|Setting off to Congo|
|Drying small fish (dagaa) on the beach|
|Fishing boats at Katonga village|
For us the beach near Kigoma, is a wonderful place to relax and refresh. We have spent 3 days there with Alec, Ruth and Zach, (who are now safely back in the cold and snow of Hatfield). This was Zach's first "sea side" holiday - and we worry that he may be a bit spoilt for the future : soft sand, clear warm water, a private beach and the shade of palm trees!
But for those who live in the villages along the shore the lake is their livelihood. The fishing boats, as shown here, are taken out every night, where they fish using large nets and the light of paraffin lamps to attract the fish. In the morning the catch is brought in to the villages where the large fish are sold in the market and the small dagaa (like whitebait) are dried in the sun. The women's work is to rake and turn the fish. The dried fish is an important food of the people of this area, providing protien to eat with the staple ugali - a stiff porridge made from maize flour. Many of the villages along the shore are only accessible by boat, and large "boat buses" go up and down the lake daily.
It was wonderful to be with our family, and their visit went very well - plenty of "African experiences", but hopefully none too overwhelming! Zach seems to be good friends with his grandparents and we are delighted to have such a happy, healthy and fun grandson.
Now we are settling down to routine and work. Today I preached at Msagara church, up in the hills; tomorrow we have our staff meeting preparing for the college students return next week, and on Thursday Alastair will start work at another hospital 15 minutes drive from here.