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!



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!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Can You Waggle?

Waggle, waggle, waggle! Can you do the waggle dance? Just go round in a circle and then waggle your bum! Watch the video to see Julian, Mum and Louisa waggling to their hearts content at the bee seminar last weekend!


Waggle Dance from Rachel Monger on Vimeo.

Did you know that the slower bees waggle, the further away the pollen is, and the faster they waggle, the closer the pollen is?

Lots of other interesting things were taught at the Beekeeping Seminar in Kayenze. Louisa and I joined in. We helped to demonstrate what to wear when working on the hives. Louisa lead the singing and read a Bible verse in Swahili. We helped to serve the chai which was chappatis and maandazis with hot sweet tea. It was yummy! Louisa helped to melt the wax on the three-stone fire outside while I helped to pour melted wax into the grooves of the top-bars. It was a good weekend and we had a lot of fun with Julian and Zoe!

 

 
Pouring wax onto the top bars

Hanging the hive in the trees by Lake Victoria


Kayenze Beekeeper Group Singing from Rachel Monger on Vimeo.

Two of my baby bunnies have just been sold! The two boys, that we had named Star and Sprinkles are now living in a well-built hutch with an adoring owner. She loves them like CRAZY!!! I bet they will get spoilt ;) I am glad they have gone to someone I know will love them.

I will keep the other ones, the three girls called Snuffles, Snuggles and Sprinkles (2) and I am so happy as they are my favourite! Snuffles is completely black except for a white star on her forehead and her two white paws. Snuggles is white and ginger and Sprinkles 2 is blacky-brown and white.



Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Stuck in the Serengeti (by Louisa)

We got stuck in black cotton soil in the middle of the plains of the Serengeti! There were prides of lions, and the fastest animal in the world, cheetahs ... and we were stuck in the mud.

Sand lollies in the Serengeti
Last week, I went to the Serengeti with Samuel and Megan and Daddy. We saw four cheetahs, two elephants, maybe 25 giraffes, four lions, and a hyena. We also saw lots of zebra, impala, topi, crocodiles and hippos, a jackal and ostriches.




After lunch, our guide took us on an adventure!! We went off the track onto the soggy ground. Can you guess what happened? I bet you can. We got stuck! Actually, it was our guide’s car that got stuck more than ours. We used our winch for the first time to try and pull him out. The first time he was stuck we managed to free him, but the second time he was really bogged down and when we tried, even though our car was on solid ground, the winch started to move our car towards his. Oh dear! I looked around, but fortunately there were no lions – they had not spotted us and we did not become their dinner! I was a bit worried it was going to get dark and we would be stuck in the middle of the nowhere. After two hours of trying, as it was getting late we had to take him and his guests in our car to get help. Thankfully the rangers were able to rescue his car. And we arrived at Serengeti Stopover for the night.
Trying to pull their vehicle out!


 

Monday, 11 January 2016

Amisadai's Christmas Holiday Blog

Who was it? Who committed the crime? Was it Duchess Alexandra or Colonel Tim? Did he/she use a frying-pan? Or did they use a woggle? Read on to find out!

A mystery at the Manor House. A murder crime. Was it Madame Rachel, Colonel Tim, Duke Andre or Duchess Alexandra? Was it Professor Andrew or Lady Miriam? On Christmas Eve, we played  a life-size game of Cluedo in Andy and Angela’s old house. Dad was Colonel (pronounced kernel, as I only just found out, I have been pronouncing it col-on-el like it is spelt, and SHOULD be pronounced). It was so much fun and in the end dad, Sam and Ezera found out that it was Duke Andre, with the very dangerous frying pan, in the kitchen.

While we were in Iringa, we went horse-riding! It was so much fun to see Shera and Julia again, and Biscuit (my favourite horse)! We saddled them up and brushed them and then jumped on (Well I did, Louisa’s legs were too short). I rode Biscuit (a white and brown spotty horse) and Louisa rode Flora (a dark brown horse). It was so much fun as we trotted and walked up the road and back. I really loved it!!
With Biscuit and Flora



I had a very fun birthday this year. I opened my presents first thing; I got a remote control sports car, games and DVDs and notebooks, pens and books (Guess what?! I got Grandma’s Attic number one thanks to the VanWoerdens!). I have wanted it for so long, as the copy I have now is falling into pieces) and lots of other things too. We then had a delicious breakfast of cinnamon buns made by Mama Lucy (we really miss her in Mwanza and it was SO nice to see her again!)
Cinnamon Bun Breakfast while skyping Papa and Mama!
We went to Neema Crafts for birthday milkshakes with Lara, Talia, Ezera and Aniya, and they were delicious (as always!) I had a chocolate one and it was so good!!!! We went back and had a birthday lunch of all my favourite things, such as cheesy footballs (sent from Grandma) and Pringles, Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers (sent from Heather and Steve ... and a little melted together!) and orange slices and cheese and crackers with chutney from the Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight!
We had the VanWoerdens over to play in the afternoon and we watched Minions! Then Alex and Andre came over for dinner and Alex had made this awesome cake, that was NARNIA!!! We were only there for such a short time but she already knew me so well. It tasted sooo good!


And here is a funny true story: One day while was waiting by the side of the road, beside a ditch of water,  a man (I think he was drunk) came up to me and asked if I was David Beckham’s girlfriend. Well actually he said, “you David Beckham’s girlfliendi?”  I said no, I wasn’t. Then he asked if I was his little sister. I said “No, I’m not.” Then I thought he would go away but he didn’t, he just stood there thinking. Suddenly he made me jump by shouting ‘Aha! Aha! aha, aha! I am knowing who’s you are! You Ronaldo’s little sister? Eheh!’

I said ‘Yes I am totally Ronaldo’s little sister.’’ He then said “Ronaldo’s little sister look for fishies in water? Hee! Very good.  Aya! Bye!”  Then he left and went to catch up with his friends shouting (in Swahili) ‘I have met Ronaldo’s little sister and David Beckham’s best friend!(absolutely no clue where he got this idea from!) “She was staring in the trench looking for fishies!”