Sunday, May 6, 2012

Animals, Animals! Easter Break

Today is Wednesday the second of May, 2012.  So sorry to all my friends and followers for not posting sooner but David has not been well since before the two week holiday.  We have been busy working on classes, making plans to return to Denver in early May and generally trying to gracefully say good-by.
I am posting a few of our holiday pictures from the parks up north near Karatu and then a few pictures of the seminary's nursery school along with some activities and gatherings. 
This has been a very sad time for me but I hope to make the most of the departure from Tanzania and
continue helping people in the US understand the needs of South Eastern Africa.  A big thank you to all who have been following us on facebook and this blog!  God bless each of you for caring about others.
 Elephants on the move in Lake Manayara, Karatu, TZ

 Nursery School students ages 4 to 7 at Msalato Seminary April, 2012
 Nursery School Building in Need of Repairs!

 No supplies, developmental toys, educational materials or playground for students!What you see if pretty much what they have.
 My  vocabulary and reading classes for English Foundations.  May 4, 2012

All these students are planning to enter the ministry in three more years.  Most as pastors or working with the Central Diocese of the Anglican Church in Tanzania. Wonderful group of students I have enjoyed them very much!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Today is March 20th, 2012 and it is windy and dry.  The weather is now more tolerable for David and I.  It is not good for local gardens but much better for our bone joints.  Looking at my AOL page I realized it has been very warm in Denver, Colorado. Here in Msalato is has been rainy then dry....rainy then dry. Ah the problems with global warming...
Today I finished up a science reading unit about the three types of rocks.  I asked a question that used the term "classification" and my students were stumped.  No one knew the answer for "classification" of rocks.  Once I explained it was just another word for "a type of rock" everyone was happy and went about answering on their papers.  I never leave the house now without a Swahili to English/English to Swahili Dictionary.  It has become my new Bible of a sorts for me!
David  is teaching his graduate courses at St. John's on Monday-Wednesdays.  He now has 21 students.  It took until the 5th class for all of them to show up.   Monday, he showed up to class and there were no desks or tables in the classroom.  He got rather upset and called the Assistant Vice-Chancellor who got the workers within five minutes to bring the desks back to the classroom and a table.  He has told his class about the effects of the "chalk and talk-memorize" method in teaching young adults English.  They can read the words in a passage fine but may have no idea what they have just read.  Just as with any student of a foreign language,  understanding the vocabulary is a must in learning to read and converse with others.
In this blog I am including many pictures about people and activities that happened to us over the last week or so. Several of our pictures include a young couple we know whose child we are sponsoring in secondary school in Arusha.  They have twin girls around three years of age.  Very cute girls and very well mannered.  We invited our friend Eugenia/Swahili teacher to meet us at the pizza place with the cement golf.  Another set of pictures are showing some of the St. Mark's members carrying the new benches that David bought and sitting on the benches at church on Sunday. There also a few again from my reading class and the volcano demonstrations along with some of the nursery children playing with silly putty that Mitaka Packett ( a young visitor from Australia) and I brought to their school.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Thoughts about Msalato Seminary

Today is March 12th, 2012 and it rained briefly last night.  Just enough to wet the ground good and make everything damp in the morning.  All the crops are looking healthy and even the sun flower heads are sticking straight up now announcing they are growing and alive.  Everyone here is happy about the rains except of course those of us who must drive back and forth on the main road to Dodoma.
David is having a bad time of it with the car even though it was designed for some off road adventures.
But being a 17 years old car does not help.  Even though its suspension and ability were made to take the dips and bumps in the road.  So we will see how long it last...hopefully until we leave.


Classes are going great and we are both enjoying our students. David's classes are going good at St. John's almost everyone has started to attend now and he has over 20 students in a graduate class on secondary curriculum. As for my classes, the tutoring is working very well for I see around 4 to 6 students a week individually before and after class.  The vocabulary and reading comprehension classes are also in full swing and appear to be helping. There is a wide range of abilities with the 17 students and therefore we have divided the group into three reading levels.  We can only hope that by this July they will have mastered enough vocabulary to continue in English next year with theology classes.  If not they will be recommended to complete their studies in a Swahili speaking seminary
in Morogoro I believe.

This is the new house of the President who has been re-elected for a second term.  His house is huge and is still not completed.  It sits close to the pizza place we love to go to eat pizza and have a Kilimanjaro beer!

A couple of weeks ago right after we attended our Pastoral Churches on a Sunday, David announced he was buying benches for his church.  St. Mark's is about a 20 to 30 minute walk from our campus.  It is a new church with only a shell of a building and a roof.  Its floor is dirt and it has only openings for windows and a door.  The congregation sits on rocks or bricks or just the dirt floor.  David immediately ordered 10 benches from a Duka shop in Dodoma.  Eugenia who is our Swahili teacher helped him order them and made sure they were the right size for the small church.  This Sunday David will take the benches to church with him or have members of the congregation come and carry them to the church.  They aren't great but at least they are not rocks or dirt!


Furniture store along the way to Msalato!

Passing on the road to Msalato from Dodoma by the Dolly-Dolly's.  There is only one rule when driving here and that is there are no rules for driving. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 25th, 2012

This week has been hot, busy and  rainy.  Our reading classes are going great so far and the students seem to be enjoying their lessons.  David has been asked to teach down at St. John's University
(where we were two years ago) a curriculum class in the graduate department of education.  He has accepted and will start in about one week.  This week we are featuring the secretary class that David is helping with another teacher and our trip to the Catholic Vocational School to retrieve our rocking chair and to order benches for a village church near by.
Much to our disappointment the chair was not completed so we will return again.  I don't mind because the grounds are beautiful and I love walking around and viewing all the orchards, vineyards, animals and gardens.  The nuns are great to us when we come and go out of their way to be helpful, even though we speak no Italian and they only speak Swahili and Italian. For me it is a little like going to Galloway Gardens in Georgia in the spring time.  There is so much poverty here (about 99%) and little beauty to look at that just driving through their grounds brings a restful spirit awake inside of me.  I have included some pictures for all to see.
The other area we wanted to feature this week is the secretary classroom.  The girls are being trained on manual typewriters because most offices still do not have electricity or power they can count on.  We have one very nice brand new computer lab (12 new ones) but no printers, and an older computer lab that is open to all students.  The older computer lab has a variety of different word processing programs with no printer hook-ups at present.  Teaching students during a computer lab time is very difficult due to the variety of software programs on each computer BUT David is up to challenge with another staff member and they are forging ahead with the lessons.
We had a terrible storm yesterday in the late afternoon and lost electrical power until around noon today (Saturday). Moses and Ruth and little Grace came over last night for dinner and we had to eat in the dark with lightening flashing all around. Fun for Grace but washing dishing in the dark leaves a lot of food on the plates! 
Please keep us in your prayers......................Charlotte and David Reid

Secretary Students

Part of vocational school

Catholic School area

David's chair  (rocker)

Workshop area

David ordering church benches for his village
church (they sat on blocks or rocks on a dirt floor).

David, Eugenia, myself at reception area of vocational school.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Today we visited  village churches near the seminary.  Each of the instructors and volunteers have been paired with 8 to 10 students in what is called a "Pastoral Care Group"  This group meets once a week on Wednesday morning (7:30 am) in place of chapel and makes preparations for visiting a local village church they have been assigned. Eventually I am told, the theological majors in this group will lead the service, say prayers and read the scriptures.  Maybe one or two of them will even give the sermon.
These churches do not have a pastor or anyone who is ordained  or trained to lead their meetings and services.
They are usually new churches or ones that have lost a pastor and they are all Anglican.  David and I both have different churches and Pastoral Groups.  We have been paired with another instructor who has experience in leading the Pastoral Group and attending the local churches. David's church is named St. Mark's and my church is called Muungamo(not sure if this is the village name or the church name). 
From a western point of view both churches are very poor without for example a proper alter, real doors, or even enough benches in St. Mark's case.  My church did have song books and everyone had their Bibles to follow along with the readings.  Yes the services were in Swahili only and were very long (over two hours at my church).  Muungamo Church had a wonderful  choir (actually two choirs), one that sang traditional African church music and one that did what I would call a more tribal version with large and small drums, whistles, and some sort of rice shaker.  Each one was wonderful and entertaining in its own way.  My church had no road into it so we followed the edge of corn field (which was dried up due to the lack of rain).  Everyone except the four in our car walked to service from the village.  The same for David's church. 
David took the camera today to take pictures of his church.  Next Pastoral Group Sunday I will take the camera and share.
I have included several pictures of David's car, the fence, gate and the house in the back.  (Note the cinder blocks where all the lizards live!) He was very happy to have the guard on the car today due to all the brush he had to drive through. Picture one is of Shaking Hands after service, Picture two is of drummer ladies, Picture three is of the church, the next three are of the gate, fence and car (cattle guard on front).  We are known as Fort Knox because of the gate!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Today was the first day of classes for the new semester here at Msalato Theological College.  We started with Chapel (every week day morning) at 7:30 am.  Classes begin at 8:00 am and continue until 1:30 pm with a tea break at 11:00 for students and faculty.  Not all of the students are here yet but we have been told more will arrive through out the week.  No one seems to register for school as they do in the US.  The dorms are very quite even though over half of the students are present.  David helped out with the English classes in the seminary area while I taught vocabulary and reading classes to other seminary students.  Tomorrow we both begin an additional class for Grammar content which will include fun games and activities based on grammar skills for about 17 students who are in need of review and support in that area.  (Don't know how much fun that will really be for them!)
I have 12 hours of student contact during the week and David has the same.  It has been very hot the past week with little or no rain.  Working in these conditions is hard on both of us so we are hoping that the rains will start again and cool down the whole area.  We are in late summer now and they really should be experiencing rain on a daily basis.  Crops here are drying up especially the corn and beans.  Having a small garden is how many people survive over the winter and spring months.  Everyone is praying for rain. 

Yesterday was like groundhog day for us!  We went to the Cathedral for 9:00 am English service and again at a 5:00 pm at Msalato for opening of the seminary's new term.  The readings, sermon, prayers, and songs were all the same!  We even participated in communion twice that day!! Can't say I wish to do that again!
The  pictures are of our students along with one road picture of cattle and livestock on the main road to Dodoma from Msalato.  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Today we went to visit my housekeeper Mama Zawade and her family.  She lives across from the college in a typical home for Tanzania.  Very nice family, polite children and good food!  We did not expect the lunch but was served a nice meal.  Limited conversations in English but the oldest son and Mama spoke to us mostly asking about America and differences in Tanzania and there.  Great visit wish I could have spoken Swahili.  We are learning some phrases but it is really hard with all the preperations we need to do for classes which are starting soon.

  The other  pictures shown are of new friends and volunteers, misionaries here at Msalato Seminary.We are at our usual haunt the Dodoma Hotel for Friday night dinner out.  Nice place good food but hard to get to from Msalato.   All are from of course English speaking countries,  New Zealand, England, Canada and US(that's us).  We are expecting more instructors to come in this weekend.  Three more from the US and another couple from Korea.  Monday night we are planning a welcome dinner for everyone  before the semester starts.  David and I really enjoying the social aspect this time.  We are getting to know some  wonderful people.  Some will be leaving in May but others are coming all the time to volunteer for what ever time they can give.