Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Update!

Aaron, Caitlin and David standing in a Baobab tree.

Thanksgiving Update!

It’s been a while, and we’ve been busy-  but we’re taking a day off (though the rest of the country isn’t) to remember all the things we are thankful for!  Here’s a quick list!

  1. Health:   We both have been very healthy all things considered.  Caitlin has been dragging David around on her 50 workouts before Christmas goal. (As of today we are half way there!)  We’ve been eating healthy and keeping the malaria away!
  2. Proposal:  Recently we both wrote and submitted a proposal to the archdiocese of Mwanza to begin an inclusive special education program in the parochial schools here.  This program would be a much more sustainable model than an separate, donor funded institution and also be a much less restrictive environment for students with special needs.  Basically this would integrate special education services with regular ed. services, something that is not happening yet here in Mwanza.   So far the diocese has received the proposal favorably and the plan is to present the proposal before the headmasters of the eight different schools. Please pray that we find a way to get these principals excited and on-board with special education!
  3. Funds for Huruma:  Due to the support of many of you and a couple major donors whom Maryknoll Lay Missioners helped David find, Huruma has funds to operate for another year.  Mum’s the word however as we would like the school and associated parents group to continue to make efforts to find funding and sustainable solutions on their own (with David’s counsel of course).
  4. Impromptu school:  Tired of the neighbor kids coming over, bickering and breaking toys, Caitlin took it upon herself to start an after school supplementary program for these seven or eight kids.  She made each kid there own file folder that she fills with, math, writing and English worksheets for them to work on when they come over. The kids are eating up the more directed attention and are making significant improvements in math, writing and reading!  Somedays they go through their worksheets faster than we can print them. Even Steve, who just turned 3 has started asking for worksheets like the big kids!
  5. Family visits:  We are grateful for Aaron Storey’s (Caitlin’s brother) trip out to Mwanza to see us and Andrew and Alicia Barrett (David’s cousins) upcoming visit in March.  Aaron got a full taste of Mwanza life as well as an enjoyable trips to Bukoba, a camping trip out in the bush with the Watuturu people and a short trip into the Serenghetti (complete with lion sightings from five feet away!).  We hope he’s recovered from the culture shock of stuffing himself with cooked bananas, rice, chicken and much more!
  6. Father Dan Ohman- a man with an incredible story who has been out here since before independence in '61!  It's been a privilege to see his work with the Wataturu people.
  7. There’s so much more!  God has been incredibly faithful over the last year, giving us good work to do and times to rest and recover.  As well we are always meeting amazing priests, sisters and other lay people who have heard the call to engage the Tanzanian people and it is always encouraging to hear their stories!   We hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving and we’d love to hear from you soon!

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