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“Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat, please put a penny in the old man’s hat.  If you haven’t got a penny then a ha’penny will do and if you haven’t got a ha’penny then God bless you.”

Sorry that I am going the way of the world.  It isn’t yet Halloween and we haven’t bought the Thanksgiving bird but Christmas is closer than we think.  There are 59 shopping days ’til Christmas and I dare say some of you have your gifts bought and wrapped.  Some stores are already decorated.  I tend to be a last minute shopper and every year I say I will change my ways and have everything ready way ahead of time.  Such luxury ~ time to relax and enjoy the lights, decorations, music, cards and letters from friends. 

I truly hope that Africa doesn’t get too westernized and secularized about Christmas.  Where we go they are too poor to have gifts or a tree or even a special meal unless someone is lucky enough to have a chicken or to shoot a dik-dik.  Their neighbors might join in the meal but most of Christmas day is spent in Church singing and praising God.  They love cards, generally the only decorations in their homes.  You will see Christmas cards on their walls in July and August.  Everyone needs a little beauty in their lives and cards are pretty.  You know, the children make their own toys and they are ingenious. 

Jessie and I would like for you to consider a gift to Karimu in honor or memory of someone dear to you.  It could be a good lesson to a grandchild to know that money has gone in their name to the people of Msalato and Bishop Stanway Primary School.  We have cards to send to whomever you choose to honor.  As always, your gift is tax deductible.  It’s too soon to say Merry Christmas to our readers.  Happy Autumn and blest be the tie that binds.  Tally 

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wheels

 

One doesn’t expect to see priests on motorbikes in rural (read far off villages) Tanzania.  Here are two of five recently graduated priests who have be sent to distant villages with as many as 10 churches within their parishes.  Some are now area coordinators which are good jobs but they still have the responsibility of caring for those in their parish and they can be miles apart.  Ordinarily, they would ride bicycles on the rutted dirt roads or even walk, but thanks to many generous gifts to Karimu, we were able to buy these handsome motorbikes for these men which will make life easier for them in a place where life is NEVER easy.   We got a “deal” because we  bought 5 from the same place.   These priests and their wives will be the lifeline for the village people,  some who have never been “to town.”   Slowly their lives will improve and change, thanks to you.  Being a typical mama I told them to be sure and wear their helmuts and to be careful.  They call be Bibi ~ grandmother!

Ethiopian Shoe Shine

The Priest's umbrella!

Baptism

Going through some photos Tally sent, thought these would be fun to post. We just returned from Virginia where we met with Sandy and others who are working on establishing a foundation to fund the running of Msalato Theological College. Watch this space to learn more about it, we will be needing all the help we can get to get this project off the ground.

Dr. Martin McCann in his Lab

In Jessie’s recap that she wrote yesterday, we forgot something quite important.  Through a very generous gift from a doctor and his wife in Northern Virginia, it has been possible for Martin McCann (Sandy’s husband and a pathologist) to continue his work with women with breast cancer.  There is a high rate and he is working in his own lab and in another as well.  If I remember correctly he said that in all the biopsies that he does 63 % are malignant.  I’ve been reading a book by an attorney in Charlotte who is very active in this diocese.  She lost her partner to pancreatic cancer and this book is entitled: “If There’s Anything I Can Do ~ What You Can Do When Serious Illness Strikes.”  As I read it I was aware that the African women do not have all the help and resources that we have.  I am sure they take care of their women but the food, flowers, cards, letters and notes, CaringBridge, hospice are probably non- existant.   Martin is a wonder, going into his lab at all hours.  We are pleased that Karimu can be a part of his merciful work.

Thought I would go over the progress we saw on the various projects in Tanzania:

 The Piglet Project – The women repaid their loan in full, their pigs are healthy and some have had piglets.  They will now take the money they borrowed and repaid and lend it to 45 new women in their village.  Am assuming they might do a piglet project as well.  Then, next year those women will repay their loan and loan it to women in a sister village, and so it goes.  St. Mary Mag’s raised more money for pig projects and we are talking with various people to see where a new site can start.  

The Women’s English Classes –  Sandy says this might be the best project we have done.  It began last year with a grant.  The women went to class for four hours each morning for the school year.  Women whom we were unable to speak with last year were chattering away in English this year.  Not only that, many had never attended secondary school.  Some of them are in their 40’s now.  Quite a number want to continue their education, so now there are secondary ed classes held at Bishop Stanway Primary School in the afternoons after the children have gone.  One woman wants to become a teacher, another a nurse.  I joined this year’s class for some art lessons and we added colours and paint to their English vocabulary.  They did some very good work and we had a grand time, many laughs.  

Bishop Stanway Primary School – The children on scholarship are thriving, and due to the help from Karimu and Wyoming, many children are on scholarship.  This was the first year the teacher’s didn’t need help with salaries.  The Headmistress, Lidya Kusa, has done a grand job of pulling the school together.  They have made repairs, painted the buildings, renovated the kindergarten building to be a hostel for boarding students, and added to enrollment.  Karimu gave the school $2,000. to finish the last classroom building which has been used as the kitchen.  Now they will build a small kitchen, and use the finished classroom building for classes.  We are still looking for a bus that will fit into the budget they have.  They have seen a bus they would like, but are $12,000. shy of being able to buy that one.  Food – This is the second year for grant aid on food for the students at Msalato.  We are hoping to get one more year of grant aid.  

Further monies have been given for scholarships, both for priests and children, money for the various parishes we visited, and of course the bicycles have been a great help.  Four of the priests Tally taught have graduated and moved on to very remote and wide-spread areas.  Transportation has been a huge problem for them, hours of riding busses as well as biking.  These priests are either Deans or Area Coordinators, covering as many as ten churches, so we have bought them all motor bikes at $1,200. each.

We carried over the comfort dolls from Holy Comforter in Burlington, used clothing, art supplies, jewelry from Claudia Miller’s shop for the women, computer supplies, bought paper for the school.

Future projects are:  new grants for the food, Women’s English Classes, and scholarships as we have come to the end of the grant aid from our previous sources.  For $22.00, we can buy solar lights for the priests homes.  Many do not have electricity, and this one solar light will light up their kitchen or sittingroom area.  Makes it easier to cook and for children to do homework.  That is a good project for children or a small church.  We are going to need to raise $10,000 this year to meet the needs which have been met previously.

Thank you for your continued help, little by little, you are changing people’s lives for the better!!

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