March 26, 2014

Teaching in Musoma

We enjoyed cuddling the baby goats at Kelsey's house.

We enjoyed cuddling the baby goats at Kelsey’s house.

On Monday we visited Kelsey McKinnell and Anneliese Baer who are volunteering and living in Musoma. Bri and Melanie joined us for the day to see what their colleagues were up to in their service placements.

We met Kelsey at the Lutheran Church compound in downtown Musoma where she teaches at the church’s nursery school each morning from 8-11. Our first agenda was to pay a visit to the church office where we met the church’s pastor and headmaster of the school. The nursery school is on the church compound along with the church, the parsonage, and church shamba (farm). The farm also supports the expenses incurred by the kwaya (choir) through raising pigs! Kelsey’s class may be the cutest bunch of children you’ve ever seen. She works with the children teaching them English using songs and call and response. While we visited the students sang “head, shoulders, knees and toes.”  Kelsey has also been participating in the church’s kwaya – even traveling with them on the weekends to nearby towns (check out her kwaya dress). She even performed a solo during the last church visit.

After visiting the church we paid a visit to Kelsey’s home which is directly on Lake Victoria (recently a sibling spotted a hippo in their lawn… a rather rare event!)  Her parents Pastors Catherine and Elinafika Mollel, both work for the Lutheran Church and have their offices nearby to their house. Kelsey loves her family and has been lovingly welcomed into the family.

We returned to Nyabange for lunch, a town on the outskirts of Musoma which is the home of the Mennonite Theological College of East Africa (MTCEA). Ryan and Donna and family have been kindly provided a house on the MTCEA compound for the weekends when they are not visiting students. We hosted the students at our house for lunch, before being hosted by Anneliese who is working with MTCEA.

Anneliese has been working in the library helping organize and sort the books. The college has a long history of training pastors and teachers from all over East Africa in theological studies. Anneliese is supervised by Hellen, the MTCEA librarian. Hellen and Anneliese gave us a tour of campus, with stops at the chapel, offices, classrooms, dormitories, and cafeteria. While on our tour we met some of the theological students (8 in total studying both certificate and diploma) who are studying at MTCEA.  Anneliese is living with Mama Agnes Emmanuel Matuntera, who works at the college as a secretary. Anneliese’s Bibi Perusi (grandmother) also works at MTCEA as the accountant. We enjoyed visiting them both in their office for sodas.

Anneliese has been participating in daily chapels and tea with the students and professors in addition to her work in the library.  Her project interest has been to learn more about the history and theological similarities and differences between the Tanzanian Mennonite Church and the North American Mennonite church, so she has enjoyed the various conversations and interviews with faculty and students.

We ended the day with a wonderful meal at Anneliese’s home.  Agnes, Sara, and Arnold have become good friends.  (Their father Emmanuel was the SST service coordinator in 2011, but is now studying theology in Singapore for 2 years.)  They have taken both Anneliese and us under their wings!

- Ryan for the team

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