About us!

We are Amisadai and Louisa Monger (aged 14 and 11). 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, 2 January 2018

Vancouver, Calgary, Albert, Victoria and Toronto

Now I have told you all about my chickens, I can tell you about our goats!

With Vancouver and Albert
Amisadai and I were first given a goat by a friend in the stoves group. The goat was brown with a big white spot, so we named her Vancouver White Spot. We then got a male goat called Calgary. Calgary was a black goat. After 5 months, Vancouver gave birth to a kid and we named him Albert (after Alberta, Canada). 


Milking Vancouver
When Albert was old enough to be weaned off Vancouver, we tried to milk her. It was actually very difficult! Trying to get underneath her when she was so wiggly was not easy! We had to squeeze her udder from the top down to the bottom so the milk would come out. I didn't really like the feel of it! We didn't get so much milk from her! We did try a little bit to drink; it is quite nice and I liked it. It is a different texture to cow's milk and has a bit of a strange aftertaste. 

A glass of goat's milk
Mom took some of Vancouver's milk to the Mamas Group and they made soap with it! They mixed the goat's milk with coconut oil and other oils and made it in pretty moulds. It turned out wonderfully! They were able to sell all of it before Christmas.

Making Goat's milk soap


The finished soaps
In December, when Albert was old enough, he was sent to live in a village called Malya. We gave him to the mamas group there, for them to start a goat project. Mum went to Malya with Julian (beekeeper from England) and John (our new team worker) in the land cruiser. It was a long drive but Albert was quite happy most of the time in a plastic basin in the back! The mamas will buy a female goat with their own group money, to mate with Albert and then they will have kids and milk! They can use their own goats milk to make soap!!

Albert goes in style to Malya

The mamas group in Malya with their new goat

Mum says goodbye to Albert at his new home!
We also now have two Saanen goats! Saanen goats originate from Switzerland and are particularly good for milking. We bought them in June from Ukerewe Island. We named them Victoria and Mr Toronto. We were told that Victoria was pregnant. We realised after five months that she wasn't. Since then we have been wanting to get her pregnant, but Toronto doesn't seem to know what to do and won't do his job. Dad and I have tried to put Toronto on Victoria's back, but he isn't at all interested. I hope she will be pregnant soon!

Big Toronto


Here I am feeding Victoria some peanuts
By the way, the Swahili word for goat is mbuzi!

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Christmas Eggs

Happy New Year to you all!


It has been such a very, very long time since we updated the blog! Sorry about that! We both hope to do much better in 2018!

I (Louisa) will start by telling you about my kuku!

Kuku is the Swahili word for chicken!
Project Kuku
In November I started a chicken project. We bought five laying chickens and Dad and I built a chicken house surrounded by a fenced in chicken run. The house has a hinged door to the nest box where I can collect the eggs from. It has a ramp so the chickens can get up and down with a door that we close at night.
The Chicken House

The Five Chickens
Sadly after a short time and only a few eggs, three of the chickens died of illness. After no eggs for a month, finally on December 28th, I started collecting eggs again! The two chickens are named Tangawezi ("Ginger") and Snowflake. They love it when I take them scraps of food ... they especially love watermelon! I am looking forward to buying some more chickens from our friend, Mama Minja very soon!


Yay for EGGS!
I love collecting the eggs! I love eggs and especially making fried egg on toast! I also like poaching them in my little PoachPod!

How do you like your eggs?

Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Rwandan Genocide



In 1994, there was a gruesome mass killing in Rwanda as Hutus tried to wipe out the tribe of Tutsis. It was a major and tragic event in Rwandan history, in which over a million people were killed. Innocent people were murdered simply because of the tribe they were born into. People were separated from their families and houses were looted and burnt down. People were jeered at, brutally tortured, raped or cut up before being killed. It was horrific. It was gruesome. It was a country full of hatred, jealousy, fear and bloodshed. And the rest of the world just watched it happen.

It all started with cows, many years before. There are three tribes in Rwanda: Hutu, Tutsi and the minor tribe of the Twa. When the Belgians colonised the country, they decided if you had more than ten cows, you were Tutsi, and if you had less than ten cows then you were a Hutu. Because the Belgian colony preferred the Tutsis to the Hutus. Tutsis, although smaller grew to be the more powerful tribe. This often caused friction between Hutus and Tutsis. Tutsis were given the best jobs, best schooling and the best houses. Over time, Belgians changed their minds and preferred the Hutus, causing further friction between the tribes. When Rwanda gained independence in 1963, the Hutus were in power. But not long after, Tutsi rebels from neighbouring countries came into Rwanda to attack the Hutus and regain their power, but their plan was ruined, because the Hutus had somehow got wind of their upcoming attacks. Many Tutsis were killed, as well as lots of Tutsis in prime positions in government. Other Tustis left went into hiding in other countries.

In April 1994, the Rwandan president's plane was shot down. Both the Rwandan and Burundian presidents were killed. The Hutus say it was shot down by the Tutsi with the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) launching attack. The Tutsi say it was Hutu extremists. Whoever it was, it started the Genocide. Hutus believed that the Tutsis were seeking to kill not just the president but all of the Hutus. They exaggerated reports and spread fear through propaganda. The Hutus said, 'We should kill them, before we ourselves get killed.' So in the early hours of April 6th, the Rwandan genocide began.

Hutus were given their orders, “Kill all Tutsi, even the children. We do not want the next generation of Tutsis to grow up and fight us back. After all, a baby snake is still as snake! We need to kill them! Kill them all! Exterminate these cockroaches!” It started out as just the soldiers killing. Then those in power demanded all normal, everyday Hutus to join in the killing. Some chose to. Others decided it was their duty. But many were forced to, against their own will and better judgement. If they did not fight they were killed, along with their families, for being Hutu traitors.

Tutsi were killed in many ways. Some were shot. Others were blown up by grenades. Some were burnt alive. Most were sliced up by machetes, being tortured first. Some starved. Some were thrown down into latrines and had rocks thrown onto their heads. Some were buried alive or dropped off 200m cliffs. Babies were left to die. People were badly hurt, and then tossed onto to the streets and left to bleed to death. Whipped. Beaten. Stabbed. The Interahamwe (the Hutu paramilitary organization) were merciless and ruthless. Insensitive and brutal. Lost and driven by evil.

Many people fled to churches and chapels, as they were godly places which had always been known as a safe refuge. But the killers paid no attention to that, and burnt the churches down, with everyone inside. If they tried to escape, they were shot.

Soon, neighbours were killing neighbours, friends were killing friends, even families killing families. Many mothers were forced to kill their own children. Hutu children were used a spies, and betrayed their school mates and friends. It was awful. No one knew whom to trust, or if there was anyone to trust.

The killing continued for one hundred days, but in that short time, over a million people were killed. Everything stopped for the killing. Schools and businesses were shut until the “job” was done and all Tutsis were dead. Ten thousand people killed a day. The ethnic killing did end, but the deep cut made from losing loved ones so tragically would never go away; there would always be a scar.

The Rwandan genocide has broken the hearts of many people. But out of the pain, the country is now striving to encourage all people to live out forgiveness. Rwanda is now a very beautiful country, and it is hard to imagine that not so long ago, it was a dirty, unsafe country with streets lined with corpses. Rwandans have made a real effort to forgive one another and to start afresh. Though they will never be able to forget the great loss of thousands of innocent people, they can forgive, and teach the rest of the world to do so as well. They know that bitterness and revenge will not help, but love will. Why do people despise people simply because they are “different”? Why do we not love one another?

We visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial, a place of remembrance and learning. Rwandans want their suffering and their mistakes to be an example to the rest of the world, to prevent the same thing from happening again. To show that it is possible to forgive and to live together as one people. And that is why I want to share this with you.


I highly recommend a book I have just finished reading, called Left To Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza. It is very heart moving and deeply sad. It really captures the story of the Rwandan Genocide through the experiences of Immaculee. It is very well written. It is impossible to really understand or imagine the fear, struggles and torture that this girl, Immaculee, goes through. But it is good for the world to hear her story. A story more than just survival, a story of forgiveness.

Louisa at the graves
As Louisa was too young to go inside the memorial, she visited the burial site and gardens where over 250 000 people killed in the genocide have been buried. (This is like more than the whole population of Basingstoke). While she waited, she made a mini-documentary about it.

Click here or play at the top to watch it now. As you do, remember those that lost their lives and pray for a better future.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Miracle Bunnies

Last Sunday, in the dead of the night, we had a tragedy. But out of this tragedy we have a miracle! Read on to find out what happened...

Last Sunday, Sprinkles, one of our mummy rabbits, jumped out of her hutch when the guard opened the door. Sadly, he didn't notice. The dogs found her and almost killed her, but not quite. They then left her dying under the hutch. The next morning our day guard found her and we placed her back in the hutch. She didn't seem herself; her eyes were half closed and she wasn't moving or eating normally. But even in her struggles, she fed her five babies. She cared for them and loved them, until the next day, we found her lying dead by their side.

It was sad to lose Sprinkles, but now we had to focus on saving her five baby bunnies who were only ten days old. So we decided to move two of them into Sniffles nest of babies (she had given birth on the same day as Sprinkles and had four of her own). We were desperately hoping that she would welcome them, and not reject them. She took one kit as her own, so we put in the second one, nuzzling it in between the other kits, so she wouldn't be noticed so much and she wouldn't smell so different. But at first Sniffles wouldn't let her feed, and tried to eat the poor bunny. We were really worried, but this mum was their only hope of survival.

Now, a week later, the two kits are very happy and doing well with their foster mum and new brothers and sisters.

It would have been too much to give all the kits to Sniffles as she wouldn't have enough milk (and also we weren't sure any foster kits would survive with her). And so we adopted the other three bunnies. We mixed up a formula of milk, egg yolk and honey and have been feeding them the milk from pippettes every day, at 5:45 in the morning, 4:00pm in the afternoon, and sometimes in the evening. We wash them gently with a warm wet flannel and most importantly massage them to help them to urinate and poo as they are too young to do so by themselves.

They are very sweet, but this week has been very tiring! It is seriously hard work and although it was fun at first, it isn't always easy and it takes a long time to feed them all! They are now two and half weeks old and after keeping them alive for a week, we hope they will survive. They starting now to be able to eat some solid food. It is amazing they are all alive! They are all miracle bunnies!

Me feeding the smallest kit
Sniffles' four kits

Louisa holding her favourite, the biggest kit
They are sooooo small, and extremely cute!

Inviting some friends to help to look after the bunnies

Bunny feeding time

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

How Many Things Can You Use a Khanga For?

I have lots of cool pictures to show you! Since my last blog, lots of things have happened, so I have a lot to tell you!
Yep - it's me!
Over the summer holiday, Kathryn and Arron, our friends from England, came to visit us.

That's us!
We went with them to Tunza beach. I was jumping off the rock making silhouettes in the sunset. Unfortunately one time I jumped off the rock but I landed doing the splits which was painful as you could imagine.

Me jumping over the sunset!



Also while they were here, we (the girls) had a khanga fashion show! A khanga is a piece of colourful cloth with pretty patterns and also a Swahili proverb written on it.
A traditional Tanzanian khanga
Do you know that khangas have so many uses?

CAN YOU LIST SOME WAYS TO USE A KHANGA?
See how many ways you can think of and post them in the comments! Watch the next blog post and we can see how many uses there are!
Khanga try-ons
Khanga Fashion

We also had other visitors, Julian and David come to stay. With them we went to the Serengeti which was amazing! We saw everything except lions which was unusual. We were really excited to see a mother cheetah with her cubs. They were so cute!
Can you see the four cubs?
We stayed overnight at a place called Serengeti Stop-over. On the front of the door of the banda there is a picture of an animal. Amisadai and I were standing outside the door with our new Serengeti T-shirts, trying to be the animal that was on the door!
Pretty fierce
But we can also be sort of normal!
... and crazy
On the way home from the Serengeti, we stopped off on the side of the road for picnic lunch....



 

...and the cows wanted to join us!


 Here are some more random photos from our summer holiday...

Amisadai's feet are normally really dirty

Boat out to Saanane Island

Another Jumping Rock photo from Saanane!

Looking for monitor lizards with Arron

Our family relaaaaaaaaaaaxxxxing
 
Crossing the crocodile and hippo river in the Serengeti
(not good for people like me who don't like heights)
That's all from me!
Don't forget to think about what you can use a khanga for (and there's one clue in the picnic photo!)

And CLICK HERE for the answers to Amisadai's Bee Quiz!


Are you a Bee Expert?

Here are the answers to my Bee Quiz from the last blog post!

EASY BEE QUIZ ANSWERS!

1. What is a group of bees called?
A colony

2. Who is the leader of a group of bees?
The Queen

3. Name 2 products bees make.
Honey and wax

4. What do bees collect to make honey?
Pollen

5. What shape do bees store their honey in?
Hexagons

Beekeeping protective gear and smoker

HARDER BEE QUIZ!!

1. What gender are all worker bees?
Female

2. How do bees show other bees how to find food?
They do the waggle dance

3. What is uncapped honey called?
Nectar

4. Name 2 things that happen after a bee stings you.
1) The bee dies
2) It lets off a smell which the other bees pick up, telling them to sting you too, because you are a threat to the hive.

5. Name 2 things we can make from beeswax.
Candles, shoe polish, lip balm and salves, furniture polish

HOW DID YOU DO?

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Bees and a Bee Quiz!

The past two weeks we have been as busy as bees... with bees! So I thought I would give you all a Bee Quiz (see below!)

We have harvested honey from several different places, which has been quite exciting! Our honey is dark, which means it has a stronger flavour. The taste and colour of the honey depends on what the bees forage for. Our bees like the mango trees, which have loads of pollen.

Bees can make their homes in many different kinds of places! In trees, in hives, in logs, in the eaves of houses (the roof), even in tires! And we even had a colony of stingless bees dangling from our dining room windowsill!

I got to help harvest honey and wax from two hives up on top of a container. It was awesome, and very fun. We got a fair bit of honey and mum was bee-side herself with joy! We took the bucket of honeycomb home to filter the honey through into a clean bucket. Then we processed the wax by putting the whole lot of comb left over in boiling water, straining it through a sack and then cooling it down until the wax settled on top of the water.
Here is me climbing up onto the container!
No one fell off!

Here is Louisa all dressed up in the gear and ready to go!
While the others were in the process of harvesting honey in a village called Malya, I got stung! A random bee flew to where I was standing! Look at my face!
You can't really see very well in this picture, but my face was quite swollen!

Bee keeping, in my opinion, is a very good business. It is fun to plan, to harvest and process... and very sweet to eat! We all enjoy that bit!

Yummy!
Just like Winnie the Pooh!

Honey straight off the honeycomb!


Here are some quizzes for you. There is an easier one and a harder one. You can post your answers in the comments below.

EASY BEE QUIZ!!!

1. What is a group of bees called?
2. Who is the leader of a group of bees?
3. Name 2 products bees make.
4. What do bees collect to make honey?
5. What shape do bees store their honey in?

HARDER BEE QUIZ!!

1. What gender are all worker bees?
2. How do bees show other bees how to find food?
3. What is uncapped honey called?
4. Name 2 things that happen after a bee stings you.
5. Name 2 things we can make from bee's wax.

 I will post the answers in my next blog.

BEE FACTS!!!

  • A hive will produce up to 500 pounds of honey a year.
  • Antarctica is the only continent in the world that doesn't have any bees.
  • Only drones can mate with the queen
  • There are three kinds of honey bees: worker bees, drones and the queen
  • It takes the nectar of over 1 million of flowers to make 1 pound of honey
Do you know any other interesting bee facts?
Or have any questions about bees?