Saturday, October 31, 2015

“A day without sunshine is . . . night.” ― Steve Martin

We are having a big church meeting today to plan for our annual conference that will be held on November 27th and 28th.  We expect about sixty to seventy people for the annual conference and are inviting bishops and representatives of the Tanzania Methodist Church (with whom we merged two years ago).  We will put up the bishops and VIPs here at our mission and will pay for local lodging for many of the others as well as providing food and some transportation costs.  It will probably cost us about $1,000 U.S., but it only happens once a year, and we are celebrating our High Court ruling which lets us do some real planning for a change.  John will be heading back to Dar Es Salaam when the 40 computers arrive to do more computer work with Raspberry Pi’s (you can Google them), small, inexpensive computers that John can make do many tricks.  Hopefully, it will all be safe by then.  We didn’t have near the violence of the last elections and are thanking God for that.  A friend in the U.S. sent Karen some song books about an alphabet song, so we have ordered seven sets of magnetic alphabet letters so she can go to each of the seven church preschools and teach the teachers (and kids) the song and leave them with the tools to keep teaching it.  Power outages are still a problem, and, as we are in the season of the short rains, we haven’t seen the sun in so long that it is affecting our solar system here.  Today is the first sunny day we have had in over a week, so hopefully that will help.  Another one tomorrow would just about put us back on track.  A friend from my watch forum sent eight watches to give away and have already given away four to some very happy Tanzanians.  He mailed them around the first week of June, so four months to get here from Ireland.  Not exactly like email, is it?  Don’t know if I mentioned it, but Karen also had a carpenter make me a display case for my watch collection (fourteen watches and all but two were gifts) and it is beautiful, made of African hardwood with a glass cover and two lockable drawers.  I think she may still love me.  Little by little we have had to replace almost everything in our house because it was built so cheaply (the contractor pocketed a lot of the money) and just yesterday got a new door lock for my bathroom door that hasn’t worked properly in ten years.  Cost me $20, but well worth it.  We have had to rewire the entire house, replace every single door, redo every single window . . . well, you get the picture.  I suspect contractors overcharging and doing shoddy work is not limited to Tanzania, so some of you may understand completely.  It’s just way too expensive to do everything at once, so we do a little whenever we can.  John got so upset with the shoddy light in his bathroom that he installed his own solar light and hasn’t had a problem since.  We also now have post Y2K problems with too much canned food and stuff we stocked up with and didn’t use.  Maybe some of you remember eating Spam for years or maybe you just gave all yours away.  Anyway, it is nice to see the sun and to know that our clothes hanging on the line won’t have a second rinse today. That’s all the news from Lake Woebegone for today.  Do something kind for someone, even if they don’t deserve it—those are the ones who need it worst.
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