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In the midst of utter reality there is much here that is surreal. We are face to face with poverty, famine, children in rags and daily beggars at our doorstep and yet we were gifted tonight with fresh milk from Mama Tupa’s cow. Mama Tupa heard me say we were nearly out of milk for our cereal and tonight around dinner time there came the now familiar greeting: “Hodie,” which means “knock-knock, may I come in?” Many of the huts have no doors so they use a verbal greeting. The response is: “Karibu,” which means: “welcome, come in.” Two young girls, Nellie, a secondary school student, and Lydia, a student at the Bishop Stanway Primary School were hand-delivering fresh milk, still warm, from the cow. Imagine for one second the value of that gift from people who have so little. Their stomachs may be empty but ours have been filled. We have much to learn about relationships, sharing and what is really important in our lives. I’m not preaching – I am still in school myself.   Jessie, the world’s best traveling companion and I will turn in with full bellies and full hearts.

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I now have a sense of heaven. Jessie and I borrowed a CD player to use in a music class at the Bp. Stanway Primary School this morning and then took advantage of having it long enough to listen to two Mozart piano concertos that Jessie had brought along. We thought we had died and gone to heaven. “Ah, music,” I said. We have an African batik on the wall and fresh flowers and music. What more could one ask for? We also thought of Karen Blixen (remember “Out of Africa”) when Denys brought her a wind-up phonograph so she could listen to Mozart’s clarinet concerto. Such divine music!

As we walked the path to her school, shared with cows and goats, we commented on how quickly we have adapted to  life here.  Such is the power of human relationships.  The people are just grand.

I must tell you about the green-grocer who came yesterday to our door, the green-grocer being a young woman in a brightly colored kanga with a large plastic tub on her head filled with bunches of a leafy green vegetable we knew not what.  We were yearning for something green as we had eaten black beans and rice for the past 3 or 4 evenings. Jessie, artist turned cook, made a delicious meal with the greens slathered with butter.  We had the beans and rice too!

There was a spirited discussion among my students in pastoral care yesterday. More than anything they want to know how we do pastoral care in America.  Also, they wanted to know why children don’t die of malaria in America. This entire experience breaks the heart but also enlarges it.

Now is the weekend, with time to read, relax and reflect.  Tally

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Oh Happy Day! Got to see the children at Bishop Stanway primary School. As Tally and I walked up the path to the school, my favorite, Hilder, saw us, put out her arms and came running. see photos Tally took. We both visited Forms 4,5,&6 to tell them about the art and music. It was wonderful to see the teachers too. More on this later.

Tally and I taught our first classes in English here at the college, we tested and are now grading them. I think I will be learning alot, for example – remembering what the 8 parts of speech are, present simple, continuous present tense…Oy! Tally is off to her Pastoral Care course, more later.

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Habari! We are getting settled in, even had a “dinner party” at our house last night, though very humble. This morning went for our daily walk and it is so hard not to be filled with utter despair. Lack of rain means there is going to be a famine, not as bad as in 2005, but bad enough. we passed a herdsman with his cattle, they were skin and bones with nothing for them to graze but dried out grass and very sparce at that. He said he was worried about food for his family. I think of Africa and get so angry, what would it take for things to improve here…one feels so hopeless it is tempting to throw one’s hands up hopelessness. As Sandy says, one holds the tension of doing nothing or doing something…

We start teaching our English classes tomorrow, then I will go to Bishop Stanway in the afternoon and Tally will teach Pastoral Care. We are praying for a volunteer plumber, but will tell about THOSE problems when I can attach photos. Jessie

Thank you St. Andrews Church in Pinedale, Wyoming!!!  They had a “TANZANIA JAR” in the church which they have just opened.  The amount came to $1,009.40 and there were several $100.00 bills, some clipped together.  Thank you all so very much!  Saint Andrews is a small church with weekly attendance averaging around 40 to 50 people yet this congregation has really taken the people of Tanzania into their hearts.  They are supporting a student priest for his three years at the Theological College which comes to $2,800. a year.  In addition, they raised $4,567. to pay for a printer for the Diocese.  Their Vestry will decide what they will do with this new bounty.  Again, St. Andrews, thank you so very much.

There is another REALLY little church in Big Piney, Wyoming where Tally and I spoke on a cold winter night (30 degrees below, and snowing).  This church has only 9 people and Tally and I did not expect anyone to show up given the weather.  Mind you, coming from North Carolina, where when snow begins to fall, schools close, we assumed folks would stay home on this Sunday evening.  To our delight, they were all there.  We did our presentation, and shared coffee and cake with them afterwards.  This church, too, has embraced the people in Tanzania.  They provided scholarships for five children to attend Bishop Stanway Primary School for one year.

Asante Sana!!!!

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