Monthly Archives: May 2014

Comfort Zone: May 31 – Bible College End of Year

KASULU BIBLE COLLEGE, KASULU, TZ.  We spent the morning here attending what is the KBC version of graduation ceremonies.  

We started with communion with an excellent sermon by Cannon Helen on being humble – not full of ourselves – so that we can be full of God – not bad for a sermon given with only 20 minutes notice!


As with any commencement, there were many speakers, which, or course I couldn’t understand, but which the students seemed to enjoy.  Eventually they handed out laminated certificates, the Bible College’s version of diplomas.  Then there were gifts for the best students in the classes.  

Finally there were many gifts for Helen and Alister Sammons who have been working here for the last two years and are leaving just after we head for home, and also for Elisha, who has been the technology teacher (and I just found out is a doctor as well as a priest), who will be heading home to Burundi on Monday.  I think that the Bible College will miss the three of them very much.  I know that I will miss them when we return next year.


This was of course followed by another standard Tanzanian feast (chicken, beef, rice, beans, etc.) and now Bill is working with Reginald, who will be taking over the technology (and is eagerly soaking up everything that Bill can show him) and configuring a hot-spot device that we are buying from the Sammons for the Bible College.  They will give it to Daudi to hook up when they leave and their son will have another one waiting for them when they get back to Britain.  These things work like a charm here, but you can’t buy them in Tanzania anywhere.

Comfort Zone: Friday, 5/30 – EVERYBODY Goes to Shunga

It has been a packed day.  EVERYBODY from the diocese, with the exception of the KBC students who were finishing exams and the few teachers needed to proctor them, loaded into four-wheel drive vehicles and made the 25 KM trek to Shunga.  It was a trek.  All dirt tracks that would be an off-roaders dream, crossing mountain ridges and plains that in places obviously flood during the rainy season.  Fortuately, we were in the Bishop’s car which was driven by his very expert driver, Christopher.

Shunga is run by the German missionary society, and the Germans were the first to bring the Gospel to the area, followed by the Australians when things got messed up by World Wars. I’m not sure how it happened, but the German Missionary Society (which I am in total AWE of) are now back running Shunga and all of the German missionaries in the area were there.

The festivities started by dedicating a new hospital ward.  The facility here is considered to be a clinic, not a hospital by the government, even though it functions as a hospital complete with doing surgery.  As part of the later ceremonies, the health commisioner announced that they would give Shunga two new beds and that the clinic will be upgraded to hospital status.


Then we walked over to a monument celebrating 100 years of the Gospel coming to the Bhuha region and dedicated that.

Then the major event started; Confirmation for 160 people from the deanery. There were four choirs (KCC sang twice) plus  Bill and I sang.  Checkout Bill’s blog htt:// for more about the ceremony and videos of the choirs.  

Lots of speeches and presentations after the confirmation (Mama Bishop was given Katanga or course, and they gave the Bishop a sheep, which, thank heavens DID NOT ride home in the car with us.) In total, the service took about 4 and half hours before it was over. Lunch and finally back to the compound over some of the more challenging roads in the area. Moto-crosss/ dirt bikers would love it, I think.

Comfort Zone: 5/29 – Power Outage and Our “Tanzanian Timeshare”

Apologies for not posting yesterday.  As the title suggests, it was due to a power outage, but not here in Kasulu; it was back home in New Milford where the server that house our blogs is.  It appears that our house was without power for most of a full day.  Many thanks to our nephew and house-sitter, Chris Schrull, who not only was Bill’s remote set of hands in restarting the server and associated systems, but is ALSO going thtrough our fridge and freezer and throwing out everything that thawed/got too warm.  Our thoughts and prayers for everyone who sustained damage and/or loss in the storm.

Life in the diocese is very busy right now with exams at KBC and the Diocesan Council Meeting up here at the DWT compound.  This meeting, which is held twice a year, is a BIG DEAL judging from the way the chapel is decorated for it.  Yards and yards of colorful satan fabric are swagged and cover the walls.  Potted Palms were rented to decorate the room and all of the tables, in fact all the furnature except the chairs are covered with satan that is pinned in place.

We have been dividing our time between KBC and the DWT compound, trying to time our trips between the two places to times when folks are going between town and the compound anyway.

Bill has mentioned the Guest House that is being built here at the compound in previous posts.  There are a number of houses here at the compound as well as a room or two (such as the room we are staying in) that can serve as “studio apartments.”  When we first started coming here, there was no German missionary on-site, so the diocese used German house as a guest house.  Although the house belongs to the diocese, the German missionary society built the house, so they always have first call on it. The diocese can use it for guests when its empty, but not rent it out.  All of the other houses can be, and are at the momment, either rented out or used by long-term volunteers to the diocese, such as Helen and Alister.  This makes financial sense:  the diocese needs any source of funds that it can find.  But it also makes it very difficult to house short-term visitors, of which there are quite a few throughout the year.  Andrea, the German missionary, houses the German visitors.  Helen and Alister have been helping out by hosting the British visitors (as well as providing showers for the odd American visitor), but there are still folks like us that need short-term housing and it is difficult for us to bring additional visitors with us, which we very much want to do.

A few years ago, Bill expressed the desire to have a house of our own in Kasulu.  I, being a Debby Downer by nature, immediately started finding problems with this idea.  It was not the cost.  Property in Kasulu is very inexpensive by Northeastern American standards.  It was everything else:  How would the house be taken care of when we are not here in Kasulu?  Housing here needs to be in a compound for secuity at night, what would happen to the house when we can no longer make the journey to Kasulu and can an American even by property in Tanzania?


Bill had mentioned his desire to the Bishop, and the Bishop shared with us his desire to build a guest hostel in the compound.  These will be “self-contained” rooms (bed + bath) for short term visitors.  A special set of rooms that will include a sitting room would be built as part of this hostel, and these rooms would be ours when ever we visit.  We agreed:  THIS we could support.  And it covers all of my concerns.  The guest hostel belongs to the diocese.  It is in the DWT compound and will be maintained by the diocese whether we are here or not.  Of course “our” rooms will be used by others when we are not here, but they will always be available to us when we visit and they will reflect some of our tastes (which we will pay for of course) such as tile floors, and furniture that we plan to shop for when the building is complete.  The first, most important piece of furnature has already been purchased:  the bed that we are sleeping in this year will be moved to the guest hostel when it is complete.

We sent starting funds for this project earlier this spring and constuction is well underway.  We hope that it will be complete by the time that we visit next year and that we will be staying in our “Tanzanian Timeshare”, perhaps with some others from St. Paul’s in the adjacent hostel guest rooms!