzania Feb 2009 gr3 003

As you can imagine there was much joy when we were able to pass on a gift of a keyboard from a musician friend in the States to our friends in Dodoma, central Tanzania. The interesting story was getting it into the country ….. when we arrived a custom official tried to pocket 200,000 TSH for us to bring the keyboard into the country. When we said we did not have that money on us … he gave himself away by replying “How much can you afford?”

Sadly this was not the only story of corruption during our trip to Africa. We called his bluff, and finally after the usual waiting game … he got fed up and let us go through!