Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Doing my bit!!

This is real hard work digging out the boulders - I tried to help!!                                                      
One more for the pile!

The workers, men and women collecting the boulders and then having to break them up.

Mud bricks are being made - of course water is required always a problem

Can I help?

What a smile!

We have started the building project - fantastic!!

The land where the pre-school for Chitemo will be built

The collection of stones for the foundations - boulders dug out from the side of mountains which have to be broken up.  

The people of Chitemo and Nyhinila villages are so committed to the project. We are building a pre-school for each village. It will be hard physical work for the men and women - SEEDS4Tanzania will support the funds to train teachers and buy materials that otherwise would be unaffordable.

There's more ......

Days start early, are very busy evening comes quickly with wonderful sun-sets

The day starts at Chitemo Church will chapati and black tea - delicious

The people have very little but are so generous in their welcomes and hospitality. No guest will every leave hungry - even if it might be their last supplies.

I packed 12 suitcases of children's clothes,toys,baby clothes...

I packed 12 suitaces of children's clothes, toys, bras,school equipment,baby clothes, baby blankets and more.  All donated by wonderful supporters.  There is never enough.

The people are beautiful whether young or old.

The children are all so bright and willing to listen and learn.

And so the story continues..............

All children like to play!

Distribution of clothes and toys for the orphan children of Chitemo and Nyhinila villages

The story continues

This is when I am truly happy a baby in my arms - the future of this wonderful country
  This is where it all started in 2009 under this tree in Chitemo village. Seeing the children, so many orphans with so little in their lives. Thankfully the villagers cared and I couldn't forget the children.
 July 2012

Brought some of Africa back with me !!

11 days have passed since my return from Tanzania. Unfortunately I picked up a nasty little bug in Kondoa Diocese that decided to come back with me. I admit it was a challenging visit with many miles travelled but the unwell feeling was more to do with the bug. Energy levels are returning and it is time to catch up with all that the trip has produced. I hope the following photographs will tell a story.
 Distribution of over 600 bras to the Mother's Union Conference held in All Saints Cathedral,Mpwapwa. The women were thrilled. It was like the sales at Harrods!!

Getting ready for Sunday service at the Cathedral with Trinity School,Belvedere

Given 15 minutes notice that I had to preach!!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Forgot to mention something really important!!

How could I forget  - Linda was made a lay Canon at Kondoa Cathedral in recognition of her support over the years for the diocese. So we now have myself as Canon in Mpwapwa Cathedral and Linda in Kondoa how great is that!!  Two Canons together must make for a big bang!!

Tanzania 19 July 20012 - A short message

This has been the first opportunity to add some news on the blog since the last entry. Internet access has been impossible and very frustrating. Linda and I leave tomorrow after three very challenging weeks travelling many miles around the two diocese of Mpwapwa and Kondoa. All has been accomplished which is great but I am feeling very weary particularly having had African tummy which has really taken its tole on my energies - however a great way to loose any excess weight!!

Clothes donated for the orphans

I shall be updating the blog with photographs on my return. It will be difficult to choose which ones as I have taken hundreds over the three weeks. Do keep logging in and once again to all thank you for your interest and support.

Doing my bit to help!!
Some of the stones collected for the foundation work of the Pre-school for the orphans. Such hard work as these stones have to be dug out of the mountain side and then they will be transported by lorry to the building site.
Men and women work together rolling or carrying the stones down the mountain.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Tanzania calling - July 7 2012

At last I have a little free time - no rush, rush, rush. Bishop Brian arrived last night after a three hour delay to find us all in a cafe having a beer!! Today has less pressures on it. The girls from Trinity have gone off to the dress makers to arrange some more outfits - well girls must shop!! Linda has gone off to the bank to challenge the awful rate they gave us yesterday, so much less than at the airport. We are then off to visit Queen Esther's boarding school for girls.
The week has been going very well. Extremely busy with four days spent at Chitemo and Nyhinila villages. Trinity have been working with the orphans children. They have done a fantastic job organising activities. Art work, which now hangs up in both churches, games, sport, teaching of English through songs and actions. The Pastor and the villagers have been blown away by it all. I spent much of my time in discussion with the village committees who are organising the building of the school for the orphans. In fact they have now decided to build one in each village which makes sense and reduces the travel time for the mothers. I was taken to see where they have been collection the stones for the building work. I thought 'stones' little things you can pick up in you hand - no they are boulders that they dig out of the mountain and then have to break up. This is done by men and women alike. I tried to pick up a 'stone' no way. Also I visited where they have been making the mud bricks, collecting the sand and the two sites for the schools. The people have been working so hard, are so committed to the project. I am so proud of them. Any work will end by November when the rainy season starts and they then have to work on the land. It will start again at the end of April 2013. So work had quite short windows. I have deposited money into their account so that they can hire a lorry to transport the stones to the villages. This will cover the cost of the fuel and service of the vehicle which is been hired from the Diocese.

So far we have visited St Luke's Maternity Clinic, the Cathedral for two services,the villages of Berege, Chitemo and Nyhinila. The church of St Paul's Mpwapwa, Bishop Jacob of Mpwapwa. At all these venues the team from Trinity have had to introduce themselves and say a little something about themselves and have done so well. I feel talked out as I have to give talks on just about every subject, they must think I am a fountain of all knowledge - but that is what Canon's do they tell me. Where all the words come from I really do not know it must be divine inspiration and I just love it. The people are so receptive, pay attention, really want to listen, to learn and they give so much to us. There huge smiles, great care and love for us. Everywhere we go in our vehicle people wave, call out to us and it must be nice things because they are smiling!

Tomorrow will be a big day at the Cathedral. All the dignitaries of the diocese will be there, including our Bishop Brian of Tonbridge. Two men from the diocese are being ordained Deacons, one of the Trinity girls, Harriet is being baptised and confirmed. She will never forget the day. Linda is reading a text from the Bible in Swahili, Nick (Trinity Chaplain) is reading the Gospel in English and I am assisting with Holy Communion. I would guess the service will last about 5 hours. The  sermon will be at least 1 1/2 hours and that is considered short here! It will be such an experience for Trinity. I must mention Ed who is an Assistant Head from Trinity. We call him 'tool man' whatever needs fixing or I.T. understanding, Ed is the man. He being a science teacher really is a fountain of all knowledge. The two Trinity boys, brothers (twins) are great, Josh and Daniel. For the first couple of days they were quite a challenge for Ed to get them to go to bed at a reasonable hour but after long busy days it doesn't seem to be a problem now! The girls, Faith, Antalia and Harriet are a delight. Faith never stops eating and there is nothing of her, she also never stops talking. Antalia is quieter and thoughtful. She is also a keen photographer and is our official photographer. Harriet is the 'wild thing' we always know when she is  around - so full of beans - a great personality. Nicky (chaplain) has the responsibility of all the young people and really is a mother hen to them.

On Monday Trinity will be working with a primary school in Mpwapwa town while Bishop Brian, Linda and myself visit the village of Chipogoro which is the furthest away in the diocese. I love this village. The pastor - Michael Zacharias is a big bear of a man and so gentle. He is also the Dean of the area and made me his assistant Dean in 2009!! We bought him through our Link fund last year a motor bike so that he could travel around his very big area and visit all the churches. It was fun travelling last year to the capital Dodoma to buy a motor bike - we are so fortunate with our driver Rajabu who does all the negotiating for us.  This year as we travel to the diocese of Kondoa next Wednesday we shall stop off again to buy a motor bike for the pastor of Chitemo, kindly donated by Nicky. He again will be able to travel around his 8 churches in some comfort and with speed instead of having to walk for many miles each time. I have mentioned Linda but not said much about her. We have been travelling out here together for the past four years. We share everything and thankfully are of the same character and nothing bothers us. We love 'African time' which means you have an itinerary but times alter according to the moment - and everything is started with a cup of tea and something to eat. This had been difficult for Trinity to understand and they have always wanted to get on with everything - quick,quick, quick, as in the U.K. However, everything gets done in the end.
Linda also spends her time during our travels shouting out of the window to everyone - Yoo,Yoo. So I call her Mrs Yoo and I must admit at times I have to tell her to be quiet and give it a rest! She is a great partner and I couldn't do it all without her.

Tuesday it is off to St Michael's church at Kongwe and sadly Trinity will be leaving us. Wednesday we leave for a very long journey to the Diocese of Kondoa. It will take about 8 or 9 hours including the stop in Dodoma. Kondoa is a very poor Diocese with many problems and we are going there to discuss all the issues with the new Bishop and see where the Diocese of Rochester can be of assistance in the future.

It is now time to move on to the next visit. I am sorry I have not been able to put any photographs on the blog as yet. I shall have to ask 'tool man' if he can help. Keep in touch with us through the blog. It would be nice to receive some comments. Until next time, Yolande

The team from Trinity,Ed Harriet,Nicky,Antalia,Faith,Daniel,Josh  with our driver,Rajabu and two members from Nyhinila village.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

The computer is working, hurrah!! I can't believe that tomorrow we shall have been here for one week. It has been full on from the first day. Having travelled for nearly 22 hours since leaving home our first morning was spent introducing Trinity School to Mpwapwa town. What an experience for them. They then wanted to go to the dress makers shop (shack!) to order traditional style clothes. You cannot swing a cat in the shop which is full of material, machines a counter. 8 of us wanting to be measured and me drawing the requested designs - patience of a saint comes to mind but we did it. We were then invited to the Cathedral to be introduced at the Mother's Union conference. Everyone had to introduce themselves, Trinity were brilliant when you thank this was a first and in a strange country. I had the usual guest speaker slot, starting in Swahili and then English which was interpreted. There were over 500 MU members.  Mpwapwa Diocese has over 12,000 members. That was the Saturday and the clothes were all promised for the following Tuesday, what service. We then went off to St Luke's maternity clinic with our suitcases full of baby clothes. Had a tour around the clinic and met two mothers awaiting their babies. One already had four children the other six and they looked no age. We had lunch at the Diocesan guest house - delicious as always prepared by Monica, Tanzanian style, spaghetti, rice, chips, beans, a little veg, a little meat in sauce all on the same plate and then the usual half an orange with a bottle of water and a bottle of pop. A little rest time was available before we returned to the Cathedral to take the 600 bras to be distributed amongst the women. A sight to be seen, photographs will follow and we had sufficient for every women there. The sizing was great fun - it took about three hours!!  We then went back to the guest house for supper and you have guest it - rice, spaghetti, potatoes this time, a little veg and meat and the orange!
It is 11pm must get off to bed will continue with Sunday 1 July tomorrow. All is well although we have five very tired young people who went off to bed at 9.30pm and deservedly so after all the hard work over the past four days. You will hear all about it in due course. Keep blogging, Yolande

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Tanzania at last!!!!!

Yes, at last I am able to update the blog. It has been a mammoth task and loads of patience waiting for the laptop to work. Here we go! Our journey to Tanzania went smoothly. Heathrow was the first test having 9 of us with 27 suitcases. Thankfully only one had to be lightened by 3 kilos - one of mine! Ten out flight again no problems except I could not sleep the rest of the team had better luck. It was quite a challenge when we arrived at Dar es Salaam airport to find all the suitcases but eventually we were there  7.30am outside in the brilliant sunshine being met by the driver for Trinity School (rajabu) and the driver David accompanied by Sylvester from Mpwapwa Diocese. The journey to Mpwapwa went really well and was so exciting for Trinity, their first experience of Africa. We had a stop for samosas and tea and 8 hours later arrived at our destination the Abebi Lodge, Mpwapwa town. It all seems so long ago and yet it is only a week. So much has happened since. It is 7am in the morning and I have to rush to get ready for another days travel but hopefully will be able to connect with the blog again with news and photographs. This week has been such a huge learning curve for Trinity, the students, the Chaplain and assistant head teacher. They have been amazing with all they have had to cope with and I am sure particularly for the students this will be a life changing experience as it was for myself and Linda when we first arrived here 5 years ago. Keep logging into the blog, please be patient, news will be posted it is just very difficult. A sante santa. Yolande