Tuesday, February 22, 2011

St. Joseph Hostel Songea, Tanzania


It was hard to leave Manyoni. The sisters, students and teachers made me feel like I was part of their family. But leave, I must on Thursday, Feb. 10th early in the morning for a car drive to Dodomo about 1 ½ hours on a good paved highway. I will take a bus to another town named Morogro about 5 hour bus ride and stay overnight in Morogro at the Adorers retreat/conference center. Sr. Rosemary picked me up by cab, it was about a 15 minute ride. We had a little lunch together than I took a short nap before we walked to a near by Carmelite priests’ chapel for holy hour. Some sisters who I had met in Merlini Center in Dar also arrived in the afternoon. It was good to see familiar faces and meet more wonderful Adorers.

I spied a small hot water heater in the bathroom in my room. I thought wow what a treat, a hot shower tonight. Well, not to be so…after dinner the electricity and water went out. Sr. Rosemary left a pail of water at my door so at least I could wash up a little. That is the way it is in Africa…so you just accept and go on. Morogro has a beautiful mountain range in the distance and tends to be cooler than Dar es Salaam or Manyoni. Sr. Rosemary told me we should leave by 6:30 am for the bus station. The bus started in Dar es Salaam at 6:00 am and the first stop would be Morogro. The bus ride would be about 10 hours long. The Sisters purchased a bus ticket for me in Dar to make sure I would have a seat. Sometimes the bus is completely filled when it arrives in Morogro. I got a ticket with a seat assignment.
When I boarded the bus another lady had my seat and would not give it up. A lady in a full burka, you could only see her eyes invited me to sit next to her, which I did. She spoke some English so we had a nice visit on our journey to Songea. She told me about some of the Islam customs and she read for a while out of her Koran. Friday is the Islam’s day of observance.

The bus was very old and looked liked something from the 50’s, no air conditioning and dirty, but the scenery was wonderful. It was mountainous as we rode through a national park. I saw a mother elephant with her baby taking shade under a tree. The terrain was a combination of Tennessee, Kentucky, parts of Florida and the mountains in Pennsylvania. Most of the area is all small plots of farms, with lots of pineapple, pears, mangos, tobacco, rice, corn, and other vegetables. I saw 3 tractors on the entire journey. All the fields are cultivated by a hand hoe. Water is very scarce. I keep looking for water pumps as we go through small farm villages, but I don’t see any. Just women and children carrying pails of water from dirty rivers. The roads on this journey are in need of repair. It is a two lane road with lots of hills, winding roads and very narrow. Buses and trucks know no speed restrictions…they go as fast as they can. The only thing that slows them down are very big speed bumps in the small villages. It is like riding a roller coaster at 6 Flags park, but much more dangerous.

Tanzania appears to have a wealth of farm land to be cultivated. I don’t understand the ownership system with land and why more of it isn’t cultivated. Of course you need machinery to cultivate large plots of land. The farmer just gets enough from his land to feed his family and purchase a little extra food. There is no way to get ahead the way the farming is done now. I did see a few large plots of land, one was with pineapple but I did not see a sign indicating Dole, like you see in Costa Rica. I could never get an answer from anyone about the farming system.

The farm houses along the bus ride are typical of what I have seen before. Mud brick homes, very small, cut out holes for windows, no electricity, no running water, and dirt all around. No lawns or flowers around the homes, a very dismal sight. I saw children of all ages in uniforms going to school, both private and public, so maybe this is where the hope lies for Tanzania. I have been told that the public education system for primary and secondary is really pretty poor.  For days some teachers don’t show up for classes and the headmaster does little.

I arrived in Songea at 8pm on Friday.  Sr. Jackie was at the bus stop to meet me with a cab. Songea is like the old wild west, fairly wide downtown streets mostly dirt with little shops along the way, no sidewalks. Everyone is selling a little bit of everything from food to pots and pans, to auto parts, and of course all the fresh foods, including meat hanging with flies around it.  For the next week my home is with Sr. Jackie, (American, Ohio) Sr. Malathi (India) and Sr. Nilza (Brazil) all of the St. Joseph Congregation.

The St. Joseph Hostel is for girls mostly high school age. They live at the hostel and walk to school in Songea. Some go to private and some go to public school. Most of the girls are from the surrounding Songea area. At the present there are 46 girls. The hostel is built to accommodate up to 60.  Twenty six of the girls have sponsorship from some friends of the St. Joseph sisters in Italy. These are girls who have done well in primary school but don’t have the fees for school, parents are very poor. Some live in houses with dirt floors. The hostel is God sent. The girls get 3 meals a day, a very nice new building, with bedrooms (4 to a bedroom) modern toilets, and showers. Plus classrooms to do home work and also for remedial classes. Most of the girls had to be taught how to use the bathroom fixtures. Flushing a toilet was new to them.

Sr. Jackie and Sr. Nilza have most of the daily responsibility of the girls. Sr. Malathi teaches in a local primary school. It is called the St. Jospeh Primary School but does not have any connections to the St. Joseph Hostel. Sr. Jackie and Sr. Nilza teach English and other courses to the girls in the evening and on weekends. They want the girls to get the best grades possible so they can continue with their education. They also bring in part time teachers for math and science. On my last night at the hostel, I went to say goodbye to the girls. In the dining room a girl who is doing very well in chemistry and would be equivalent to a junior in high school was teaching a class for the younger students. The students had their hands up asking questions and very attentive. It brought tears to my eyes, to see such dedication in a dimly lighted room, with only a black board and chalk and notebooks to copy the information, no text books, no audio visuals. The hostel uses solar, but on rainy days no sun, so very dim at night.

The sisters live across the street from the hostel, a matron comes about 6 pm each night and stays to about 6:30 am. The girls leave for school starting at 6:30 am. They walk from 30 minutes to an hour to school. At night the matron is not there, Sr. Jackie or Sr. Nilza stays at the hostel. The Sisters house is an older building with few modern conveniences to speak of …they have no running hot water. If you want hot water, you heat it. Cool showers are the name of the day. All wash is done by hand and hung on the clothes lines.

The sisters are wonderful!!!! They are really missionaries in the true sense of the word. I know the girls are too young to appreciate the sacrifices that the sisters make for them…but when they are adults they will look back to this experience and I’m sure will be grateful. My two aunts, Sr. Emma and Sr. Lillian who were St. Joseph Sisters would be so proud of the Sisters and what they are doing for these girls and parents.
I spent some time with the girls just visiting and also studying with them. I taught a geography lesson by explaining where I came from in the USA and my route to Africa and where I was going after I left Tanzania. Sr. Jackie had just purchased a world atlas.  I had them find all the places I have traveled. They thought that was quite fun. They were anxious to point out different countries and cities on the map.

On Saturday evening they did a special dance and music for me, with drums. It was really fun.
I asked Sr. Jackie what I could do for a special treat for the girls. We decided on buying sodas and popcorn in a big bag that is popped fresh in town. The girls were so happy and very thankful of my little gift to them.
I went with Sr. Malathi to the grade school on Monday and visited her classes and taught a little geography too. We went by "picky picky", that is a motorcycle. I rode on one and Sr. Malathi rode with another driver. The roads are treacherous and no stop lights in Songea. But we made it safe and sound. Thanks to St. Joseph.

The girls are given a variety of responsibilities including, doing their own laundry by hand, ironing, cleaning rooms, bathrooms, classrooms, gardening, and grounds keeping. Plus dining room responsibilities. It is great training for them to become ladies who can manage a household of their own.

I made dinner for the sisters one evening and invited two priests near by and another Brazilian businessman who sponsors one of the girls and is always ready to lend a helping hand to the sisters. We had a nice evening together. I learned how to saute chicken with a wood fire in the stove.

The sisters are up early and don’t usually retire until about 11 pm. They know the girls well and really act as their parents. Can you imagine having 46 girls in your house?

The hostel is in need of some things to help the girls learn English better and other subjects. As well as recreational equipment such as maybe a bad minton set etc.  I will make a list of needs with Sr. Jackie’s help and share it when I get back home.

My stay at the St. Joseph Hostel was wonderful. I gained a better perspective of what special people there are in the world like Sr. Jackie, Sr. Malathi and Sr. Nilza. God Bless them and the work they do daily for the girls and their parents.

I left Songea at 6 am on Friday for the 14 hour journey back to Dar Es Salaam. It was a more modern bus but a very wild ride. A man even had a box of live chickens on the bus. We only made one restroom stop and that was for 10 minutes. The other break was on the side of the road, but I declined to get off. I didn’t drink much water. The sisters sent me with hard boiled egg. homemade bread and cake that Sr. Nilza made, yummy.

After I arrived at the big bus station in Dar Es Salaam, I noticed 6 goats being taken off another bus from the storage area beneath the bus. How did those goats survive in heat and diesel fuel?  The Adorers sisters from the Merlini Center picked me up and I stayed with them Friday and Saturday night.
They brought me to the airport this morning (Sunday) for a flight to Nairobi at 11 am but the flight had problems so my flight is now going tonight about 8:30 pm. I will be joining the other people from the USA in Nairobi for a mission awareness week with the Christian Foundation of Children and Aging.

I will download pictures of the Mission of St. Joseph Hostel in Songea later when I can use the computer for a longer period of time.

My experience so far has been so educational and I am so grateful for the fact that I was born in America. The people of Tanzania have been wonderful to me. I now leave Tanzania for Kenya.

Blessings to all of you,


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Greetings from Manyoni, Tanzania

I traveled to Manyoni en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manyoni  from Dodoma the headquarters in Tanzania for the Adorers last Thursday, Feb. 3rd.  I went by car with one of the sisters and their driver.  It took about 1 ½ hrs on a well paved two lane highway. 

There are approximately 15 sisters at Manyoni in Singida region of Tanzania.  The sisters work in different ministries like catechetical, parish work, nursery school, teaching in schools and health services. 

Amani Teachers - Happy Teachers make Happy Students
I am staying with the sisters at the Amani Girls Secondary School (Amani means Peace in Swahili).  There are about 8 sisters here.  Some teach in the girl’s school several do health care work.  The sisters have a sister’s home on the property, plus garden and also a separate building for aspirants who are in studies to possibly become a sister.
The girl’s school is a boarding school for approximately 260 girls from within about 150 miles of Manyoni.  Some come further away.  The girls live in dormitories some large with 50 bunk beds in one room others maybe 20-25 bunk beds. They are very modest rooms.  For 50 girls their might be only 3 toilets which would include a shower, sink and toilet in one room.  There are no closets.  Each girl has a small suitcase, towel and blanket for their things they keep on their bed.  Extra clothes are kept in a store room in a metal type suitcase.  The girls wear a brown pleated skirt, white blouse and cardigan sweater.  Black shoes and white socks.  When school is over they change into a T-Shirt and a different skirt sometimes.  No slacks are worn.   The toilets are what you call Asian style with a hole in the floor.  Not a sit down toilet.  Often when we think of boarding schools we think of luxury.  This is not luxury but adequate for the girls.  Most of these girls do not come from wealthy parents.  But parents who want to see that their daughters get an education.  The fees for one complete year (two semesters) from January to December 1st are 1 million Tanzania shillings that include board and room, uniform and books.  Some of the parents can’t pay the entire fees so the sisters try to get donors to help sponsor the girls.
There are 14 teachers including 4 sisters and the rest lay teachers.  They teach the typical things we do in secondary school, math, physics, chemistry, history, geography etc.  The classes are taught in English (British accent) so I have a difficult time sometimes in understanding them and they me.  But we manage. 

Most of the instruction by the teachers is done with blackboard/whiteboard.  They do not have one audio visual equipment…no projectors, DVD’s etc.  The computer teacher has computers about 30-40 none of them have internet access.  He does not have power point to give them instructions on Word, Excel etc.  He has to go from student to student or uses a whiteboard.  Very difficult as you can imagine.

All the teachers are in need of a lap top that they can use with power point and project on the walls for instruction.  Of course they need the ability to show DVD’s that are pertinent to their subject.  For instance, I was invited by one of the History teachers to speak on World I.  The students had never seen a film on World War I.  Hard to imagine.

I also taught English in Form 1 and Form 4 class.  I discussed where I was from and how our typical USA high school student might be like, differences and similarities.  

There is only one internet connection for the entire school in the principal’s office.  It is a land line. 

The Adorers came to Manyoni in 1969 and started providing education to the children without selection.  They first established a home craft school for girls who lived in the little town of Manyoni and the villages in the surrounding area of Manyoni.  Later they established the secondary school according to the needs of the time.  The secondary school is a 4 years, Form I through Form 4.  In Tanzania the high school is a 6 year program.  So when the girls finish here at Amani then they will go back to their homes and hopefully most of them will pursue 2 more years so they can go on to college.

The Adorers are in the planning stage of seeking to build a school near by where they have some land for a school that would include Form 1 through Form 6 then the girls would be ready to pursue college if they passed the national exam.   The school here is not large enough to house more girls for Form 5 and 6.  The school here would continue but would have more vocational courses.  Presently they offer tailoring as a vocational course.  I spent one morning with the students in tailoring teaching English.  We had a great time.  The girls have a very good sense of humor.  They can read English quite well but speaking it…they are very shy.  Of course the problem is like any foreign language you have to speak it to become fluent.  The problem as I see it is that they speak in their mother tongue Swahili when they talk to each other so only converse in class with the teacher in English..  That is also a problem with the teachers; they revert back to talking to each other in Swahili.  The reason English is encouraged in fact required is that if they want to go on to college they will have to be proficient in English.  All classes are taught in English.

The class day begins at 8:00 am and ends at 3:10 pm.  The girls have one delapated outdoor basket ball court that needs resurfacing badly.  They have a volley ball field which they like playing very much.  Their PE courses are really don’t exist as we have them in the USA.  I know the girls like physical activity.  Hopefully in the future they could have more PE like tennis and softball.  The weather is conducive to playing sports outside all year.  They do not have a track or stadium.

I could go on and on but will just a few additional points:

Library very very limited only a few books, no audio visuals, no librarian, books locked up and students must go to secretary to check out or use a book…
Laboratory for biology etc…very very very limited most teaching by theory because they don’t have materials for experiments
Teachers need laptop with power point for instruction desperately
Teachers need better access to internet for their research and lesson planning
Students need a language lab in the library for developing better English skills (ear phones with computer etc)
Library needs a TV with educational DVD’s for all subject areas taught
Library needs lots of books relevant to the subjects taught as well as novels etc.
The students have one TV in the dining room which acts as their common room. Their is no recreation area.  They are allowed about 1 or 2 hours of viewing on Saturday.  A large screen with a projector for showing DVD’s and some TV programs would be a special treat.

The students are not allowed to have cell phones, radios, mp 3 players etc.

The dormitories need some very needed renovation and maintenance. The school buildings have deteriorated due to long period of use without adequate repair.  This seems to be a problem in maintenance.  Electric and plumbing repair is badly needed.  One of the problems is that there are no local craftsman in this area who can do electric and plumbing.  You must remember that many of the rural homes do not have electricity or running water.  They carry water for miles to their home in plastic large jugs.

The school is fortunate to have good running water.

The pictures are an array of photos in no certain order.  But all from the Manyoni area.

On Sunday, Sr. Lucina and I went with one of the Precious Blood priests, Fr. Geofray from the local parish about 6 blocks from the school to two outlying little villages.  The priests 3 of them minister to the parish here in Manyoni and 23 outlying (stations).  They might get to each (station) once a month.  The people in the village are so grateful to have the priest come to say Mass and be with them in prayer.  It was a wonderful experience going over dirt roads in the priest old Toyota pickup some roads are like cow paths.  We left at 8:30 am and returned to the sister’s home about 2:30 pm.  The villages were about 5-15 miles away.  I only saw one other car on the road during our travels to the villages.  Most people walk and some have bicycles and just a few motor scooters.  Neither of the two villages have a water pump.  People must walk miles and miles to a dirty river to get water.  I saw two women carrying 5-10 gallon jugs on their head.  I asked father what they are carrying, he shouted out to the women and they said water.  I thought it might be grain of some type.  I said a prayer for those women.  How strong and courageous are these women.  Another women walked by caring a little baby on her back covered with a shawl.  Father spoke with her in Swahili and then interpreted the conversation to m e.  She had come about 8 miles trying to get help for her baby who was vomiting.  She came to this little village because there is a maternity center there.  However, it was Sunday and the nurse was not in the center.  So she went to look for the nurse in the village.  I never saw the women again.  My hope was that she was able to find help for the baby.  It seems impossible at times that life is so difficult for some.

The Adorers have next door a Day Hospital would be like an outpatient clinic. They do deliveries as well as take care of out patient type of illnesses.  There is a public hospital several blocks away.  However, I’ve told it is not a very good hospital.  Unfortunately the Day hospital does not have x-ray but does have a lab.  A doctor comes and goes.  At the time I don’t believe they have a full time doctor.  One of the sisters, Sr. Delfina who is a midwife goes to the Day Hospital each day.  When I was at the hospital on Saturday she was attending to two patients adult women with malaria who was getting IV’s.  She would be there for 3 days and a small child about 1 year old possibly with malaria.  Sr. Delfina is Italian and has been here for many years.  She speaks fluent Swahili but little English.

The sisters take turns cooking each day for themselves.  They make very tasty food all fresh.  No recipe books, just simple dishes.  Typically rice, potatoes, red beans, a Chinese leaf vegetable that is similar tasting to our spinach, sweet potatoes that taste some what like ours but are white in color, bananas, mangoes, pineapple, porridge, stiffen porridge millet hot cereal, cumbers, okra, onions, garlic.  They usually only use salt for seasoning.
They usually only have meat on Sunday and Monday.

I ask them if I could make a dinner for them and they said yes.  So yesterday with the help of Sr. Lucy and Sr. Basilisa, I made Chicken Vesuvius, fresh carrots, potatoes with the chicken baked, salad of fresh green peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers (they do not use dressing) so I made some with oil, vinegar, salt and oregano.  Then for dessert fresh pineapple with fruit smoothie and fresh coconut and cheese.  The sisters enjoyed the dinner and it was fun to prepare it with the sisters.

The sisters begin their day with prayer at 6:00 am then Mass and don’t eat their dinner meal till about 7:30 pm.  On weekends they might take a siesta in the heat of the day but during the week they are all busy with their projects.

Tomorrow I leave Manyoni for my journey to the next mission in Songea, Tanzania.  It will take me 2 days to get to Songea.  A bus ride about 14 hours.  I will be visiting with the St. Joseph Hostel for Girls.  A small school of about 60 girls from rural area that live at the school.

I’ve enjoyed my stay with these lovely sisters, teachers and students.  Everyone welcomes you with a kind smile and a handshake. 

I’m sorry that the post have been infrequent but computer is limited as well as the electricity almost goes off daily sometimes for 5 hours.  Tanzania is experiencing very dry weather with a reduction of water generator electricity.

If any of you reading this blog have extra laptop for power point use please keep Amani Girls Secondary School in mind.  I can give you more specifics on a needs list when I get back to the USA in April. 

Blessings to all,


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Starting My Mission Journey with The Adorers

Greetings!  I arrived to my first mission stop with the Adorers of the Blood Christ on Sunday, January 30th in Dar Es Saalam, TZ.  I was met at the airport by two wonderful smiling faces, Sr. Theresia, headmistress of the Adorers Center, Johana Merlini Nursery and Day Care Center and their driver, Ambrose.  They had a placard with my name printed on it.  It was a welcome site since I knew no one.  I gathered up my luggage and off we went by car to the center about 1 hour drive from the airport.  Even though it was Sunday the traffice was heavy, but Ambrose is a proficient driver and weaves in and out of the lanes.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dar_es_Salaam

I settled into my room at the Sisters home which is on the same grounds as the school.  I met all the sisters (seven) then we enjoyed dinner together.  Sr. Stella is the director of the entire center in Dar Es Saalam.   (Dinner is about 7:30 pm after evening prayer in the chapel.)  They have a daily schedule of Mass at 6:30am about a 10 minute walk, (parish temporary Church building, St. Thomas Moore) then prayer in the chapel at the Sisters' home, breakfast about 7:30am.  Breakfast food varies, but it is always common to have homemade bread rolls, with homemade jams, mango, orange and a mixture of fruit jams.  Fresh bananas, mangoes, pineapple are always present.  They are fresh and delicious.  Sometimes porridge which is like our cream of wheat.  It is quite tasty with sugar and a fresh orange juice squeezed on it.  Most of the sisters drink hot tea, however, they have made me espresso coffee with hot mail; which I like very much.
Children for the school from ages 2-6years old start arriving about 7:30 am and sometimes sooner.  The sisters have a mini van that picks up children and parents also walk their children to school or a few have cars and bring them.  All the children wear uniforms which the parents are requested to furnish.  The tuition fees range about $100,000 TZ shillings a year which would be less than $100 for the year.  If the parents can not afford the total fees they are asked to pay a portion.  The remainder of the fees come from donors. 

The school is divided into 3 classrooms, Love (2-3yrs), Hope and Peace for ( 4-6yrs.)  At the present their are about 60 students enrolled.  They go all year except for a break for the month of June and December. And Easter week.  Classes start about 8 am and last till about 12:30 am.  The school employees 3 lay teachers and then Sr. Theresia is the headmistress(Principal).  They have a cook and an assistant who maintains the school grounds and assist the cook.  The children have a tea and cookie break about 10 am then recess in the playground.  They have good playground equipment for small children, slides, swings, titter totters.  The children appear to be healthy and happy.  They provide lunch and juice for the children about noon then they depart about 12:30 - 1:00pm. Lunch might consist of rice sauteed with tomatoes and onions and red beans cooked with maybe some seasonings and a little coconut oil.  It is quite tasty and nutritious.   Two teachers go with the driver to drop the children off at their homes and one teacher stays and monitors the children who will be picked up by their parents.  The teachers end their school day about 3:30 pm.

The other sisters have various work assignments at different catholic parishes.  The sisters take turns in cooking for the day.  One day I helped one of the sisters make fruit smoothies.  They had never had one before.  They enjoyed it very much.  Another day we made pizza for the dinner meal.  Carrot pizza.  Homemade dough, fresh carrots finely grated then mixed with a little oil and salt to marinate.  This was the only topping on the pizza with a little finely grated Parmesan cheese.  It was quite tasty.  The other pizza was made with fresh tomatoes, diced and sauteed with fresh garlic.  This was the topping with a small amount of Parmesan cheese.  We made 4 large square pans about 18 inches square.  They fit in a pizza oven (Italian) that was heated by wood/charcoal outside.  The left over pizza was eaten at breakfast.

The foundress of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ was Sr. Maria DeMattias of Rome, Italy.  Thus the pizza oven from Italy.  The sisters' home is a three story stucco building with tile and terrazzo floors very much like the Italians have with high ceilings for the heat.

Sr. Theresia had a large poster board that she needed printed for the School Timetable (Schedule) for 2011.  I suggested that I could do that for her.  It was about 2 ft. by 3 ft.  I measured everything carefully then printed all the information in pencil then proceeded to go over the printing in different color magic markers.  It was a fun project to do but it took me forever.  But it got done.  Sr. Theresia wanted to put the roster of students' names in the computer in alphabetical order but couldn't find the function in Word to do it.  After a little praying and a lot of looking I found a function for sorting....low and behold we could sort by fields of information, viola...names either first or last could be alphabetized.

The Merlini School is trying to teach English for all the classes and then have one designated class for Swahili.  They are in desperate need for childrens' books' in English, (ages 2-6 years old).  The teacher had one book in English for teaching but that was all.  The teaching is done mostly by verbal and repetition. Those of you receiving this blog and want to help with books for the children I know it would be God sent.  It would also be good to have books with African/American children in the story.  They also need basic children's games in English for counting and learning the ABC's and reading.  Most of the children at the school very seldom see others of light colored skin.  I took pictures which I will download later and post to the blogspot.  When I took their picture I would also show them the picture in my viewer which they would scream with laughter.

I had a wonderful stay at the Merlini Center for 3 nights and 2 days.

Sr. Stella accompanied me by bus to the next Adorers mission in Dodoma. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodoma It is about a 7 hour bus ride on a paved two lane highway.  It is traveled a good deal by buses and trucks.  I had planned to take the bus by myself but Sr. Euphrasia who is the Director of the Adorers in Tanzania and located in Dodoma thought it best for Sr. Stella to come with me.  Glad I was.  Ambrose took Sr. Stella and me to the bus station about 8:30 am.  It was about a 45 minute drive.  I asked what time we would take the bus they said about 11:00 am.  I was curious why we would leave so early but thought it best not to say anything.  Time in Tanzania is very flexible as I found out.  When we got to the bus station their where dozens of buses with a variety of company names on them.  No timetable was seen anywhere.  Lots of men clamoring to take your luggage and motioning a lot.  Ambrose handled it all well.  After much discussion it was decided that we would take the Shabby Bus and it would leave at 11:30 am.  I looked at my watch and it was 9:30 am.  It was already very hot and humid.  We stood outside trying to find a little shade and boarded the bus at about 11:30 am but it didn't leave the station until noon.  Ambrose went inside the building and bought our tickets.  I think the fare one way was about $10. Sr. Stella bought some juice, water and wafers for us to snack on.  I had my protein bars with me too.  I offered one to Sr. Stella but she said she was fine with juice and wafers. There were hundreds of men and women with boxes of things they wanted to sell you.  Sunglasses, eggs, fruit, cookies, bread, water, juice, soap, watches, t-shirts....you name it.  It was like a flee market only they were walking around carrying a box and trying to get you to buy something.  I had a feeling a lot of this stuff was from China. The bus from the outside looked very modern.  It was pretty worn inside but was suitable for the journey.  It had two tv screens in the aisle and air conditioning.  However, the ac never went on...it reminded me of the early 1950's without ac in the cars on a hot and windy July Kansas day.  I don't know what the weather temp was; it felt like about 95 degrees and humidity about 95. Very dusty.  Once we got started the loud TV's went on with some B movie with Asian actors speaking English.  I read a book and took a nap.  We made one stop in a town called Morogoro about 4 hours in the journey.  We got off the bus for a look around.  Very congested...again the same scene...lots of people trying to sell you fresh carrots, fruit, juice and cooked food.  I ventured to an ouside toliet...it was pretty primitive but I managed to make do.  I carry toilet paper and handi wipes where every I go.  I'm just about out of handi wipes so will hopefully find some soon.

We made one more short stop and Sr. Stella bought some fresh cashews(Tanzania grows cashews and peanuts) that had just been roasted from a man who had them in small cellophane wrappers.  There were maybe 6-10 men selling the same things.  They must buy them from a roaster then resell them for a little more to make money.  I also so a women with a basket of peanuts she had a cup and would give you one or two to taste then if you wanted to buy a cup or more she would give that much.

We arrived in Dodoma about 7 pm and was met at the bus station by the Adorers' driver, Paschal.  Sr. Stella had a cell phone so she communicated to the sisters in Dodoma when we were about to the bus station.

The Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Dodoma share a compound with the Precious Blood priests.  The priests have a seminarians studying here.  There are also several young women in preparation to be a sister.
We had dinner together about 8 pm.  After dinner I went to my room and was in bed by 9:30 pm.  I've had the luxury to have a bath in my bedrooms at both of the missions.  Water is scarce so I try to use very little when I shower.  I get wet first, then turn off the water, soap up then put the water back on to rinse.  My hair is short so I shampoo fast and let it dry on its own.  In fact when I was in Dar there was a beauty salon...like our old barber shops across the street from the sisters' home.  I needed the back hair trimmed so one of the sisters walked with me to the salon to interpret for me and she trimmed the back shorter.  It cost me about $1. I gave her a tip too and she was grateful.  Sometimes hot water is not available so you do with cool or warm water which is perfectly fine.    The temperature in Dodoma is much cooler and drier.

This am we went to Mass on the compound at 6:30.  The mass was said in English.  In Dar it was said in Swahili.  I believe the seminarians are learning all their subjects in English.  There is a push in Tanzania to learn English so you can go to secondary school and then to University. 

I have been told their are as many as 120 tribal dialects in Tanzania.  Some rural areas may only speak their tribal language and not even Swahili which is the mother tongue of Tanzania.  The more rural the less likely anyone can speak English.

After breakfast I did some computer work and then visited the two classrooms of children.  These are very poor children from 2 years to 6 years.  Some have uniforms but I doubt any fees are accessed.  The children walk to school by themselves are might be accompanied by an older sibling or parent.  They are here till about noon.  They are given a hot meal and juice before they leave. And also a refreshment break in the morning. Again no books and no playground equipment.

In many of the public schools in Tanzania they go in two shifts...early am leave their home at 6 am till about noon then a second group comes from about 1 pm to 5 pm.  This is do to overcrowding in schools.

I will end my post for today.  I believe my schedule will now take me later today to the Adorers Manyoni Mission where I will tutor and teach some English.  My stay with the Adorers has been so very nice.  They are very kind and hospitable.  Most of the sisters are not proficient in English but can understand enough that we can communicate.  Sister Melania who set me up on the computer has very good English skills. I explained to her I had bills to pay on line which was a new concept to her.   She works in the office here at the sisters compound so she reads and writes in English.

There is so much to say but I hope you can get a glimpse of Tanzania through my travels.  One more thing...the electricity can go off at anytime...sometimes there is a schedule announced on tv or the radio but often it just goes off.  The sisters have generators so they can get it back up and running for the necessiates.  I carry a flashlight with me at night.  My wonderful Coleman flashlight.  It comes in very handy..