This post is a summary of the many baking trainings I (with the help of Betty - my friend, co-teacher, and translator) have done over the past months, with some of the best pictures. It is always fun to see the way that God can use something as simple as learning how to make a cake to bring joy into peoples' lives.
With one group, we made biscuits and scones on an upside-down lid from a pot. It worked really well.
These baking students had already learned from me how to bake cakes. I heard later that they baked 3 big cakes for their church's 20-year celebration and decorated them beautifully. The church members all got to taste the cake and wondered if they had come from Soroti or Kampala. They were amazed to find out that the cakes had been made there in the village by some of their own church members! That was clever advertising on their part. Hopefully this will be a way for them to get some business and use their new knowledge to serve the church.
With another group, we made cakes outside over a temporary charcoal stove put together using bricks and a bicycle wheel. It was really creative, something I had never seen before.
One woman jumped up and did a dance after tasting the first cake the group had baked. She later shared that she was 50 years old and had never known how to make a cake before that day. From now on, she said, she was going to be baking wedding cakes for people!
At the same time that we were making cakes, beans were cooking in the fireless cooker. As usual, it was an amazing moment of taking them out and finding that they had cooked after being boiled for only 10 minutes!
Here is another day in the same village, making scones. Since these people already had experience making cakes, it was relaxing for me and Betty to teach them to make scones. We just shared with them the basic idea and then put them to work practicing.
Several months ago, I taught a group of women in the local Reformed Church to bake cakes. We went back there on a Sunday because Anthony was invited to preach. And those ladies had baked us a cake using the skills they learned from my training!
I can't tell you how special it was to see how they had put their knowledge into practice and then came back to share it with me.
Yet another group asked to be taught how to make mandazi, as well as scones, so Betty, being much more of an expert mandazi-maker than I am, taught that part of the lesson.
They were so excited because they had customers buying the mandazi and scones before they were even finished making them all! However, Betty and I calculated with them the cost of materials and discussed how much they must sell those mandazi/scones for in order to see make a profit. It turned out that they were selling that day at a price which caused them a loss. Hopefully they will work together to see whether or not making mandazi or scones can be a profitable business for them.