Solar Lights

Morning View

Baridi sana here today - maybe we will get some rain also. We had a kubwa storm last week but little rain since then - it is a slow start to the rainy season. We are finding the view from our window in the mornings hard to take as you can see from the above pic! It is certainly a beautiful part of the world here.

We have been busy as usual this week. Our rafiki Gershom arrived on Tuesday for a visit from Dodoma. He is on holidays after completing his Form 5 exams at Jubilee High School in Dodoma and will commence his Form 6 studies at the end of March. It is nice to see him again and I have asked him to give me a crash course in Swahili while he is here so I can have meaningful conversations asap. I am getting frusutrated at my language constraints......as you all know I like to talk!!

Hand ToolsRob spent some time building a new cabinet the other day for the house. He has a few power tools that Nigel brought over but he is missing his 'thicknesser". You can see in this pic he is using a hand planer, it kills him!! But the result looks good and the boys love to help. Oli has been building with the off cuts - I call it their woodwork class as I go and have a cup of tea!

Home schooling continues to be challenging but we are doing ok. We have decided that Mitchell will discontinue NAPS at the end of Semester 1. He is desperately unhappy there and really learns not much - it is a lot of money for supervised play for him. He works hard at home and is a bright boy so will continue to work at home even on the days I am busy. It was very distressing for him and Rob and I to send him off so unhappy. My mum is arriving in June for about 3 months so she can help out with the home schooling and maybe he can do a bit with the Klien girls when they return.

RakeOli continues to love the outdoor life here. The other afternoon he spent hours out in our yard racking up the grass cuttings left behind by George. He rakes them all into a pile as you can see, then puts them in a tub and takes them to throw off the ridge (where all our rubbish goes). The other morning he crushed up rocks and added water and we made a paintbrush from some of the fluffy bits at the top of the grasses. He then busily painted anything in sight. He thought it was great! He is happiest outside playing with the local kids or just exploring. His always has mikona michafu sana and I wonder if his feet will ever be white again!! He is very proud of his feet, he thinks they look African.

Jake is well and loving all aspects of life here. He has many friends at NAPS and loves that they don't do much work. He is doing better at home school but please keep praying for this. The other day Jake put together a parcel for Ellie next door as she was very distressed that we had so much mail and she had got none. He gave her his bottle top necklace which he had made himself from his vast bottle top collection. She loved it and even wore it to choir practice that afternoon.

We have had news from the Kliens and they will be away another 6 weeks so not returning till mid April now at this stage. As a result we are fielding many requests for financial assistance from the students usually supported by them and Liz.. It is always challenging and tiring to deal with these continual requests and know the best way to assist but we are working it out as we go.

I am continuing with my English students and I love it. They are so grateful and it is a lovely time of fellowship with these boys. I am often using examples from the Bible to help define words as it is a common text we have. George continues to be interested in improving his English and I have lent him a copy of The Essential Jesus and an English Swahili dictionary and he is working his way through it. If you have spare copies of The Essential Jesus lying around at home (and I know many of you do) we would love them here to give out to those with better english.

The work at the nursing school is still a bit hit and miss. 1st year classes have not commenced this week because there are students still doing their resit exams. Money for nusing school contributions is a hot topic amongst the nursing students also. Many are eligable for hospital scholarships for Semester 2. The scholarship means they are required to stay on and work at the hospital at the end of their course to improve the staff shortages at the hospital and allow more scholarships to be available. Some students however are keen to go on to do further study and complete a diploma and then go on to a Bachelor Degree so don't want to be tied to staying in Murgwanza. This means they need private sponsorship from donors from elsewhere. If you think this is something you would like to be specifically involved in you can contact us and we can talk more. Similarly if you want to support the Secondary Students that Liz helps we can arrange this also.

Today I had an email from some students at Roseville College in Sydney. Their Geography teacher is a friend of ours and she had been talking about our work and in particular the issue of lights for students who have no power to study by at night. Some of the students would like to raise some money so we can purchase lights for students like this. This is a huge encouragemet for us as there is such eagerness for education as we have said before and having no light to study by just adds to the challenges. I am looking into how to access such solar lights and will keep you posted how we go.

Well the rain has now come and it is bucketing down. The veges are getting a good drink and the water tank will be full soon. I must sign off now as I am also cooking today as Godriva has the day off and I need to cook the pancakes so they will be ready when the boys get off the bus.

Kwa heri

Sas