Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bow & Arrow

 Here's the star of my blog, Ben. He comes over to play quite often and on this particular day, he brought his homemade bow & arrow to show us. It's a stick that's being bent back by an old car belt part. It's trimmed to be really thin and you can see in the first picture how he takes another stick to be like his arrow and pulls back the belt. It flies through the air pretty well!
done shooting!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another bug post


We originally thought this bug we found on the ground was going to turn into a moth. After a long time of observing it squirm around without much happening, we asked the local gardener what this bug is doing. It turns out that it sort of eats dirt. It's almost like a natural fertilizer. He eats the dirt and kind of poops it out. You can see if the first picture, his bottom is a mainly clear skin with little darkness. In the second picture, after about an hour of what appeared like digging in the dirt, a lot of it had been ingested into him and his skin appears much darker from what he ingested. Very cool! The gardener said this insect normally does this with cow poop.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cooking in Tanzania

There are two ways that Jon and I cook in Tanzania. Obviously, we don’t have a stove top or an oven. Other volunteers have made the investment to purchase a propane tank and a propane stove top. After using theirs, I am jealous we didn’t invest in one immediately. It’s expensive, but you can get your money’s worth if you do it right from the start.
Jon and I use a charcoal stove and a kerosene stove. The charcoal stove is much more cost-efficient. A bag of charcoal weighing more than me only costs us less then $5.00 USD. Whereas, the kerosene is more expensive than gas prices in America. I prefer using the kerosene because it’s quicker and easier to control the heat source. The downside is of course, the cost. Basically, Jon and I have a household policy that if it is going to take more than twenty minutes, we use charcoal. Anything, usually like hot water for coffee or tea or a quick meal will be cooked on the kerosene. We often use both at the same time, so we can quicken cooking by having two “burners” going  at once. It’s not that the charcoal is at all bad to cook with, it’s just it takes so long to get going to cook on it. A meal could be finished on the kerosene stove before the charcoal is even ready to be cooked on.
Above is our charcoal stove. We put a “griller” over the top so we could grill the night I took this picture.

How to light a kerosene jiko

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dar es Salaam

Its always amazing to go to Dar es Salaam from the village. It’s so developed!

Monday, September 3, 2012


When Jon and I were in Mbeya, we went to what the local Peace Corps Volunteers referred to as their type of country club: Utengule Coffee Lodge. You pay a 10,000 TSH cover charge to get in, but that cost goes towards food later. The amazing recluse away from the bustle of Mbeya provided a great release and escape. They offer swimming, ping pong, squash, hiking trails, volleyballs, and other recreational activities.  Jon and I went to go to a quiet escape that offers amazing coffee and to go swimming. It was definitely worth i!