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Martin’s Blog

Tanzania story.

By | My Blog Notes | No Comments

Whilst traveling on a coach between Dar Es Salaam and Dodoma – there were endless TV soaps, which are loved by locals and always bring much laughter. Enjoyed this simple story ..

A coffee shop owner brags about a cat he has taught to do many things. He gathers his friends to show them all the wonderful things the cat can do. Everyone is very impressed until one of the guests throws a rat into the shop and the cat forgets its job and chases the rat. The guest says, “The cat may be able to be taught many things but he will never forget what he has been made for.”

Medical Dispensary

By | Africa, My Blog Notes, Tanzania | No Comments

Great to see the medical dispensary up and running –  medicines in cabinet – microscope – solar panels and the electricity about to be connected.  Full-time workers and fieldworkers. The government’s hospital is now a clinic for pregnant women – although it is also used for people who are severely ill and need a bed. At the moment it is a dorm for the field students.

Mnase village 2017

By | Africa, My Blog Notes, Tanzania | No Comments

Mnase village was as dry as a bone and Bekah’s eyes were soon streaming as strong winds blew up dust into her eyes in almost desert like conditions. Because the fields were so bare, apart from a few decimated crops, plastic litter could be seen everywhere dotting the village landscape. Before plastic all waste would decompose. No refuse collection here! There are incrediblle changes in the community. Seth has encouraged the chairman that each visit we stay in a different part of town in order to continually build friendships. This time we are staying in a house with sofas / couches and amazingly, just connected 3 days ago, electricity! Everyone very pleased to see us – lots of warm welcomes.

Back to Mnase village

By | Africa, My Blog Notes, Tanzania | No Comments

The road into Mnase is so dry. River beds dryer than we have ever seen them – in fact one man said he had never seen them this dry – we found him digging 10 foot down to extract small amounts of water in the bone dry river bed. The size of the holes were immense, conical at the top to hold back sand and straighter when hitting rocks. His hard work had brought some success as he had cultivated a small patch of greens next to the river by using the water from these deep pits.

Tagish Nation

By | Americas, My Blog Notes | No Comments

Heritage center celebrationsIt was an honour to meet Chief Andy Carvill and celebrate with the Tagish First Nation in Carcross, Yukon, as they opened a new learning center and cultural building. A highlight was the Dakhká Khwáan Drum and Dance group.

Last years filming is a hit!

By | Americas, First Nations, My Blog Notes | No Comments

BaptismIt was so good to be back with Uncle Willie and Auntie Gracie in Tahltan country (northern BC). This was the second year that we had been invited to take part in their music festival, this time primarily so we could show them the video footage and recordings we had made from the previous year, although I did get a chance to ‘bash some skins’ with a few bands! They were so moved at a private viewing that they decided to show the film on one of the evenings of the festival.

Kitwanga to Stikine Canyon Baptism


By | Africa, My Blog Notes | No Comments

Rob May from Community Albums invited myself and Phil Barker (bass player) to join him on a trip to Burundi to help train young musicians. Staying with the Salesians, a Catholic order whose focus is on schooling for children, Rob has been building a studio. One of the priests (a passionate guitarist) has been encouraging young musicians and then finding them work in the local bars and clubs. Over the years he has become a father to many, many musicians – in fact every night we visited a different club and he seemed to know all the musicians!

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Tanzania Drought 2017

By | My Blog Notes, Tanzania | No Comments

We are looking at sending money to buy maize before the prices soar – and we need your help – if 1000 people gave £25 each we would be able reach our target and send maize not only to Mnase but all the surrounding villages. We so appreciate your help – Asante sana.

In the UK you can give via https://my.give.net/tanzaniadrought2017 and outside the Uk via Paypal – voicesfromthenations@hotmail.com

The Power of Song

By | My Blog Notes | No Comments

A wonderful documentary on the life of Pete Seeger – a troubadour who revitalised folk music in America, gave voice to the Vietnam war, used song to clean up the Hudson river and whose overriding passion was to bring people together to sing.