About us!

We are Amisadai and Louisa Monger (aged 15 and 13). 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, 20 March 2018

A Story Published!

I was so excited to hear that the story I wrote for a competition was judged to be a winning story! I entered the IDEA Magazine short story competition for under 18's. The guidelines asked for a modern day telling of a parable and I chose to write about the Unmerciful Servant. I was excited to hear that the story made it through the first round into the longlist before Christmas. Then I heard it that it had made it into the shortlist! And then I heard it was a winning story! I received some great books as a prize and also had my story published in the magazine!

You can read the story; it is called Mr Mdaiwa's Mercy. The story is set in a familiar place ... Kayenze!

Short story competition: Mr Mdaiwa’s Mercy

The editor of the magazine then emailed me to ask if I would write a book review for the magazine on a book on the theme of hope. I chose to write a review on "Left to Tell" by  Immaculee Ilibagiza. You may remember that I wrote about this book on the blog after our trip to the Genocide Memorial in Rwanda!

You can read my book review here!

Another Competition...

Louisa and I entered The Isamilo International School Talent Show this week! We called ourselves "Aslan's Girls" performing as Susan and Lucy from CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. We sang (and I played violin) "There's a Place for Us" from Voyage of the Dawn Treader. We were really nervous but so glad we did it! We were super excited to get the second place prize! 

Receiving our prize!

Sunday, 18 March 2018

The Irish Ambassador

On Sunday, January 14, I rose early to leave at 4am with my schoolmates to make the long drive to Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. I went for one week, with the group from my school, to the Model United Nations (MUN). I attended as the Ambassador for Ireland with my resolution selected to present in the technology committee on how to improve maternal healthcare in the rural and remote areas of Lake Victoria through smart phone technology.

Irish Ambassador
I walked through the UN doors for my very first time, my fingers trembling with anticipation as I clutched my folder. I had been feeling rather official, clad in my smart blue spotty dress and business-like jacket, my high heeled shoes, my tights (which were an ongoing, uncomfortable struggle for me, as I do not wear tights very often) my hair and makeup done to perfection and my blue folder resting in my arms, but all of that suddenly faded. I felt very small as I stared around the huge hall. Its high ceiling peered down at me from above. Hundreds of seats (the really cool spinny ones) faced a high table with about 10 chairs. A large podium with black microphones stood tall at the end of the platform.
General Assembly
A sea of chattering, excited young men and women flooded through the doors but all fell silent as a man rose to speak.  “Please can all the delegates take their seats as quickly as possible?” People hurried to the vacant seats. MSMUN 2018 had just begun.

“This assembly will come to order.” The command rang through the air. The general assembly commenced and speeches were made. After rather a long speech, we split up to go to our separate meetings. As the Irish ambassador I attended the technology committee meetings. Before our meeting started, we had 15 minutes to lobby, which means we had to convince people that my resolution was a worthwhile project to pass. We had to talk to many strangers!
Lobbying was a great experience! I actually really don’t like going up to complete strangers and starting a conversation with them. But this experience has really built my confidence, and the phrase which helped me was ‘Be the one who gave the smile, not the one who turned their face away’ (as some of the people in there were quite grumpy and rather rude, whereas others were friendly and amiable.)If you go to talk to someone and they are not interested or ignore you, then just politely back away and laugh awkwardly when you get away from them. That’s my motto!

Resolution after resolution was read, debated, voted and passed, or failed. Boys and girls would walk up to the podium with their head held high – but their insides squirming. They would read with a steady voice, but they were conspicuously hiding their shaking hands. When lunch time finally came round, I was definitely ready, only to find that we only had enough money for a fruit salad. With a stomach that was slightly satisfied, my friend and I trooped back into the main hall.

After our MUN sessions were over, we visited a different mall every single day! We went to a 7D cinema which was awesome, it was 3D, the seats moved and tipped (we had to have seatbelts) and water was sprayed at you when the zombie spat at the screen! It was so much fun. We visited the Giraffe Centre on Monday, the day before the conference started, which was absolutely amazing. They had 12 giraffes, ranging from elderly to babies, all equally beautiful. They had different personalities, some were out-going and friendly, some sullen and withdrawn and some just hungry. We fed them little brown pellets that tasted good, and learnt how to hold them so that the giraffes simply licked them out of your hand. I kissed the giraffe, lips to lips! I put the pellet in my mouth and it came and licked it out. I guess it was a bit disgusting, but it felt nice! Giraffe tongues are really rough and slimy. It licked my whole face! We learnt so much about the history of these giraffes and the centre, and what the centre does.

Each day, our routine was the same, breakfast in the hotel downstairs, leave at 7:00am to get to the United Nations in time for the general assembly (all committees) and then a day of debating resolutions. Then we relaxed with a trip to the mall and then back to the hotel for up to three hours research. Our group was particularly slow, so we didn’t usually get to bed till half past ten.
Outside the UN
I gave my resolution speech on the Friday, the last day of conference. Unfortunately the schedule was running so late, the chair members had to say that no amendments could be made, shorter debate time would be enforced and that you couldn’t extend the debate. Due to this, I was not able to make a vital amendment (an amendment is a slip of paper you hand into to the chair, because you noticed a mistake in your resolution. A person is allowed up to three amendments.) I had not specified some very important figures, and we knew it would be an issue, and due to this that my resolution sadly failed. This was the case with so many people that day. Most of the resolutions on the final day failed.

But making my speech was an amazing experience! Walking up that aisle, I thought it would never end. I was sure I’d stumble in my high heels, or that my trouser leg was tucked into my socks, or my trousers into my underwear, but luckily I was completely fine. My hands were shaking, my legs were shaking and I was completely focused on reaching the podium. Safely. Without falling. All eyes followed as I climbed up the steps, the silence thudding in my ears. I turned the microphone on, placed my papers on the desk and began. At first, it was all I could do just keeping my voice from shaking. Soon I began to relax, empathizing more on what I was saying, looking up and around at all the serious, and listening voices down below me.
Giving my speech
My resolution and following speech soon came to an end, and I yielded the floor to Cuba, someone who had asked to speak for my resolution. Many people wanted to speak for me, as I glanced round at all the raised placards. It was debated and voted for. But unfortunately it failed. I am so glad I did it though. Now I know what to do for next time, what to include and how to read it. I cannot wait to go again.

My MSMUN experience was amazing, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done and I’m so glad I did it. I even got a free pen, bag, name tag, and wristband as well as a really cool glass bottle with the UN symbol on. My favourite things about MUN were speaking in front of everyone, the soup and making tons of new friends. My least favourite thing was that when someone was speaking, the chair members just interrupted them saying ‘Time for this resolution has just expired’ and I found it quite rude. Especially if they welcomed someone up to speak at the podium, and when they are half way up the aisle, or just when they reach the podium, they say it. What is the point of calling someone up if you know there are only 7 seconds left? One of the other awesome things about MUN was the party on Friday night. It was amazing. There were so many people, the music was loud and the DJ was playing all of the best songs, and everyone was dancing and having a good time.
I would encourage all who get the opportunity to go to MUN, to take the amazing opportunity and make the most of it. It is the experience of a life time. It is such a learning experience, it boosts your confidence, it’s a way to make new friends and it looks good on your CV as well!