Much of our work in South West Tanganyika is very practical. Mapagoro, high in the hills, was given a small grant of £100 in 2013. With it, they bought five pigs. There are now 12 pigs spread around the village improving the local economy and diet. When our car broke down, Fr. Ezekiel and friends picked us up on their motorbikes. The church of St. John the Baptist has hand painted murals.
It takes at least six hours to travel the 120 miles from Njombe, the regional capital and cathedral town, to the four remote parishes on Lake Manda. When we visited in 2013, we were surprised to find fishermen still using hollowed out tree trunks on vast Lake Nyasa. Our purpose in 2015 was to bring a gift of £13,000 raised in the parishes of St. Asaph and beyond so that four new fishing boats could be built. This meant establishing a management committee to oversee the building and operation of the boats so that all could share in the benefits. The engines have been purchased but sourcing sufficient hardwood is proving a challenge.
Goats bought with a donation in 2013 were prospering. We were the first Europeans to reach the simple home built church at Mbongo for 10 years. A journey to Makonde will have to wait until the boats are built.
At, Kibena, we took part in a wonderful Confirmation Service with lots of dancing and singing as well as visiting the sprouting trees sponsored by Gwersyllt Parish. And there were always signs to make us smile.