Monday, 19 September 2011

Go-goes galore

Dear  friends,
Thank you for your messages, prayers and encouragement which we really appreciate. You are all a great blessing to us.

We continue to enjoy life here in Tanzania. Vanilla is growing bigger rapidly, and as next door’s cat had tiny kittens on Sunday, Isaac has now decided we can no longer call Vanilla a kitten!

Daniel turned 8 on Sunday and had a lovely party at the local pizzeria/ crazy golf course (one of the few exciting places to go in Dodoma!) with 10 friends. The party had a “Gogo” theme. Though the Gogo is the name of the local tribe here in Dodoma the theme was based on a craze which many of you may be familiar with, of little plastic collectable figures called Gogos. They were introduced to the boys by their cousins when we were back in the UK. This picture shows the boys with the cake in the shape of Daniel’s favourite Gogo, with Gogo figures on top. Daniel and Isaac both recently participated in leading their class assemblies at school and did very well. Below is a video of Daniel’s assembly. Daniel is narrator.

The interviews for the project officer at Christine’s office went well and we have selected Geofrey Njama for the job. He will start at the beginning of October. He is an ex-student of St. John’s who we know very well as he helped us to run the English choir, so we also look forward to having him back to sing. Christine is currently busy planning a music and worship seminar for choir leaders from four dioceses in the central zone of the Anglican Church. We hope that the seminar will help choir leaders to develop their musical skills but also to develop an understanding of worship and how to write songs with a meaningful message. Please pray for this seminar which will take place in 2 weeks time. When Geofrey starts work we will also get going on the next phase of the small loans project. We need to choose a diocese to take part in this project so please pray that we select the right one. Last week we held a big event for choirs from 4 dioceses from the central zone of Tanzania. This picture shows a choir in traditional Gogo dress (this time the local tribe, not the toy!)

I have started a new blog specifically about my work and the projects that we are running, together with a Just Giving page which enables you to make contributions towards these projects. and Please have a look at these and please consider making a donation if you are able as we are surviving on a steady trickle of small donations. We are really grateful for those of you who have helped with my work, as much of what I am doing now would otherwise be impossible.

The diocesan youth event in which we participated with Kikuyu Gospel Singers went really well. 53 choirs participated in all over 3 days. It was held in a small village and the whole choir stayed in one small mud brick house. It was a great event and the choir is now known in the diocese, and since then we have had many invitations to participate in services and evangelistic meetings in other churches. We praise God for the way the choir has grown and developed from a difficult beginning earlier in the year. This picture shows Christine on stage with the choir.

Paul is gearing up for the new academic year -finishing off the prospectus, working on the timetable and preparing his e-learning study. This is the final part of his seemingly eternal Masters course and involves piloting a small e-learning initiative at the University replacing face to face seminars with on-line asynchronous discussion (bit like a more academic form of facebook), before analysing its impact. What with that and teaching 3 courses in the coming semester Paul’s quite busy at present but fairly content and leaving the question of “how will it all get done?” to God.

We also recently went to the “nane nane” agricultural show – an annual event here in Dodoma. It is a great event where people can learn new and efficient ways of growing fruit and vegetables and keeping livestock. There are also wild animals on show, including a lion. This picture shows the boys with their friend Prince on a display tractor.

Thank you all once more for all your support in so many ways and please keep praying as we are constantly aware that apart from God we can do nothing.

Much Love,
Paul, Christine, Daniel and Isaac