Zakaia (see picture at the right) is an orphan who lived in the village of Karikakari near Lake Victoria. About eleven years ago (when the picture was taken) some Americans from Arkansas (check out his shirt) met him and fell in love with him. They began paying his $100 a year school fees and kept that up for the next several years. When he got to secondary school, Karen and I started to pay the difference since he had to go to a boarding school as there were no secondary schools near his home village. He got a scholarship to university three years ago, and Karen and I have only been paying his bus fare back and forth for the last few years. Next month, he graduates and in January will become a high school science teacher. We are so proud of him and of the folks from Arkansas who saw a spark in him and kept him in school. It doesn’t happen every time we help someone, but when we do get a triumph like this, it blesses us all.
Karen spent five hours in a dentist chair yesterday but has a new crown now. With no insurance it cost $450 which I think is pretty good for here and maybe in the U.S. as well. John gets to go back next month and have the same thing done. The happy thing about yesterday is that John found a 16 lb. frozen turkey in Mwanza, so we will have a traditional Thanksgiving this year. In ten years, this will just be our third turkey (bata mzinga in Swahili which translates as a “weird duck”). John learned how to make stuffing (no Stove Top in East Africa) and found some cranberry sauce in a can—it will be just like home, we didn't eat it there and we won't here, but it will be on the table.
Bishops Monto, Festo, and Nyansa came by yesterday to plan the consecration ceremony for our new bishops on December 6th. We will have some bishops from the Tanzania Methodist Church (we are the Methodist Church in Tanzania) staying with us to assist in the service. We will consecrate Bishop Festo to serve in our area here and Bishop Nyansa will move to Arusha to serve there. As a result of Nyansa’s relocation, Karen will take over running the Santa Caryn Pierce Academy (preschool) that has about 45 orphans we feed and teach Montessori every day here on our grounds. Now, Karen will be hiring, supervising, and paying the teachers and will have real control over the curriculum. This is a good thing as she and Neema will be able to work together to make things better and more consistent.