Thursday, July 26, 2012

Staff at Aquinas Secondary School

I got photos of almost all the teaching staff and quite a few of the non-teaching staff as of the end of the first term, June 2012.

I labelled each photo with how I normally address the person, "mister" for male teachers, "madam" for female teachers, sometimes with their first name, sometimes with their family name. The term "mama" is a respectful title often used with women who are a little older and more senior.

It was hard to leave our school and to leave Mtwara. This set of photos is to help Diane and me to remember. -Earl

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Maria and Yesu

At the Scholastica convent in the Shangani neighborhood of Mtwara, where I have been staying at their guest house until I leave town.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Pictured is a bajaji as it's called here in Tanzania. Imported from India and mostly used as a taxi, it runs on a gasoline engine, seats three adults comfortably, and holds a good amount of luggage on the shelf behind the passengers. The controls are similar to those on a motorcycle.

The driver is Joslin, one of the first bajaji drivers we got to know a bit. He leases the vehicle from the owner for about $10 a day, pays for the gas he uses and for minor repairs, and pockets whatever is left over as profit. Joslin has done pretty well for himself, having saved enough to buy a motorcycle, which he himself rents out to some one else for use as yet another kind of taxi.

I love riding this little open-air vehicle in this warm climate of ours. It's fun to be in. Rebekka, the bursar at our school, owns one of these for personal use. She can toodle around town with her husband and two young children without having to haul around a car. I am so envious! -Earl

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Because you are at that place ..."


Because you are at that place on the road
where demons rear up as you cross the bridge
and water's too high to ford with your load
of worries, and you can't see over the hedge

to know what's coming, and laughter is dead,
I give you these phylactery words to say:
You are alive and in the river, led
by grace and mysterious currents. Pray

even as you breathe in and out. This
is the hour. And you agreed to be here.
You are not drowning but living in bliss,
moving forward toward light earned with your tears.

Be awake. Sing. Hold a moderate pace.
And try not to step out ahead of grace.

— Mary Bradish O'Connor

You are alive and in the river, led
by grace and mysterious currents

Diane read this poem out loud to me while we sat in our guest room at the beach house, homeless and in transition. We wept, I recalling the difficulties and the demands of the past three years. –Earl

Friday, July 6, 2012

At the Market

Diane and I are delighted to have LMH send Justin and Lauren to succeed us at our school. During their first few days in Mtwara I have been giving them an orientation to the town center and the main market area.

In this photo they along with our friend and fellow parishioner Moris are in front of the stall of a fruit seller. You can see pineapples, bananas, oranges, passion fruit, and something spikey whose name I don't remember. There may have been some avocadoes and papaya back there somewhere too. I think Lauren will be really happy when mango season arrives several months from now. -Earl