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Never say never.  In five years I have never been sick in Africa.  The day began nicely enough with 7:30 chapel all done in Kiswahili with happy music and happy feet.  HOWEVER, the evening before, our very nice guest from Australia (one of the teachers) talked about what’s good for what ails me in the digestive system. I am trying to be delicate.  Her discovery is 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil washed down with a bit of orange juice.  Seemed harmless enough so Jessie stood by me as I took the prescription.  During my first morning class, the one that had laughed about James and his wives, I suddenly became ill. It hit me like a sledge hammer and I ran to the door, hand over my mouth.  In seconds women in the class came out to help me ~ arms around me, patted my shoulder and offered me water.  It was evident I could not finish the class nor lead the next one, so I quickly gave them an assignment and started the walk home.  There were several stops along the road to rid myself of the potion.  This is embarrassing in the best of situations, but along a dirt road, all alone was pretty awful.  A male student passed me by but finally turned and asked what he could do.  “Please go to the guest house and get Jessie.”  I was able to make it home and flopped on the bed where I stayed most of the day.  Sweet students who tried to help and sweet Jessie who put the big green bucket by the bed.   Oh, that wonderful green bucket.  After staying in bed all day I finally recovered though it took a while to get my sea legs.  To top it off, the two doctors on campus, Sandy and Martin, had just left for 5 days for a medical conference in Mwanza so we had nothing for nausea. 

Late in the afternoon one of our dearest students from our first year here who is now the Secretary General of the Diocese of the Rift Valley which we visited several years ago came for a visit bringing a nurse (Wilhemina) another man, not sure who he was and two current students.  Oh, he did not bring the nurse for me; they had been at a meeting in Dodoma.  It was a lovely reunion and Joseph wanted us to visit Manyoni this time but time is rushing by.  He is the gentleman who took me to the girls school to preach and translated all the services for me.  Isn’t it amazing having friends in Tanzania that go to such lengths to visit?  The other trauma of the day was we had no internet most of the day and night and even the green bucket could  not fix that.  Cheers, Tally

 

 

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By way of introducing myself to a new class yesterday I told them about our Mbwa’s (dog in Swalili).  Dogs are not exactly pets here.  The idea of a dog going in the house and sleeping in our beds makes them shake their head’s and laugh.  So today I took this picture in to introduce them to Tally Pendo, Lisa and James.  One asked if Pendo and Lisa were James’ wives.  I said that James is not a polygamist, that he is a Christian dog.  James is staying at Jessie’s house with our wonderful dog-sitter, Carolyn Rush.  She calls it Camp Carolyn and spends her time playing with them  Claude goes to see James every couple of days and he thinks James would like to live there because he has so much fun.  He doesn’t have a yacht anymore but he has two homes.  He gave up his mountain home to come to live with me.  More to come in a later blog.  No internet for awhile and yesterday was quite a day both good and bad.  That’s Africa ~ maybe that is life.  As ever, Tally 

If we couldn’t laugh we might cry ourselves to death or at least I would. 

This is the story of the ubiquitous green plastic bucket.  You have seen pictures of our living room but you have no idea of our bathing situation but it works.  In Dodoma town when we first arrived we went in to buy a few groceries and the green plastic bucket.  One sees the women all around town with these buckets on their heads loaded with tomatoes, greens, sweet potatoes or what-have-you with the most elegant posture.  For a few dollars I bought a bucket to assist with my bathing arrangements.  Jessie’s bathroom already had one.  Last night I went in to take my bath and the bucket was gone.  Panic.  What had our sweet house girl Vicky done with my precious  bucket?  Today, after classes I asked her if she had any idea where it was.  I had already checked everywhere.  She then reminded Jessie that she had taken it to her art class the day before and probably left it in the class.  What I am trying to say is how precious something so common-place as a bucket can become when you have next to nothing.  You know, it was like:  “where is my bucket; who took my bucket?”  That darned bucket was a treasure and bless Jessie, she made a special trip over to the class room to retrieve MY bucket.  In her defense, she loaned me her bucket last night!  What we wouldn’t give a second thought about at home became very important to me.  

Alas, would that life could be as simple as a plastic bucket.  El Nino is going to effect Africa this  year.  Rains are predicted to be above normal in Tanzania during the “rainy season,” (November).  That sounds good however, prospects of water born diseases such as malaria and cholera outbreaks due to stagnant water and the overflow of sewerage looms high.  Fungal disease will impede crop developement and foot and mouth disease is also likely.   It’s enough to rip your heart out.  These are good, honest, hard-working people.  It is hard not to ask God WHY.

Desmond Tutu says to pray for Africa ~ pray for Africa everyday.  I don’t know what else to do.  I yearn to write poetry about it and cannot find the time or the words.  I also want to sleep all the time.  Maybe the Tzetse fly has gotten me.  

Love to all of our readers,

Tally   

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the Women’s English Class armed with painting kit.  Bucket, watercolours, brushes and paper.  They had the water and cups to put it in.  Their teacher, Marian, is an artist herself, and actually is a better teacher than I as she is very creative and can draw well.  Marian is from Austrailia. Alot of depth and nouse.  These women are at the beginning of their English studies, so they have an interpretor, Teresia, who is the wife of a pastor who is currently studying at Suwannee in Tennessee.  Tally stayed at their home in a village last year.

It was a fact that none of the women had ever drawn or used paint.  We began with some basic concepts about elements of shape, all in English, then they drew something I had put on the board.  Next, Marian struck a pose, and they painted her.  It was so interesting to see what they came up with as a first time effort.  Unsophistacated and untrained, but with a lovely feeling, creative use of colour , and their own interpretation.  They also enjoyed the hour and one half of relaxing into the work.

Play is a part of their learning.  Marian has them playing games in English, one which is almost like musical chairs, net ball, a form of soccer, as well as other cut and paste activities.  These servie to loosen them up, as learning a language as an adult is difficult.

These ladies as well as the ladies in the entrepreneur class will make the field trip to Ikowa October 6th.  Another new experience (women networking)!

Two lovely male students visited us this afternoon and during the conversation about many things, especially the value of women, we were told that the wife of the president of Tanzania (Jakaya Kikwete) said:  “Educate the women and you educate the nation.”   Apparently it is a well known proverb going back many years, so who knows who first said it?  Maybe George Washington when he said:  “All I am I owe to my mother.”  Whoever said it, I believe it, especially here in Africa. Women have not had opportunities that we have in America, but that is changing.  The men recognize that women are more than child-bearers.  In some areas wives are still beaten as a sign of love.  Let my husband try that and he will be history.  Slowly, slowly, the Christian pastors are getting the message across about love and the love of the creator.  It’s a crazy, mixed up world, but hope endures.  Tally 

It was a busy weekend!  Friday evening a student broke his arm at their soccer match, Sandy and Martin came for dinner.  Saturday, Tally and I were invited to our friend, Sache’s home for lunch.  Her sister, Moti, whom we also know, was also there as were their children.  Had a delicious lunch and good conversation.  Their English has improved so much over the last five years, and our Kiswahili is non existent.  Embarrassing!

Sunday, Tally preached at the chapel here, then we all trundled off to an ordination.  It was supposed to start at nine, but didn’t until 10:00.  It ended at 2:30!!  Lots of singing, choirs, ceremony.  Bishop Mhogolo was there, and we had a chance to visit with him.  He left today for the U.S., but will be coming back to TZ the day we are flying back home so no chance to have him come to NC.  Perhaps his next visit.

Today, back to work.  Tally is writing a sermon, and preparing lessons for her class, am doing the same.  For me it is with the Women’s English and Entrepreneur class, next week I start at Bishop Stanway Primary School again.

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