About us!

We are Amisadai and Louisa Monger (aged 12 and 10). In 2010, we moved to Tanzania in Africa - look at the map below to see if you can find it! We hope you will enjoy reading about our adventures and looking at our photos! Please don't forget to send us a message too!



Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Summer Camp! Summer Camp! Oi!

Last week it was Summer Camp for lots of kids with albinism! This was our camp shout: SUMMER CAMP! SUMMER CAMP! And everyone shouts "OI!" A team of volunteers came to run the camp. It was sad that Amisadai was sick a lot of the week, but I went every day from Tuesday to Sunday and really enjoyed it! The volunteers and Vicky and Esther made it really fun for all the kids - they were all very patient and kind! I got to go to a camp in Kenya the week before, but these kids don't get to do things like this, so this was a really exciting treat! Also it is their school holiday but a lot of them don't have a safe or happy home to go to which is really sad for them, so this made everyone very happy!

I went round the different stations joining in with different groups. I also helped with the little children in day care a few times. Here are some of the things we did ...

Art class with Maria (Mama Penina's daughter)
With Mama Laurensia
Emmanuel Festo has been through a very hard life. When he was 7 years old,  his left arm and the fingers on his right hand were cut off. Later on, he went to America where doctors used his toe to make a thumb so that he could grip with his right hand.  I don't know how they did this. But having only two "fingers" it is still very hard to hold a pencil. I was so surprised to see how he drew this amazing tree with the stubs on his hand wedged against chin! I could not do that!

Emmanuel drawing

 

I enjoyed going to the science class! We were learning about what we can do to avoid getting burned by the sun. People with albinism don't have pigment to protect their skin, so they can easily get skin damage and cancer from the sun rays. So one of the things the teachers did was give out these bead bracelets, which are really cool! When you stand in the sun, (mainly between 11am and 4pm when the sun rays are strongest), the beads change colour from white to purple, going darker purple as the sun rays get stronger. They draw energy from the sun which later makes them glow green in the dark! This helped us all week to see when we needed to get out of the sun!
Here we are all trying out our bracelets!
This kid needs to get out of the sun! Her beads have gone purple!
Ashley and Brady, young people from Canada, were leading the sports station! We played hockey and other games. That was a little hard with my sore hand, but they made it loads of fun.
Playing hockey!
The Upenda wa Mama group were selling necklaces, earrings, lip balms, lots of different types of body balms, lots of different types of soap, candles and hand sewn cards. Here I am helping them to set up the stall and help with selling. Lots of the team wanted to buy things and all the kids liked to look at it all!
This cute little girl is Mama Zuena's daughter, Mariam. I enjoyed looking after her!
At the end of every day, everyone came together for chapel. We sang worship songs and we can all dance at the front! Then some of the kids would perform a song and then there was a talk to do with our theme "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13) We also had a theme song which was really fun to sing and a really good thing for the kids who have had bad things said to them saying that they are not important or that they are a curse, to remember. It says, "I know who I am!" So you can see, it was very good camp.

Dancing in chapel


Saturday, 23 July 2016

Loving a Kids Life as an "Overseas Missionary"

Louisa and I just got back from an amazing camp in Kenya which we can’t wait to tell you all about! Also Louisa has lots to say about the awesome Summer Camp this week for Kids with Albinism. But we haven’t had time to write anything yet. So in the meantime, we thought you might like to read a short article we wrote for our Church magazine in England. We were asked to write about what it is like as kids growing up as “overseas missionaries.”

All Christians, young and old, wherever they live, can be missionaries. A missionary is someone who shares Jesus and the Bible with others, lives as a light and helps people practically and spiritually.
For us, being overseas missionaries (in a different country to where we were born) is fun and exciting, but can also sometimes be a little sad or hard at times ... and it can be pretty normal too.

Living Overseas

We love that we see get to see amazing places like the Serengeti, speak different languages (Swahili and tribal languages) and have different experiences. We have adventures that might scare people in England such accidently standing on a crocodile’s head in the river and just getting off in time or finding a spitting cobra living in our garden. We eat food that is really different to Canadians, like green slime with sour milk, hairy goats and cow intestine soup.
The green slime with rice
Learning Kimasai in Magozi
Snake kill
As well as being adventurous, it can be a little hard at times. We often miss our family and friends in England and Canada. Amisadai misses Taste Youth and corner yogurts and Louisa misses English shops and McDonalds. But then when we come back to England we really miss our friends and life in Tanzania and we feel so behind because everyone is talking about new things that just came out, and we have NO clue what they are talking about. Tanzania is home to us, and we feel normal here!

In many ways normal life for us isn’t so different! We get up at 6:20am and leave for school at 7:15am. School starts at 7:55am. We go to an international school (taught in English). We really like it there, and it isn’t that different to UK schools. Amisadai’s favourite subjects are PE, History and Drama and Louisa’s favourites are art and science. We have loads of monkeys at our school, and they are a nuisance! They tip over the bins, steal lunches and break into students’ backpacks. Once a friend walked into the bathroom and found a monkey sitting on the toilet! After school, sometimes we have swimming or other clubs, or we go home and do homework and music practise. We like to do normal things like riding our bikes, going for runs, climbing trees (and playing in our treehouse), listening to music, sketching and emailing friends.
Singing in the school choir

Fun in our treehouse
 

How are we as kids involved in “Mission?”

Sometimes people think only adults can be missionaries. But we all can. Most of our time is at school now, so we can talk to friends about Jesus and what it means to be a Christian. When we go to villages, the main thing is to be with people. They love to see our faces and we love to help out! When we were doing the stoves project, we would sit with the groups and make miniature versions of clay stoves! We can sit and make beads or weave mats with mamas and play games with kids. When mum and dad go to teach about nutrition or SODIS (a way of getting clean water to drink using sunlight) or keeping bees, we can talk too and act out dramas to help deliver the message.


Teaching how to get clean water using SODIS
Teaching the importance of washing hands!
Hanging out with the Mamas Group
Teaching on protective bee-gear
Louisa loves to read the Swahili Bible and lead the singing. And we get to see that God is always at work! God has always been there for us, to help and encourage us, getting us out of danger and healing us from sicknesses such as malaria and amoebiasis. Once when we got lost in a baobab forest with a friend, after wandering round in circles and making our parents rather anxious, He brought us all back to the path. We have seen God heal people who have evil spirits and He has given Louisa the words to pray for people.  He always has a special job for all of us to do!

How have you seen God at work around you?

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Serengeti to Home (Part 3)

Waking up on Day 4 to the sunrise of the Serengeti, we all washed, dressed and ate, and we were soon on our way back through the Serengeti again. On our last game drive we saw more and more animals, including a very well camouflaged leopard! We drove through a huge herd of zebras and wildebeest and made our way back to the Serengeti gate. We quickly stopped for lunch before returning home to Mwanza, full of happy memories … and looking forward to seeing our families again!

We had a lot of fun during the trip! It was funny when someone’s hat blew off his head, out the open-top roof and landed on the road behind us. The car behind picked it up for us! We had a lot of chatter and giggling on the long car journeys. But after many hours on the road with one girl in particular, one boy said that she needed to “talk MODERATELY!” It was fun sleeping in tents but the food wasn’t as good as home food. I enjoyed a chance to be with different friends. I loved seeing all the animals and the new beautiful landscapes. I can’t wait to take my family there!
Tenting Fun

So, as you can see it was a good, educational and very fun trip! I hope you have learnt something too about Ngorongoro Crater and Oldupai Gorge and can picture the wonderful time we had there.

Glossary
Fossil: a bone that has been preserved for a long period of time.

Ngorongoro: the sound of the cow and donkey bells as they walk down into the crater.
Serengeti: this word comes from the Masai word “Serengiti” which means “endless plains”.

Oldupai: a word from the Masai language for a certain plant called Sisal which grows plentifully in and around Oldupai Gorge. It is used by the Masai to make ropes, baskets and mats. Cows chew it when there is little water around as the plant absorbs water. It is also used in medicine as it is a painkiller.
Sisal
Total List of Animals Seen
Elephant
Giraffe
Impala
Thompson’s gazelle
Topi
Black rhino
Cheetah
Lion
Leopard
Warthog
Hyenas
Wildebeest
Buffalo
Ostrich
Dik dik
Zebra
Vultures
Guinea fowl
Baboon
Monkey
Jackal
 

Monday, 20 June 2016

Oldupai Gorge (Part 2)

Amisadai's Year 7 School Trip: Part 2

On day three of our Year 7 School Trip, we set off early from Ngorongoro to go to Oldupai Gorge, which was about an hour’s drive away from Nyani Campsite.
Oldupai Gorge
Shortly after we arrived, a man named Marafu gave us a lecture about Oldupai Gorge, an archaeological site, measuring about 20.2 square kilometres. Oldupai’s unique feature is that it is the only place in the world which contains remains of “homo habilis”, which evolutionists believe is an early forerunner of human beings. The gorge has three other discoveries for which it is famous:
  • The discovery of stone tools
  • The discovery of animal bones and fossils
  • The discovery of early human bones and fossils
Also discovered at Oldupai were the Laoteli footprints preserved in volcanic tuff. They were discovered in 1977 and believed to be 3.6 million years old and are said to be most important discovery of the history of human palaeontology.

Oldupai Gorge was first reported during the year 1911 by a German archaeologist named Wilhelm Catwinkle. Research was started in 1913 by the Germans. But the team failed to continue their research due to the First World War. After the First World War, the Germans lost their colony and further research was started by Louis and Mary Leakey, who were English. (Interestingly, their son Richard Leakey, who is 72 and Head of Wildlife Conservation in Kenya, has been in the news recently with all the wildlife poaching). Today there are three different groups of researchers from Spain, USA and Tanzania.
People believe that 2 million years ago there was a lake that attracted many living creatures such as birds, animals, reptiles, insects and fish. The circumference of the lake is thought to be 5 to 8 km wide. But due to the volcanic eruption of Mount Olmot, the lake disappeared. When the eruption occurred, it killed many of the creatures. The volcanic urge contained many minerals such as phosphorus, sodium, potassium and silicate. Those minerals fossilized the bones. Oldupai Gorge was then naturally formed due to water erosion.
Oldupai Gorge has 5 geological layers which are:
  • Layer 1: contains basalt and volcanic ash. Dated 2 million years ago
  • Layer 2: contains volcanic ash. Dated 1.75 million years ago
  • Layer 3: contains red soil (iron oxide). Dated 1.2million years ago
  • Layer 4: contains volcanic ash. Dated 800,000 years ago (this is the layer that caused the lake to disappear)
  • Layer 5: contains magma. Dated 150,000 years ago
Five layers seen in the gorge
In the research of the Gorge, scientists identified what they believe are four different species of Hominid discovered at Oldupai:
  • Australopithecus Bosei/ zinjanthropus
  • Homo habilis
  • Homo Erectus
  • Homo Sapiens

After spending the morning at Oldupai Gorge, we went to see “shifting sand,” not far from the Gorge. The shifting sand is greyish black sand which is moving all the time. It moves 100m in 6 years! It was burning hot to walk on and was very fine and smooth. But after a quick walk about on the sand, we had to leave and drive off very quickly because the Masai came with their spears and didn’t want us to be there! They even threw their spears at the car as we drove off!


 
 
I will give you the final instalment of our trip on the next blog post!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Ngorongoro Crater (Part 1)

Over the next couple of blog posts I (Amisadai) will tell you about my Year 7 school trip. With photos I will tell you about the adventures we had on our four day trip to Ngorongoro Crater and Oldupai Gorge in Tanzania.
Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater
In March, I went with my class to Ngorongoro. We left early and travelled from the noise and buildings of Mwanza to the endless plains of the Serengeti and passed many animals along the way.  After driving on the tarmac road through the buildings and business of Mwanza, we then continued on a dirt road past the herds of thousands of wildebeest on the Serengeti plains and finally came to the lush green grass in the Ngorongoro conservational park. Masai were shepherding their cattle, camels and goats kept safe in very small fenced areas. We reached Nyani Campsite at 5pm, and later watched as a beautiful red sunset settled down over the crater.
 

On the Road

Masai on the road

Our Campsite

The next morning it was so cold! After breakfast we set off to drive down into the Crater. It is 610m in depth and 250 square kilometres inside. Ngorongoro Crater is now the only place left in Tanzania to see the big five (lion, buffalo, rhino, leopard and elephant) and also the only place left to see rhinos in Tanzania.

 
In the Crater, it was fairly green. It was not flat on the bottom, as many of us had expected, but had a hill on the western side. There was a lake in the middle too. Ngorongoro Crater is considered paradise for creatures, and is known as the eighth wonder of the world.
Here are my photos of some animals we saw! Which is your favourite?







 

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Experimental Half Term


I'm back! It's Louisa blogging again! Sorry it has been such a long time!
 
We have just had a few days off school for our half term. Over the long weekend we did some chemistry experiments. We made blue calcium sulphate crystals and some milk and honey soap with sodium borate. I also made some wholewheat honey bread and Amisadai and I made some honey vanilla yogurt. (See below how you can make these things at home!)
Chemistry at home!
Making soap
Guess what! There is now a huge new mall in Mwanza! There is nothing like it here at all! We went there yesterday. There are hardly any shops there yet, but they do have lots of phone shops! In the mall they have just opened a shop called TSN supermarket. It is much bigger than I expected and is like being in Dar es Salaam!  They have trolleys that are my size and also car trolleys for small children to ride in and much cheaper cereal so we bought some Rice Krispies!
Rock City Mall

It's HUGE!

I love these little cars!

We found Iringa Yoghurt!!!!
 Recently we have been to quite a few weddings! Our friend Esther and Baraka got married and so did our friend, Joel and Samantha. I enjoyed dressing up in my new dress and seeing the brides and brisdesmaids looking very beautiful. But Esther's wedding was very long, and I did get tired waiting for the food to come! It was a real midnight feast which for my whole life I always thought would be fun. It was still fun, but I think it is better to eat earlier as well before the midnight feast.
With Esther
Helping with Esther's long train

Wedding smiles!
 
 
HOW TO MAKE HONEY WHOLEWHEAT BREAD:
Click on the link here for the recipe I used!

HOW TO MAKE YOGURT:
4 cups of hot milk
1/4 cup of plain yogurt
1 tsp of vanilla
glug of honey

Cool the milk to 110F in a hotpot with the vanilla and honey.
Gently swirl the yogurt into the milk.
Then place the hotpot in a sunny spot for 8 hours. Refrigerate.
To make thicker yogurt like Greek style you can strain off some of the whey through a cloth.


HOW TO MAKE SOAP:
8 parts oil (we used palm,coconut and olive)
4 part water with 1 part milk
1 part NaOH (sodium hydroxide)
1 part honey

Measure the oils and keep warm at 90F. Wearing protective goggles, masks, gloves and apron, very carefully stir the NaOH into the water and milk. It gets very HOT! Working with NaOH is very dangerous, so make sure you are with an adult! Wait for it to cool to cool to 90F. This takes a while! Stir it carefully into the oil and keep stirring. Add the honey. Stir a lot and then pour into moulds.
Wait until the soap has set well before taking out!
IMPORTANT! You must wait a couple of months until you can use this soap!