Mission to Mavuno 7

Paint, paint and more paint. That pretty much sums up the day today. In the evening, however, it was all about the kids. First we got to play with the little ones, coloring and doing crafts. Then we spent time playing frisbee with some of the older ones.

After dinner we listened to Dan Tanner tell us stories about some of the kids in the program here and some of the challenges that face orphans in Tanzania. It was difficult not to weep listening to some of what is happening here. Children are valued more than wives, less than livestock and land. By the time it was over, we skipped our evening team meeting and simply prayed.

Saturday. We had all day with the kids and were invited to a small village named Nyamhuge for dinner. The kids just plain wore us out! We made t-shirt for our activity, but that was over in a couple hours and these guys have the same boundless energy you find in children anywhere. Here they have no television. No video games. No iPods or cell phones. They play with their imagination and one another. They really enjoy soccer and a game they play only here at Mavuno with some old pool balls and a long skinny table they. They set up six balls at each end and throw one back and forth down the table trying to knock each other’s setup off the end. It’s a miracle they don’t crush someone’s fingers every time they play!

After t-shirts we climbed in the boulder-strewn hills behind Mavuno with the kids. There is a great viewpoint just minutes uphill if you’re willing to put in the effort. Masalu, Greg and Jon went on to a higher vantage point and spotted a troop of monkeys skittering through the rocks and grass. Monkeys are a nuisance to local farmers, but a novelty to us.

We also had the chance to look at a 3 acre garden plot Masalu is farming by hand trying to support his family. He can make about $40 on an acre of green peppers that takes 2 months to grow. One stray hippo can trample an acre overnight. Let that math sink in for a minute…

Dinner. For dinner we walked to a nearby village with 2 Bible school students who know Dan and happened to be home from their studies for a few days. Sitting in the center of a few mud huts and watching the sun set on Lake Victoria we talked with John and Johanna and a few other villagers while eating ugali (a white corn mash), milenda (a crushed green vegetable paste made from nearby weeds, yes, weeds), daga’a (sun dried minnows in a brown sauce), chicken, beans and rice. They fed us so much it felt like an eating contest! We tried to clean our plates in order to be polite, but the sheer volume was overwhelming. It was great fun meeting the matriarch who thought Sheri had come to usurp her! Age is everything in the village and it took awhile to convince the woman that Sheri, who is several decades younger, just wanted to be her friend. On the walk home we were using flashlights to find our way in the dark and came across a small olive-brown snake on the path. Boomslang? Green Mamba? Harmless grass snake? Dan wasn’t sure, but we gave it a wide birth.









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