Thursday, 4 August 2011

Cats, Containers and Chameleons

Dear friends,
On looking through our photos we realised we should have written a blog earlier – and there were many more we could have included! So be prepared for a long picture show this entry!

The boys have just started back at school after a month’s break. Isaac has now entered standard 1 and is very excited to be in the “big school” with Daniel who is now in standard 3. They enjoyed their holiday and had fun playing with friends. This picture shows them with neighbours Ema, K and P.
We had a lovely walk one evening up “lion rock,” one of the biggest hills in Dodoma with our new aussie neighbours, the Buchanans. This shows us near the top looking down over Dodoma.
Christine also took the boys for our regular holiday visit to Kilimatinde where we were able to relax for a few days with friends. This shows our friend Ema with his daughter Janeth (our God-daughter) in their new house which he has been hard at work building. It is coming on well but he still needs a roof which is always the difficult part both in terms of cost and expertise.
Monday this week was a very exciting day. Firstly the boys went back to school and into their new classes. Secondly we gained a new member of the family, Vanilla, a lovely kitten who you can see in this picture. Thirdly, the container which we have been waiting for finally arrived safely at the university. These pictures show the container being unloaded outside the main admin block at the university. So far everything seems to be in order and unbroken! We brought computers, books, lab equipment and furniture for the university which have all been well received. We also fitted in a few boxes of our own stuff and were all very happy to see it arrive – toys for the boys, a bike and a hammock for Paul, and a comfy deck chair and a ton of conditioner for Christine!
We’re at the end of the university year now with students already starting to leave after their exams. Staff are still busy marking, planning for the new year and developing research projects. Paul hopes to complete a few holiday jobs including supervising the laboratory air extraction system and bench resurfacing, building a projection and sound system for the main hall and (once more) painting out the badminton court.
Please continue to pray for Christine’s work. She is now receiving lots of applications for the job of youth projects officer to work alongside her. Please pray that we will find the right person and that the plans for various projects come together. Christine’s Swahili choir, Kikuyu Gospel Singers is doing well and was recently selected to be part of the diocese “tamasha” which is an event for youth choirs throughout the diocese – it is quite a privilege to be selected especially as we are such a new choir. Please pray for us as we go there next week. This picture shows Christine with the choir
Sadly we recently said goodbye to our good friends the Cousleys who have moved to Uganda to continue their work with MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) The boys were particularly sad to see the Cousley boys, Joshua and Benjamin leave as they have been great friends over the last 3 years. Shortly before they left they came for a sleepover – this picture shows them all watching a DVD on the little sofa underneath Isaac’s new bed! We also said goodbye last week to Neville and Elspeth (our previous Aussie Neighbours!) who have been living next door since we arrived in Dodoma back in 2007 and are now returning to Australia. We were very sad to see them go.
As well as the goodbyes we were very happy to welcome the Aylings, good friends from “Christ the King” church in Kettering where we worshipped from 1996-2000 before going to Kilimatinde, and who still support us as a link church. The Aylings will be living in Dar-es-Salaam and working for MAF. In the last week of the school holidays we were able to spend a lovely few days with them in Dar, mostly playing on the beach. This picture shows Daniel and Isaac with their 3 children Jack, Harry and Robyn.
Our garden is flourishing and our bananas, papaya and passion are doing particularly well. This picture shows a chameleon trying to disguise itself as a banana.
With lots of love and blessings,
Paul, Christine, Daniel, Isaac and