Monday, 24 December 2007

Heri za Krismasi

Dear All,

We wish you all a very happy and blessed Christmas. Thank you for the Christmas cards and greetings. We have a good display on the wall and no doubt more to come as the post takes a very long time around Christmas! It will be a bit different for us this year but we are looking forward to celebrating with our new Tanzanian (and Australian!) friends and neighbours. Daniel has been opening his advent calendar and is getting quite excited. We managed to find him a first bike in Dar-es-Salaam which should be a wonderful surprise for him, as well as a little car for Isaac.

We are in the middle of a very hot and wet season at the moment and praise God that the rains are still going strong. The usually dry river that runs across the campus even has some water in it now.

Christine has been busy this week writing a project proposal for a development centre which the university plans to set up, reaching out into local village communities to carry out research and small development projects. It has been really interesting and is something I may well be involved in later if the funding comes in. I have also joined the local church choir, called “Revival” which has been great fun so far. Hopefully I will sing with them on Christmas morning.

Paul’s been pottering about at home and in the lab over the last week fixing things as diverse as galvanometers, shower curtains and 8ft long desks. Apart from some furniture that is to be made by Jackson, a local fundi (carpenter), the house is almost a home however I still have a few projects in mind for the future including rain water collection and playground equipment for the boys.

The boys have been enjoying various Christmas activities at the school, going swimming at the local pool (like pea soup!) and getting to know their neighbours a bit more. They are starting to settle in a bit more though still miss their friends.

Please pray:
n That we find a tenant for our house back home in the new year
n That we grow in the knowledge of how God wants to use us here.
n That Christmas is a wonderful time of fellowship and joy and especially that the boys have a lovely day.
n For our trip to Kilimatinde from boxing day for a few days, for safe travel and joyful reunion with old friends.
n For Revival choir, that they will be faithful in their service to the Lord

Monday, 17 December 2007

Dear All,
Thank you for all you prayers, emails and texts over the last week. It’s lovely to know that people are keen to hear our news.
After Paul wondering what to do with himself last week he’s been quite busy this week preparing syllabi for next year and travelling to Dar-es-Salaam to pick up our new car (see picture – safi sana as we say in Tanzania) along with our freight.
The boys have been busy networking with all the other Children of Dodoma, Daniel starting preschool and Isaac starting toddler group and both of them exchanging visits with our neighbours. Christine has been spending time talking to local mums and generally getting to know the neighbours. She also has been looking over a proposal for a university development project which is something she may get involved with in the future.
Lidia has started working for us helping around the house. She is lovely and has been a great help and is sure to be a good friend and part of the household.
It’s been like an early Christmas getting things out of our boxes of freight. Daniel has loved being reunited with his train set, and Isaac feels like he’s back on a Cornish beach and is very happy digging in the dirt with his bucket and spade.
Lots more things are available in Dodoma these days and we have managed to get ourselves some Christmas decorations supplemented by the boys being creative with glitter.
We’re slowly settling into the congregation of the local Swahili service at the University chapel and are occasional visitors to the cathedral in town but are finding it hard to find ways that each of us can meet our needs for teaching, fellowship and accountability that we were so used to back in St Austell.
Please pray for:
n The boys’ continual adjustment to life in Tanzania, especially Daniel
n Preparations for Christmas – that it be a special time for the boys and a festival that we can share in within the local church
n That we find ways of being church in a different context from back home
n The university – that it soon receive the student loan fee payments from the government so that it can ease its financial pressures
n That we all remain anchored to God and dependant on his provision

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Dear All,
Thanks for all your prayers and messages during our difficult first few days here. Daniel is now back to full health (and fortunately doesn’t have to take his foul tasting medicine) and we are pretty well settled into our new house with a few mod cons such as a sofa and fridge.

You can check out the exact location of our house on google earth coordinates lat -6.19663245822, lon 35.7324128041.

Paul has sort of started work, sorting out all the apparatus for the physics lab. The physics course doesn’t start until next August but we hope Paul will be able to do some teaching starting this February in the mean time he is trying to seek clarity from God and from the University as to how he can best use his time.
We have already had some interesting conversations with people at the University and at the provincial office which may lead to a role for Christine in the future in terms of development or microfinance projects.
The boys are very much enjoying life here especially Isaac who is loving playing around the house and is sleeping better than he ever did at home. We’ll all get a bit of a treat when our freight arrives shortly and they unpack all their toys and we unpack essentials such as Paul’s tools and Christine’s cake tins.

Daniel will start school this week for two days a week and then will be full time after the Christmas break.
News travelled quickly to Kilimatinde that we were in town and have had a regular stream of old friends visiting us. We have promised to visit there soon once we have sorted out purchasing our new car (watch this space). One of our visitors was an ex student who we knew as Said Shaban – a very keen and able muslim student who threw himself into the life of the school, graduated with flying colours, went on to study at sixth form and is now back at Kilimatinde teaching Chemistry. It was great to hear how Paul’s teaching had born fruit but even greater to hear how he has now made a commitment to Christ, been baptised and is now named Amani (meaning peace) despite considerable opposition from his family.
We met our new house girl this week who will start on Monday. Her name is Lidia and she has experience of working for westerners with children.

Please pray:
n That Paul’s coming trip to Dar to collect the car goes smoothly and that he finds more clarity in his role
n That the freight arrives soon and in good condition
n That Lidia fits well into the family and becomes a help to Christine and a friend and carer to the boys
n Last night saw the first rain of the season – Praise God for this and pray that it continues consistently long enough to produce a good harvest this year
n For Amani Shabani and his family that he may grow in faith yety be able to restore relations with his family

With much love and thanks

Paul, Christine, Daniel & Isaac

Monday, 3 December 2007

We're Here ,

The Salamans have arrived at our new home in Tanzania. After a frantic time of tieing up loose ends back home - getting the house ready for renting, packing and saying goodbyes we started our Journey by driving to Heathrow from St Austell. There then followed a nine hour flight and then another 7 hour car journey in Tanzania before we arrived at our final destination. Needless to say that the travelling was very tiring and took its toll on all of us such that our first evening in Tanzania was a fairly low point with Daniel becoming ill and refusing to take his Larium and arriving at a house that was as we expected fairly spartanly furnished. By bedtime with the help of our now good friend Mbarikiwa we managed to all have something to sleep on and I managed to hang all the mosquito nets.
Once the boys were finally asleep and we had collapsed on the few chairs in the house we could easily have started to question our calling. However as we started to upack we looked through some of the cards that we'd been given in the last week (now on our wall see below)and the messages within them together with Bible verses texted to us restored our faith in God's provision and helped us carry on.
Things have improved since then - Daniel is still poorly but on the mend, our house is becoming more like a home but still lacks some essentials and we have started some god relationships with staff and neighbours here. Within the next few weeks we hope to have more furniture, a new mobile number (watch this space), our freight arriving and even a new car
Please continue to pray for:
  • A tenant for our house back home
  • Daniel's health
  • That our home can become a place of comfort, security and hospitality
  • That we keep good relations with all

With much love and thanks for your prayers and support,

Paul, Christine, Daniel & Isaac

Monday, 8 October 2007

And we're off

After much consideration by CMS of whether we had enough financial support promissed we've been given the thumbs up to fly on the 28th of November.
It's all systems go now as we still have boxes to pack and air freight, a house to decorate, empty of furniture and rent out, a few more deputations to do, study to complete, goodbyes to be said and all manner of loose ends and paperwork to sort out over the next few weeks.
We're hoping that our work permits will be ready soon after lots of work by our colleagues in Tanzania and are looking forward to Tim Sanders' ( CMS regional manager) return from his whistle stop tour of East Africa to let us know a little bit more about the University and our accomodation there.
Thankyou for all your support prayefully and financially however please continue to pray for:
  • The renting out of our house - that a good tenant be found and all the technical side goes well
  • The boys as they prepare to say goodbye to their friends and cope with what must be a big transition
  • The University - that they overcome any teething problems during this their first year and make a good foundation for future years - and that they may find a role for Paul suited to his skills and experience
  • Our family and friends that we will be saying our goodbyes to
  • God's protection - so that we can continue unhindered in seeking out and following his will

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Welcome to the Salamans blog

We hope to keep friends, family, supporters and the just plain interested regularly informed of what's going on in our lives as we leave the UK and Head for Tanzania once more to serve God and his people in Dodoma.