A long journey and a great safari

July 22, 2012 in Life, Africa, Front, Tanzania

The last few weeks have been a busy time for us with a lot of traveling, driving and bus-ing across East Africa. We left home four weeks ago to head to our branch conference on the Kenyan coast, via stops in Sumbawanga, Mbeya. Iringa, Morogoro (due to a minor car problem), Dar es Salaam and Tanga along the way. While it was certainly a long trip (a grand total of 89 hours of travel over three and a half weeks) it was worth it to see so many friends again!

The conference went well, and we enjoyed seeing many friends and colleagues, some of whom we hadn’t seen for six years, before driving back to Dar es Salaam again where we met David and Amy, who had come for a brief visit from Oregon in the US. Read the rest of this entry →

Bio-diversity and Linguistic Diversity in God’s Creation

May 13, 2012 in Mark, Bible translation, Culture, Front, Justice, Language, Mission, Tanzania

There are around 6,900 languages spoken around the world today, and probably several million species of plants and animals. A BBC article today suggests that those areas of the world that have a particularly high degree of biodiversity are often the very same areas that are the most linguistically diverse.

The report also mentions that there are a large number of both languages, and also plants and animals, that are endangered and threatened with extinction in the coming decades. What is a Christian response to the fact that this diversity is threatened? Read the rest of this entry →

Kujifunza Kiswahili – Learning Swahili

February 14, 2012 in Life, Mark, Africa, Front, Language, Swahili, Tanzania

One of the most crucial parts of our adapting to living in Tanzania is being able to speak the national language – Swahili – to a reasonable level. Having spent 3 years in Tanzania before I am able to speak Swahili fairly well (I’m happy to report I haven’t forgotten too much…!), but Laura has only ever visited East Africa so has never had the chance to learn much Swahili.

In order to help her learn we are spending a few weeks at a Swahili language school along with some of our colleagues, near the town of Iringa. We are into our second week here, and Laura is already making very good progress, picking up the fundamental parts of Swahili grammar and learning quite a bit of vocabulary that will enable her to speak and listen to people. Read the rest of this entry →