Thursday, November 9, 2017

Dam Project

We have been building 2 dams here at Kibidula for irrigation of the avocado fields. One is finished and the other one is nearing completion. The rains have slowed work down, but we are slowly making progress towards completion.
Oct 5

The Crew

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Somehow this didn't get posted last year. Hope you enjoy it.

We have had a LOT of fires since my last post. They were all put out safely.
I’m in Dar es salaam now and have gone to the beach a few times. I have seen on one or more time(snorkeling sometimes): Black Brittlestars(Ophiocoma erinaceus), thousands of Oval Urchins(Echinometra mathaei), Needle-Spine Urchins who gave ma a few spines in my foot and leg(Diadema setosum), Fireworm(Scary, very scary[Eurythoe complanata]), sea cucumbers, Hundreds of Textile cones(eee. ah. Don’t step on them or near them. [Conus textile]), 2 Elongate giant clams(one of which I accidently found out to have SHARP edges[Tridacna maxima]), quite a few black damsels(one of which may have had a nest?[Stegastes nigricans]), 2 large white spotted pufferfish (who were way cool and skiddish[Arothron hispidus]) an indian lionfish(wow [Pterois miles]), half-moon butterfly fish(Chaetodon lunula), a few floral morays(creepy[Echidna nebulosa]), SEAWEEDS OF ALL KINDS, CORALS OF MANY KINDS, a black edged conger(Conger cinereus cinereus), and a pipeworm who looked really scary even though he was only about 3 inches long, and other fish.
It has been really cool, and sometimes scary.
SO, if you ever come to dar and are near Coco Beach, I suggest you bring, borrow, or rent snorkeling gear ang go snorkeling right of Coco Beach.

Happy holidays,

Floral Moray

Black edged conger

a brittlestar in the middle and a leg of another near the sea urchin.

some fish

you see what I see?

on the rock - is a pipefish. yes its that seahorse-faced long wormy thing

Just coral

Oh, yes they do hurt(needle-spine urchins)

They're not street urchins. Uh, no. They're sea urchins.

a sea cucumber feeding

Hmm. Wonder who that is. oops, I put the tip of my snorkel underwater. glug glug glug. :)

Friday, October 27, 2017

A blog about coconuts

Coconut milk and other coconut products are used widely here in Tanzania. 

The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the palm family (Arecaceae) and the only species of the genus Cocos.The term coconut can refer to the whole coconut palm or the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut. The spelling cocoanut is an archaic form of the word. The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning "head" or "skull", from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.
Coconuts are known for their great versatility, as well as forming a regular part of the diets of many people in the tropics and subtropics. Coconuts are distinct from other fruits for their large quantity of water (also called "juice") and when immature, they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts(madafu in Kiswahili) and may be harvested for their potable coconut water. When mature, they can be used as seed nuts or processed to give oil from the kernel, charcoal from the hard shell, and coir from the fibrous husk. The endosperm is initially in its nuclear phase suspended within the coconut water. As development continues, cellular layers of endosperm deposit along the walls of the coconut, becoming the edible coconut "flesh". When dried, the coconut flesh is called copra. The oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying, as well as in soaps and cosmetics. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating.



Cocos nucifera is a large palm, growing up to 98 ft tall, with pinnate leaves 13–20 ft long, and pinnae 60–90 cm long; old leaves break away cleanly, leaving the trunk smooth. Coconuts are generally classified into two general types: tall and dwarf. On fertile soil, a tall coconut palm tree can yield up to 75 fruits per year, but more often yields less than 30, mainly due to poor cultural practices. Given proper care and growing conditions, coconut palms produce their first fruit in six to ten years, taking 15 – 20 years to reach peak production.


Botanically, the coconut fruit is a drupe, not a true nut. Like other fruits, it has three layers: the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. The exocarp and mesocarp make up the "husk" of the coconuts. Coconuts sold in the shops of nontropical countries often have had the exocarp (outermost layer) removed. The mesocarp is composed of a fiber, called coir, which has many traditional and commercial uses. The shell has three germination pores or "eyes" that are clearly visible on its outside surface once the husk is removed.
A full-sized coconut weighs about 3.2 lb. It takes around 6,000 full-grown coconuts to produce a metric ton of copra.


Unlike some other plants, the palm tree has neither a tap root nor root hairs, but has a fibrous root system.
The coconut palm root system consists of an abundance of thin roots that grow outward from the plant near the surface. Only a few of the roots penetrate deep into the soil for stability. This type of root system is known as fibrous or adventitious, and is a characteristic of grass species. Other types of large trees produce a single downward-growing tap root with a number of feeder roots growing from it.
Coconut palms continue to produce roots from the base of the stem throughout their lives. The number of roots produced depends on the age of the tree and the environment, with more than 3,600 roots possible on a tree that is 60 to 70 years old.
Roots are usually less than about 3 inches in diameter and uniformly thick from the tree trunk to the root tip.

Dispersal and Growth

It is often stated that coconuts can travel 110 days, or 3,000 miles, by sea and still be able to germinate. This figure has been questioned based on the extremely small sample size that forms the basis of the paper that makes this claim.
The conditions required for coconut trees to grow without any care are:
Mean daily temperature above 54–55°F every day of the year
Mean annual rainfall above 39 in
No or very little overhead canopy, since even small trees require direct sun
The main limiting factor for most locations which satisfy the rainfall and temperature requirements is canopy growth, except those locations near coastlines, where the sandy soil and salt spray limit the growth of most other trees.

Production and cultivation

Coconut palms are grown in more than 90 countries of the world, with a total production of 61million metric tons per year. Most of the world production is in tropical Asia, with Indonesia, the Philippines, and India accounting collectively for 73% of the world total.


In some parts of the world (Thailand and Malaysia), trained pig-tailed macaques are used to harvest coconuts. Thailand has been raising and training pig-tailed macaques to pick coconuts for around 400 years.
Training schools for pig-tailed macaques still exist both in southern Thailand and in Malaysia
Coconuts in Countries
In Goa, the coconut tree has been reclassified by the government as a palm (like a grass), enabling farmers and real estate developers to clear land with fewer restrictions. With this, it will no more be considered as a tree and no permission will be required by the forest department before cutting a coconut tree.
United States
In the United States, coconut palms can be grown and reproduced outdoors without irrigation in Hawaii, southern and central Florida, and the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Coconut palms do not grow in California because of extended periods below 50°F in the winter. One specimen survived for about 20 years in Newport Beach, California; however, it died in 2014, without ever producing a coconut.Uses

The coconut palm is grown throughout the tropics for decoration, as well as for its many culinary and nonculinary uses; virtually every part of the coconut palm can be used by humans in some manner and has significant economic value.



The various parts of the coconut have a number of culinary uses. The seed provides oil for frying, cooking, and making margarine. The white, fleshy part of the seed, the coconut meat, is used fresh or dried in cooking, especially in confections and desserts such as macaroons. Desiccated coconut or coconut milk made from it is frequently added to curries and other savory dishes. Coconut chips have been sold in the tourist regions of Hawaii and the Caribbean. Coconut butter is often used to describe solidified coconut oil, but has also been adopted as a name by certain specialty products made of coconut milk solids or puréed coconut meat and oil. Dried coconut is also used as the filling for many chocolate bars. Some dried coconut is purely coconut, but others are manufactured with other ingredients, such as sugar, propylene glycol, salt, and sodium metabisulfite. Shredded or flaked coconut is used as a garnish on some foods. Some countries in Southeast Asia use special coconut mutant called Kopyor coconut (Kopyor in Indonesia) or macapuno (in the Philippines) as dessert drinks.

Coconut water

Coconut water serves as a suspension for the endosperm of the coconut during its nuclear phase of development. Later, the endosperm matures and deposits onto the coconut rind during the cellular phase. It is consumed throughout the humid tropics, and has been introduced into the retail market as a processed sports drink. Mature fruits have significantly less liquid than young, immature coconuts, barring spoilage. Coconut water can be fermented to produce coconut vinegar.

Coconut milk

Coconut milk, not to be confused with coconut water, is obtained primarily by extracting juice by pressing the grated coconut white kernel or by passing hot water or milk through grated coconut, which extracts the oil and aromatic compounds. It has a total fat content of 24%, most of which (89%) is saturated fat, with lauric acid as a major fatty acid. When refrigerated and left to set, coconut cream will rise to the top and separate from the milk. The milk can be used to produce virgin coconut oil by controlled heating and removal of the oil fraction.

Coconut oil

Another product of the coconut is coconut oil. It is commonly used in cooking, especially for frying. It can be used in liquid form as would other vegetable oils, or in solid form as would butter or lard.


The sap derived from incising the flower clusters of the coconut can be reduced by boiling to create a sweet syrup or candy. It can be reduced further to yield coconut sugar also referred to as palm sugar or jaggery.

Heart of palm and coconut sprout

Apical buds of adult plants are edible, and are known as "palm cabbage" or heart of palm. They are considered a rare delicacy, as harvesting the buds kills the palms. Hearts of palm are eaten in salads, sometimes called "millionaire's salad". Newly germinated coconuts contain an edible fluff of marshmallow-like consistency called coconut sprout, produced as the endosperm nourishes the developing embryo.


Coconut is an indispensable ingredient in Indonesian cooking. Coconut meat, coconut milk, and coconut water are often used in main courses, desserts, and soups throughout the archipelago. In 2010, Indonesia increased its coconut production. It is now the world's largest producer of coconuts. The gross production was 15 million tonnes.


Harvesting coconuts in the Philippines is done by workers who climb the trees using notches cut into the trunk.
The Philippines is the world's second-largest producer of coconuts; the production of coconuts plays an important role in the economy. Coconuts in the Philippines are usually used in making main dishes, refreshments, and desserts. Coconut juice is also a popular drink in the country.


Coir (the fiber from the husk of the coconut) is used in ropes, mats, door mats, brushes, and sacks, as caulking for boats, and as stuffing fiber for mattresses. It is used in horticulture in potting compost, especially in orchid mix.
Coconut fronds
The stiff mid-ribs of coconut leaves are used for making brooms in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives, and the Philippines. The green of the leaves are stripped away, leaving the veins (wood-like, thin, long strips) which are tied together to form a broom or brush. A long handle made from some other wood may be inserted into the base of the bundle and used as a two-handed broom. The leaves also provide material for baskets that can draw well water and for roofing thatch; they can be woven into mats, cooking skewers, and kindling arrows, as well. Dried coconut leaves can be burned to ash, which can be harvested for lime.


Copra is the dried meat of the seed and after processing produces coconut oil and coconut meal. Coconut oil, aside from being used in cooking as an ingredient and for frying, is used in soaps, cosmetics, hair-oil, and massage oil.

Husks and shells

The husk and shells can be used for fuel and are a source of charcoal. Activated carbon manufactured from coconut shell is considered extremely effective for the removal of impurities. The coconut's obscure origin in foreign lands led to the notion of using cups made from the shell to neutralise poisoned drinks. The cups were frequently engraved and decorated with precious metals.
A dried half coconut shell with husk can be used to buff floors.
In Asia, coconut shells are also used as bowls and in the manufacture of various handicrafts, including buttons carved from dried shell. Coconut buttons are often used for Hawaiian aloha shirts. The shell is called can be used as a soup bowl and—if fixed with a handle—a ladle. In Thailand, the coconut husk is used as a potting medium to produce healthy forest tree saplings. The process of husk extraction from the coir bypasses the retting process, using a custom-built coconut husk extractor. Fresh husks contains more tannin than old husks. Tannin produces negative effects on sapling growth. In parts of South India, the shell and husk are burned for smoke to repel mosquitoes.

Coconut trunk

Coconut trunks are used for building small bridges and huts; they are preferred for their straightness, strength, and salt resistance. In Kerala, coconut trunks are used for house construction. Coconut timber comes from the trunk, and is increasingly being used as an ecologically sound substitute for endangered hardwoods.
Hawaiians hollowed the trunk to form drums, containers, or small canoes. The "branches" (leaf petioles) are strong and flexible enough to make a switch. The use of coconut branches in corporal punishment was revived in the Gilbertese community on Choiseul in the Solomon Islands in 2005.


The roots are used as a dye, a mouthwash, and a medicine for diarrhea and dysentery. A frayed piece of root can also be used as a toothbrush.
Beauty products
Coconuts are used in the beauty industry in moisturizers and body butters. The coconut shell may also be ground down and added to products for exfoliation of dead skin. Coconut is also a source of lauric acid, which can be processed in a particular way to produce sodium lauryl sulfate, a detergent used in shower gels and shampoos.
According to an urban legend, more deaths are caused by falling coconuts than by sharks annually.


In World War II, coastwatcher scout Biuku Gasa was the first of two from the Solomon Islands to reach the shipwrecked and wounded crew of Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 commanded by future U.S. president John F. Kennedy. Gasa suggested, for lack of paper, delivering by dugout canoe a message inscribed on a husked coconut shell, reading “Nauru Isl commander / native knows posit / he can pilot / 11 alive need small boat / Kennedy.” This coconut was later kept on the president's desk, and is now in the John F. Kennedy Library.


Many varieties of coconuts C. nucifera are being cultivated in many countries. These vary by the taste of the coconut water and color of the fruit, as well as other genetic factors.
Dwarf yellow coconut
Dwarf orange coconut
Golden Malay coconut
Dwarf green coconut
Fiji Dwarf (Niu Leka)
Green Malay coconut
King coconut
Makapuno coconut
Maypan coconut
Nawassi coconut
Yellow Malay coconut
Fruit types
Yellow Coconut
Red Coconut
Hybrid (red and green mix) and Green Coconuts
We have started a new Kiswahili Bible Study website:

Sunday, September 17, 2017

GLOW tract distribution

Sorry for not posting in a long time.
We distributed 1,000,000 GLOW tracts in Dar es salaam. It was exciting to see that people wanted to read them. Most people would take them to read, although a few didn't take the tracts. We had multiple titles to give out including Siri za afya ya kiakili (Secrets of mental health), Kuvunja mazoea mabaya (Breaking addictions).
We have had many people calling to ask for more. Praise the lord.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Big truck, big fun

We're at my aunt's house in Summer Shade, KY and this drives by!  Whoopee! Check out my channel on YouTube. My channel name is "Kibidula Kid." I'll post some videos on it.

        Joshua Schoch

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


I'm sorry for not blogging in a long time. I think it's been 11 months since my last post. I translated for Mom when she taught health at the evangelism school. I've also been translating every morning at the Ag school for health classes.
A month ago the Cootz's container arrived. About 2 hours before it arrived at Kibidula, a fire from the burning of a fire-break that had been burnt that day jumped across a road and lit part of Kibidula on fire. So we got to fight fire AND unload a 40 foot container in one night. We finished unloading the container and got home about midnight! Another time during this dry season, someone (an arsonist) lit a fire on Kibidula in another area. It took about an hour to put it out.
Then about 3 weeks ago we received calls to help the village near us with another arson fire (on Sabbath). Well it was approximately about 1.5 miles long and ¾ mile wide. After about 3 hours it was put out.
Then about 2 weeks ago  (Sabbath AGAIN) we saw LOTS AND LOTS of smoke near the edge of Kibidula and Mr. David Katsma and I went to check on it. It was about a half mile off Kibidula and it was BIG. So Kibidula came to help. I was in my church clothes (we were in a music program when we saw the smoke) and David was too. Oh, well, they got dirty alright! It was a big fire, the biggest I've seen. There were about 75 Kibidulans and maybe 15 villagers and 40 local government forest fire-fighters with a few tools. There were 5 backpack sprayers and a few home-made “fire-flappers”, but most of the fire was fought with branches we ripped off trees. It was quite a challenge but it was put out safely.
So keep praying for us as we are not out of fire season.
Things in the mission field are NOT BORING. I hope to keep you updated better.
- Joshua

Fighting Fire

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Our London Layover

On our layover in London we took a tour for a few hours. We were able to see The Shard, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, The London Eye, and part of Hyde Park. We really enjoyed ourselves even though we were sleepy.

Westminster Abbey
More of Westminster Abbey
And More

The Eye

The Shard

Hyde Park

Mounted Police in Hyde Park
Big Ben 

STRATACA – A salt mine adventure

While we were on vacation in the US we went with some of our friends to a salt mine.  This salt mine is considered one of the 7 wonders of Kansas.  It is called STRATACA.  We had a blast.  Our friends, Heide and Alicia took us there.  After registering, we were briefed on safety, and then we entered the elevator.  We went down 650 feet under the ground, and it was total darkness in the elevator.  It was a blast.
A Elevator Model
At the bottom, we explored around the various exhibits about salt and salt mining.  We saw the old machinery and large chunks of salt.  We learned about salt, how it is used and mined.  We rode a underground train that the miners used to use.  We also took another tram-type ride where we were able to pick up pieces of salt as souvenirs.   We saw the old boxes that had previously had dynamite in them. 
Different Sizes of Salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The saying is, “what goes down into the mine, stays in the mine” meaning cars, trash, and all kinds of things stay underground.  The funny thing is that the salt mine atmosphere causes some things to rust badly and other things to be well preserved. 

We learned a lot and it was a lot of fun.  I would recommend it to anyone that might want to check it out.  Even my mother who doesn’t like heights or depths enjoyed herself. 

On the train ride
Instead of making concrete to drive on, and hauling down sand, which would take time and money they just use ground up salt and call it salt-crete.

Waiting for the elevator

Some more salt