Day 12 – July 6 – Balatogwa – Isole

We began the day at around 8:00.  We ended up staying at a “new” hotel in Sangerema, the View Park Lodge.  It had great air conditioning and hot water and I believe it was 35,000 TSH/ night – $15.00.


We had to pick up some supplies before heading out to Father Matthews home to build a stove and then to Isole.  It was going to be a full day.  My day got off to a rocky start as I was walking into a restroom to wash my hands, I dropped my cell phone which went sliding across the floor and into the squatter toilet.  There is no happy ending to this story.  We then headed to get some supplies before going to Balatogwa.  We needed some trowels, cement and a spade.


We then headed to Balatogwa.  Although it is only about 20 km away, the roads are such that it took about half an hour.


We arrived at Fr. Bulala’s home at around 12:00.  I was concerned for time so immediately sought as to where the location of the stove was to be built and then looked for the bricks.  I have learned that every location has its own standard for the brick that are made.  I was shown where the  stove was to be located and then asked for some help to get some sand, clay soil, water and most importantly bricks.


While bricks were being retrieved, I worked with Matthew, Tiana and Tatyna on how we would split of the work of the larger burner and the two smaller burners and prep the ground.  As we still needed to travel and hour away and then another hour and a half after that, I was anxious for us to try and make up some time.  Dr. Bulala had invited his brother, a mason and 7 women from the village to observe so that they could know how to build it and they could in turn show others.  For some this opportunity offered and opportunity to be able to start a business almost immediately.


We then laid out the rough way that the stoves would be placed for this size of bricks and then set the “fire” bricks and poured cement that would provide a level floor to lay the bricks.


The teens worked the cement to help it level and then it was Matthew and Tiana building the two burner stove and Tatyna and I building the large burner stove.


2 1/2 hours later we were finished.  Although I wanted to get on the road to Father John’s village, you can not come to a community and do this and not share a meal and a photo.


We then headed to Isole and arrived at 5:00.  We had about and 2 hours of daylight left.  When we arrived, it was like coming home with the greeting from Father John’s parents, sisters and extended family.  I knew time was of the essence, so wasted no time in moving to the location.


The process was very much the same.  We prepped the ground,


Did a rough layout for the Isole Bricks


Then poured cement to set the “burner bricks”



Then we had to wait for 30 minutes for the cement to set up enough to start laying bricks.  This time were were going to work with Fr. John’s family and work with them to get the stoves built.


Two and a half hours later, we were finished.


Of course it would be rude for us to leave without eating and we enjoyed a wonderful meeting with Father john’s mother and father.  Then the highlight for our three pilgrims, Swahili nicknames.  Let me introduce you to Tiana Kabula, Tatyna Bahati, and Matthew Zewati.


We then said our farewell after giving away all of the tools purchased and left at 10:00.  Father Makonge had called and said he would meet us at the ferry as we had originally tried to meet Phillip, the student that Salty and Theresa Galvis sponsor and Fr. Makonge felt strongly that this should happen before we leave.  So Fr. Makonge and Phillip and Moses met us at the Ferry gate for a brief intor and a phot.


We then boarded the Ferry for Mwanza and arrived at 11:30.  We have a 5;45 meeting to take these three hard working pilgrims to see Simba in the Serengeti.


1 response to Day 12 – July 6 – Balatogwa – Isole

  1. You all will have to go into the stove making business. From what I could see the one at Fr. John’s parents house looked the best. May God continue to be with you all. Chris


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