Thursday, 17 November 2011

Graduations and gatherings

Dear Friends,
Oh dear it’s nearly 2 months since the last blog – sorry! We have been very busy!

In October we attended the CMS partners in mission conference in Nairobi. It was a great event with representatives from many different parts of Africa. It was a good time for fellowship and sharing with other mission partners. This picture shows Paul in one of the meetings.
One of the highlights was the kids programme led by a wonderful group of young Kenyans who took the children from 8am to 9pm every day! The children absolutely loved it. They had great fun and some great teaching too. They were a small group of just 7 children but they all got on very well with each other and their leaders. Here are the boys with friend James and leader Shaun (“the sheep”!)

The new semester at the University is into full swing now and Paul is stuck into teaching his courses in laboratory Physics and educational media and technology. Thankfully after years of waiting for the infrastructure Paul has managed to start some e-learning activities with a trial group of 50 students from one of his courses. The analysis of this trial will form the dissertation of Paul’s masters but he is also excited by opportunities to develop more e-learning at the university in the future. We recently got dressed up once more for the second ever graduation ceremony of the university. It was a day of great celebrations but tinged with sadness as one of Paul’s Physics students who was due to graduate tragically died in a bus accident 2 weeks before. He was awarded his degree posthumously.

Paul managed to attend another graduation earlier in October at St John’s Secondary, Kilimatinde where he used to teach. It was great to be a part of the celebrations and to meet up with old friends including Festo the Headmaster who is now in the UK – see later.

Though the previous person we selected was unable to take up the position, we have now employed a new project officer at Christine’s work called Justine, shown in this picture. It is great to have him with us. He is enthusiastic and hard working and will do a good job.  He will be working with Christine on all the projects of the youth office though his main role is running the small loans project. We have just begun this project in a new diocese, the diocese of Mpwapwa, and this picture shows Christine with the diocese loans committee at a recent seminar there.
We also recently held a successful seminar on youth bible study together with a meeting of the youth leaders from nearly all the dioceses (of which there are 26) across Tanzania. You can read more about this on my youth office blog  Thank you to everyone who has been making donations for my work and making these projects possible. If you are able to make a contribution please see my just giving pages which can be accessed through the youth office blog. We will soon be having elections for a new committee of TAYO (the Tanzania Anglican youth Organisation) – please pray that the right people will be selected and also that God continues to provide the resources we need to keep our work going.

Christine has also been busy with the Kikuyu Gospel Singers. We recently held a very successful event to launch the new choir which has only been going since February, and to raise funds to buy new instruments for the choir. We were also invited to represent our diocese at an event of the neighbouring diocese of the Rift Valley in Manyoni and had a wonderful weekend there. This picture shows us (in the yellow shirts) during a procession through the town on the final day of the event. Christine has also recently been elected as “Katibu” (secretary) of the choir – a big job – in Tanzania the Katibu is the person who does everything! Please pray for us as we continue to grow and develop.
The boys are very happy and enjoying life and school. They are also very much enjoying their cat, Vanilla, pictured here with Isaac (due to the many requests for more pictures!) The weather is getting very hot now so they are particularly enjoying swimming and the paddling pool in the garden.  We had a lovely visit from our friends the Aylings from Dar recently and (for all the CTK crowd) here is a picture of the boys with the Ayling children on lion rock in Dodoma.

Finally we are very happy that our dear friends Festo from Kilimatinde and Grace from St. Austell were married last week. We can’t wait to see them when the return to Tanzania in January. Congratulations Mr. And Mrs Kanungha!