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!