Monthly Archives: May 2013

Last Work Day–Testimony–Kasulu Changes – Friday May 3rd

Today is our last work day at Kasulu Bible College.  Tomorrow, Saturday, we will be visiting other areas in the diocese, Sunday will be devoted to church and “relaxation” (you can be sure that work of some type will appear) and Monday we head back to Dar es Salaam to begin our journey back to the States.



Bill spent the morning setting some printer administration and doing some training with Elysha and Antone who do the technical support for the Bible College.  Here he is showing Elysha how to put ends on network cables.  He also set the original server so that it is all set to run if the new server should have issues.  The workstations are all set to switch to the old sever if it necessary.  It has been a long time desire to have a backup server.  Some issues can be quickly resolved by connecting to the server over the internet and talking with Elysha over Skype.  Other issues are more complex and take longer to resolve so having the ability to NOT have the internet café be dead in the water while they are resolved is a GOOD thing.

The DSCN1842Bishop asked me to speak this morning to the third year students and their wives.  The wives are here for six weeks attending a course to help them be better Pastor’s wives.  The Bishop had paid me the great Tanzanian complement (which is still very patriarchal) of being a good Mama (wife/mother).  A lot of his complement is because I am very supportive of Bill’s work here.  Or course, as an American woman who has a career, I know that I am much more than that, but it is very true that a Pastor’s wife plays a VERY important part in her husband’s ministry here.  What to say to these women and their husbands? I gave a brief version of my testimony.  (And thank you, Faith Alive, for giving me practice in doing this.)

After introducing myself, I said that I have worked at a bank from the time I was a young woman and that I still work at a bank.  I started the testimony part by telling them that, as a young girl,  I was hesitant to accept Jesus fully and do what ever He wanted me to do, because I was afraid that God would send me to Africa and I didn’t want to go to Africa, but here I am, and I’m happy to be here.  I told them how Bill and I included working together in Christ’s ministry as part of our marriage vows, and shared some of the ways that we ministered together and apart.  I shared how my ministry changed after my daughter was born.  And how it has changed since she and our “other children” (our exchange students) have grown.  I tried to emphasize that in all of this Bill and I prayed together and supported each other in our ministries, some of which we do together and others which we do separately and that it is an adventure.  My hope:  that the women are fulfilled in their roles as pastors’ wives, mothers, and whatever additional roles the Holy Spirit puts in their paths.  As most of them have five or more children, I suspect that the roles of pastors’ wives and Moms are going to take most of their attention for the years to come.


We had lunch at Olivia’s and Daudi’s house today.  They pulled out all the stops with a traditional meal for honored guests.  (We’ve been getting a lot of these meals for the last week.)  Chicken, Beef, Pork (unusual in a country with a large Muslim population), bananas cooked with coconut, beans cooked with coconut, peas, fried potato chips, greens and rice, followed by watermelon, avocado and cucumber slices. 

Last year I posted a picture of Olivia’s kitchen, and here it is again, on the left.  Pots set over charcoal fires.  In the last year, since full time electricity has come to Kasulu, some changes have been made to the Ndahana home.  They, and most of the middle class homes in Kasulu have long had satellite TV which was run by generator a few hours of the day.  Now DSC00683there is a fan, to keep things cooler when it gets hot.  Olivia’s shop has been successful enough that she was able to go to Dar es Salaam and buy a new kitchen:  a rice cooker, a micro-wave, an electric stove and a refrigerator.  The fridge has made the biggest difference.  If food was not eaten right away, it spoiled and was wasted.  Now Olivia can store it safely, and tonight, instead of cooking from scratch, they will heat up leftovers from lunch in the microwave.  (Sound familiar?)  Because the stove draws so much power it is not often used.  This is unfortunate.  The charcoal fires and not environmentally friendly and often women develop respiratory problems because of the smoke they inhale over the years.  At lease today’s rice was made in the rice cooker.DSC00685DSC00684

Here is Olivia’s new kitchen.  Quite an improvement! 

For any that are curious about what the Bible College looks like, Bill has created a walking tour


Kasulu Bible College Walking Tour

Traffic Jam – Shopping in Kasulu–Thurs. May 2nd


Shaw and I started the day by attending the English Language Holy Communion service at the Bible College, while Bill represented our little team at the Diocesan Morning Devotions.  After breakfast we had our annual “official” meeting with the Bishop, where we got an brief update on the diocese and traded prayer needs.

A DWT driver brought us down to the Bible College where there was just a little work to be done today.  There were a few things that Bill wanted to check out and he wanted to do some training with some of the College personnel here.  He also planned to do a video tour of the Bible College to post on You-tube.  Shaw is continuing to meet with teachers to orient them to the on-line training.

While Bill started his training, I had some shopping I wanted to do, so I tapped his wallet (mine is a little light from paying for the extra weight for the flight to Kigoma) and grabbed Shaw, who also wanted to do some shopping.  I am not yet completely comfortable walking all around Kasulu Market by myself.  Shops here are TINY.  They are little 8’ x 10’ or so, little cubbies really, with doors that open across the width of the shop.  Most often there is a counter across the entire front of the shop and you tell the shopkeeper what part of his our stock you are interested in.

Our first stop was a little Christian Book Shop that has opened up a little more than a block from the Bible College.  I was interested in finding a book of children’s Bible Stories in Swahili.  There is a class going on here for the third year students’ wives.  One of the wives is illiterate and it has been arranged for her to have a private tutor to teach her how to read.  I wanted her to have a book to aspire to read.  She also has many children and I hope that she will read to her children from the book.  While Shaw continued to browse around the shop, I went back to the Bible College where she was working with her tutor to give her the book.  She has no English and her tutor has very little.  It took a little while to get them to understand that the book was for her.  The tutor kept saying “she doesn’t know how to read” and I kept saying “You are teaching her.  She WILL be able to read.  This is for when she can read.”  It is very unusual for the average rural Tanzanian to have books in their homes.  Maybe this will start to change this, in one home at least.

I went back to the Bible Store and Shaw and I started off to find my friend Olivia’s shop. She sells ketangas.   Her husband, Daudi had driven us by there a few days ago, but I had never walked there.  We turned the corner to go toward the Main Street and found… 




KASULU TRAFFIC JAM – an entire herd of goats  came down the middle of the street!

After the goats passed us by, we proceeded up the side street, across the main road and into the market area.  It took us two tries to find the shop but we did eventually.  Olivia gave us stools to sit on and we visited for a few minutes, which is the normal Tanzanian way to do business.  Shaw wanted a ketanga to bring home to use as table clothes but didn’t know which he should chose, so he asked Olivia to show him which ketanga represented Kusulu culture most to her.  It took a little while to get the idea across, but once she did she was quick so select a lovely and colorful ketanga for Shaw. 

I wanted a ketanga that would coordinate with the ketangas I bought the other day for my family room.  I asked to see three and picked one that I think will coordinate nicely with the other fabric.  I plan to use this fabric to recover the front of my rocking chair cushions and use the other fabric for the backside of the cushions and window treatments.

As usual, my customs declaration from Tanzania will read “fabrics and arts and crafts”!

Flora and Fauna–May 1st

As you may be able to tell, Cathy is continuing to post.

This morning began with a heavy rain, which, as you can imagine, is rather loud on a corrugated tin roof.  What is also loud is the periodic gifts falling from the tree that over hangs our house.  It sounds rather like rocks being throw up on the roof and bouncing down at irregular intervals.  After several days of this we went outside  to look around on the ground and find out exactly WHAT was interrupting our rest.  We found many small hard green fruits on the ground that were maybe 3/4 of an inch in diameter.  After seeing a similar fruit on a tree in the center garden that I know is an avocado tree, I suspect that these are baby avocados.  It makes me rather sad to think of all those avocados that will never grow up to be eaten. 

Today, May 1st, is  a public holiday in Tanzania.  Some business is done, but many people take the day off.  Bill decided to make use of the fact that the DWT offices would be pretty much closed to work on the internet there.  There were complaints about the service be very sporadic and despite the large repeater antenna in front of the offices, no signal was reaching the offices in the back building.  He discovered that there were two wireless devices that were broadcasting on virtually the same  frequency.  This was confusing any computer trying to connect wirelessly.  He changed the frequency of one of the devices and internet in the DWT compound started working MUCH better.  He also installed a repeating router which pushed the signal to the offices in the back building.

While Bill was working at the DWT offices, Shaw and I were working (Shaw) and relaxing (me) at our house.  We became aware of some very strange thumping that sounded like it was coming from the roof.  I went outside and looked up to find a crow, picking at one of chicken bones from breakfast on the  ridgeline.  (The crow flew away before I DSC00674could get my camera.)

I did find other things living on the roof though.  They are not that easy to see, but those are impatiens, like I will be planting in my garden shortly after I get home.  While we buy them pre-sprouted from some agriculture company at home, here they appear to self-seed.

We are at the Bible College now, where we enjoyed another lovely lunch cooked by several of the teachers’ wives.  Bill is working on rebuilding the operating system of the pc we brought that wasn’t working correctly and I went for a quick wander in the market with Helen where I bought another Ketanga to use for decorating our family room.

The population in the center of Kasulu is dense. But everywhere there are little pockets of “farm”.  As I sit in the Bible College internet café, I here a rooster crowing.  Every so often a cow will low and you realize that it’s just on the other side of the reed fence next to the drive way.  Cows in backyards!  Our zoning commission would have a fit (so would the neighbors.)

Everywhere there a little pockets of green.  At first it looks as if it is just general overgrowth, and the you look again DSC00664and realized that you are not looking at weeds, but at bean or potato or tomato plants. Corps are interplanted with each other here, so you don’t have a patch or row of just tomatoes or just beans but a whole mixture of plants coexisting with one another.  Corn stalks are not pulled up after the corn crop has been harvested.  Instead they are left in place and pole beans are planted next to them.  No need if the expense or trouble of putting stakes in the garden!


The fuzzy gold streak in the picture to the right is Cannon Daniel’s new kitten. (We had dinner at Cannon Daniel’s house last night.) If you click on the picture to enlarge it and look at it carefully you can just make out a front paw and the tail.  The kitten has only been at Cannon Daniel’s house for three days and does not yet feel at home.  He got the new kitten because there are many mice about – sometimes they eat his books – and a dog ate his previous cat two weeks ago.  When we were here 16 months ago there was also a kitten at his house.  If I understood correctly, the cat that was eaten by the dog was a replacement for that kitten, which had also been eaten by a dog.  Cats do not have long lives in this area, but they are needed.

Bill made friends with the kitten, patting and stroking it.  It purred madly.  When he put it down on the floor, it yowled like crazy and found its way back into his lap.  When it was time to go, I tried to give the kitten to one of Daniel’s daughters, who wanted nothing to do with it.  Cat’s are needed, but they are not always given affection.