Busy busy busy

Amy, Sas, Kirsti

It has been a busy few days and finally I have found some time (and energy) to write the latest. I will go backwards in time to update, today we farewelled Kirsti and Amy, a couple of short termers from Victoria. They were only here for 5 and 3 weeks respectively but they have been a huge blessing to me and many local students here. It is largely due to them however for why I am so exhausted, late nights with girly movies and chats, a pedicure and a group aerobics session to boot. Yesterday we had an afternoon tea (cake and soda) with some of their new friends they had made and had a great game of volleyball as well. It was so lovely to see so many of the students relaxed and enjoying themselves, teasing each other and being competitive in a such a light hearted way. These boy’s lives are a constant struggle for survival and as such they are often very serious. It was such a blessing to laugh and play with them.

Volley Ball

Kirsti and Rob

Friday morning Rob and I had an early start at the nursing school to help Nigel examine 88 first year students on a short computer practical. This was 3 and ½ hours of wayward mouse manoeuvres and asking them to ‘open Microsoft word, type your name, save your file, close word, open word, find your file……..’ you get the picture. Rob and I dashed home for a quick coffee before meeting with the Bishop to discuss our time here.

The Bishop has great plans for Rob and I in Murgwanza but I shared with him my new Swahili phrase ‘Mungu akipenda’ which means ‘if God wishes’; so now when people ask ‘when are you returning?’ I just reply ‘Mungu akipenda’.

In between the Bishop and the afternoon tea, I walked home with Godriva to photograph her baby goats. Mum had given Godriva a goat as a gift when she left in September and it was pregnant at the time so mum has been eagerly waiting for a goat report. I was invited in for soda and Nifa, Godriva’s daughter (aged 3 ½), was keen to chat. She is a delightful little girl and tested my Swahili. Her biggest topic of conversation was how mummy (Godriva) had come home with cakes on Wednesday (which we had baked together) but then left again with them on Thursday to take to a party and she didn’t get any. I promised Nifa before I went I would make a cake for her and her family, she was very pleased with this plan. As I have said before, cake is a big deal here - normally something you only get at a wedding. She was also quite taken by my hairclip, hair and sunglasses. She is a delightful little girl and Godriva was so happy to have me in her home.


On Thursday we attended the Bible College Graduation and inauguration and naming of buildings. It began with a walk around Murgwanza to officially bless and name some of the buildings including the bible college dorms and classrooms and the Bible College Principals house (which we were going to live in at one stage). This was named Rev Palmer House after Rev Michael Palmer who was a CMS missionary from Sydney and Bible College principal for many years.


This was followed by a church service at which Bishop preached and Liz kindly translated. It was a really encouraging service with some wise words from the Bishop to the graduating evangelists and the Theological Diploma students that have just completed their first semester (training to be pastors). He was reminding them that God has chosen them to come and study and to work and serve Him through the work that they will go out and do. There are many in Tanzania that would love to study but it is only a few that are given the opportunity through theological scholarships. These scholarships are 99% provided by the overseas countries, mostly Australia, UK and USA. It is hard work to go and serve the Lord and not a well-paid job, but they have been chosen and so must be obedient to this call. He reminded them that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.

After the service we went to lunch, followed by the presentation of certificates and many speeches. Rob was even presented with a certificate of appreciation for his computer teaching to the diploma students. The whole class came out and thanked him; it was a really lovely day. Finally after more than 5 hours we were done and stumbled home for a cuppa.

The first half of the week was very wet, but by enlarge quiet in comparison. Tomorrow we have our last home church with the Klein’s as they are leaving for Kenya next Sunday and won’t return till we have gone. On Monday the Archers (CMS-A) from Bunda are coming for a visit. They have never been to Murgwanza before . They bring 4 children as well so the wazungu watoto population will jump from 5 to 9 overnight.

The next three weeks will be an interesting time of winding down and packing up and saying our goodbyes. The other morning Jake and I filled a page in his journal of things and people we will miss in Murgwanza. It has certainly been an amazing year and it’s not over yet.

Amy, Sas, Kirsti


Time Difference

Children have never been very good at listening to elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.~

James Baldwin
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