1.INTRODUCTION: following my last report time has moved very quickly. I had some sickness during the week and hardly ate for three days but am much better now thank God. I resisted the temptation to visit the hospital because I had medicines with me- need I say more. I will try to give you a flavour of life here in Moshi.
2.TYPICAL DAY: the Brothers rise at 6.00 most days followed by meditation, morning prayer then mass. I have been sleeping longer than usual – must be the heat- so I usually join them for mass. I then go up to the school to meet the children before their Assembly which is at 7.55am. I have already had a couple of inputs. I then return to the college for some breakfast- usually toast and tea but on Fridays we get a boiled egg for some reason! I then do some prep work for my English teaching lessons to the 21 First Year Brothers. I have three lessons each week for 1.5 hours each. I have had to plan a programme helped by an initial self assessment exercise I gave them. I give a weekly test and a weekly homework on Fridays. Marking and prep takes up most of my time. Their scores will count towards their final degree so I have to be pretty conscientious.
Lunch is at 1.15 and supper at 8.00. In between these times a variety of things can happen. There is a chance for a little rest ( yes believe it or not) and maybe a little walk then a bus ride into town, maybe a beer on the way back. There is Rosary together early evening and evening prayer before dinner. After dinner we have night prayers and the traditional Salesian "Good night" – which I was asked to give twice last week.
This week the 3rd year Brothers went to Dar as Salaam including a day trip to Zanzibar staying with the Salesians in Oyster Bay. On Saturday they had a Salesian family day as we had in Chertsey as part of the Bi Centenary Celebrations of Don Bosco's birth. The 2nd Year Brothers are all on teaching practice during this semester so this week I have got to know the First years quite well. We have had the Novena to Don Bosco and they copied my leaflet for the purpose. On Friday the school had its weekly mass and the big surprise was a first year girl reading the First Reading. Her English was perfect. Fr. Philip, the Administrator saying mass complimented her at the start of his homily and we all clapped for her. Later in the day I gave her a gift of a spare white Rosary Beads I had been given. This morning in Assembly, Fr. Delphinus, the Head praised her and gave her some exercise books and pens
3. SPORT: as you might expect the brothers are sport mad – they each have their favourite English premier team- one in particular supports Liverpool so you can imagine my delight and his dismay when Bolton drew 0-0 in the FA Cup which I managed to watch live At the moment though it is all about the African Nations Cup with great rivalry being displayed as they get to watch most of the games in between times
I did suggest that the school organised themselves into the 16 nations but the numbers have been slow to pick up since they returned on 13th January so it has not taken off. Today it looked as though most are now back –they were not allowed until fees had been paid.
4.FEASTDAYS: this month has really been one Feast after another including Blessed Laura Vicuna and St Francis of Sales. We still have Don Bosco's Feast day on Saturday 31st – more about that later.
5.GIFTS TO THE SCHOOL: I have been waiting for my two DHL boxes to arrive after several days delay. The small one containing 300 mass leaflets in English from the CTS arrived today but we had to pay custom duty on them – fortunately there was money to pay from the cash I gave the Rector from the monies I had received in Truro and elsewhere. It has been a learning curve dealing with DHL- I have made 3 visits to their depot in Moshi only to be told the box was in Dar. If I had to do it again I would only bring what my 2x20kgm allowance would allow me and then use the money to buy things here – hindsight is a wonderful thing.
The other big box is another story! It arrived in Belgium eventually and then was sent back to my home address because some powdered paint was leaking from the box. My wife, Maria, has kindly had to handle the situation and is claiming the money back because the staff in Staples Truro supervised the packaging so we have a good case ( I hope). If so then Maria will send the box again.
6. THE RECTOR: Fr. Augustine has been away a few days for a holiday and for the wedding of his niece in India, We expect him back before Don Bosco's Feastday. He and I will need to have a meeting soon regarding the planned extensions to the school so that I have a very clear picture in order to assist my fundraising when I return to the UK.
7. CONCLUSION: I will finish now hoping you are all well whatever the weather, We do not talk about the weather here as it is always the same – we have to look for other ice breakers ( if you will pardon the pun).
So cheerio for now and take care. Let us keep each other in our prayers.