Archive for August 2011

click on the flyer for the walk:

Kili Charity

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…und wie es scheint, ist der Internetanschluss endlich auch konstanter. Prof James Spillanes E-Mail werden stetig länger… Wie ihr unten eingefügt lesen könnt, ist der Kurs Tourismus an der Uni im möglichen Rahmen sehr erfolgreich – mich freuts! Ansonsten hat mir Delphine (James Kollegin an der Uni) geschrieben, dass sie sich nun um ein Babygirl zu kümmern habe, anhand der Wortwahl und dem fehlendem Vornamen scheint es nicht wirklich ein Wunschkind zu sein; tut mir leid für sie. Delphine ist ein liebe intelligente Frau, sie war etwas Richtung Karrierefrau unterwegs… Sie ist aber zuversichtlich, wie für meinen Kili-Walk, sie habe es vor zehn Jahren geschafft.

Baldbaldbald ist es soweit, juhuiiii! Andrea

James last E-Mail
Dear Andrea and all, Peace!

Thanks for the email. What are you doing these days.

Greetings from Mwanza where we just experienced a much needed and totally unexpected full day of rain. It will reduce the level of the dust for a few days. Otherwise our weather has been warm and dry but always pleasant. Hope you are enjoying some nice last summer weather.

Our eager tourist students continue to enjoy their practical experiences which are uncovering their creativity, innovation and new found ability to apply critical thinking. Africans are always forced to be flexible and imaginative in finding ways to cope with the unexpected and unplanned parts of life here. It is a great opportunity for developing their Adversity Quotients [AQ]. Our historical tour group spend a week trying to refine tours to the Bujora Cultural Museum [which exhibits the culture of the Sukuma tribe which is the largest one in Tanzania and dominant in this northwestern part of the country], Butiama [the birth place of Julius Nyerere, the founding Father of the Independent Nation, where there is a nice museum of his memorabilia] and historical sites in the city of Mwanza [especially the colonial administration buildings constructed during the period of the German East Africa period]. In the last case, they all interviewed local people who live near these historical sites to get the “stories” of the local people. Using a digital camera they also compiled some photos that they can use for the power point slide show part of their presentations. The prize we are after is the Regional Commissioner‘s [equivalent to an American state Governor] House. It used to be a German Fortress at the top of a hill with a magnificent view of the city. The Germans also dug a tunnel there that goes all the way down to Lake Victoria. At the moment, it is almost impossible to visit this magnificent historical site perhaps for security reasons. However, we are hoping our clever tourism students can talk the RC into allowing supervised tours of the facility on the style of tours of the American White House. Please pray that creative students won over hypersensitive bureaucrats.

The students working with Radio Kwazera [near the border with Rwanda and Burundi] and Radio SAUT FM [on campus] have been given the green light to give regular radio programs on tourism [15 minutes per week] as well as develop advertisements for tourism companies to increase revenue for these two radio stations. They recently got the complete information on advertising rates and will try to be sales persons for the stations. The cooking team has reported on 10 of the cookbooks we bought in the used books stores in Boston last summer. The two most popular ones were Italian Cuisine and Planning and Preparing Parties and Appetizers. This week they will continue to write out their business plan for a catering company in the form of a cooperative to help pay for their schools fees. Last semester, 15 out of our 60 tourism students could not sit for their exams because they could not pay these expenses. As a private Catholic university, the firm school policy is “no fees, no exams”.

The previous week they saw the film Chocolat about a single mother who opens a chocolate shop in a traditional Catholic village in southern France in 1959, a period before the Second Vatican Council when the traditional Lenten fasting rules applied. Besides obvious emphasis on the hospitality side of running a chocolate shop, the movie was able show the importance of tolerance and inclusiveness in the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, we did not have electricity this week and could not see the Iranian film Color of Paradise [about a blind boy] and will try again on next Monday. One surprise was the visit of a free lance reporter of the Citizen national newspaper to our weekly project presentations. He is an undergraduate lecturer on “feature stories” in the Journalism Department as well as an MA student in the same department. He wants to write a story about the students’ practical experiences. Our team organizing the seminar on the airlines industry made contact with him as a result of reading the many clippings we have on the airlines industry in Tanzania and East Africa. They are hoping to organize a focus group discussion about potential participants in the seminar.

As an exercise in patience and AQ, I had a week of marathon meetings on academic affairs, review of examination results for the whole university and the university budget. In the second case we reviewed the print-out of examination results for EVERY course given last semester to evaluate them. Some grades had to be increased while others were reduced. Fortunately only a few lecturers gave the same grades to all their students. Actually I was edified by the concern shown for fairness and accuracy in the examination process. Because of serious problems with cheating, the final exams are very carefully supervised in terms of leakages of exam sheets before exams and cheating during exams. It is hard with 11,000 students to find the perfect solution to this problem. All the meetings ran from 9 am to 6 pm so I managed to use my growing collection of Swahili vocabulary cards during the many boring parts of the meetings.

This week had an element of Shakespeare’s words that “parting is such sweet sorrow”. The Jesuit student Chaplain and the four Oxford University students departed for a short visit to the island of Zanzibar before heading back to the UK. They were with us for a month of teaching in the parish primary school. Father Emmanuel Mchopa, S.J. left for Nairobi to get his visa for the Jesuit Tertianship program in Manila, Philippines for 6 months. He has been working as a parish priest here for two months. Our newly arrived Fr. Shirima, S.J. has gone of two weeks vacation to his native area of Arusha and Moshi to visit relatives and friends there. Our 10 room residence now has only three occupants. The construction on the new Jesuit residence continues and we can clearly see the progress from the second floor of our current residence. Fortunately Mwanza is known as “Rock City” so there are plenty of large rocks available for the foundation.

We are preparing for the arrival of Dr Steve Duffy and his teenage daughter Ellen. Steve is a classmate from Boston College Class of 1964. He is coming from the University of Nevada Las Vegas where he recently retired as a professor in English as a Second Language [ESL]. He will be concentrating on teaching English for Tourism. Ellen is a high school senior and will attend the nearby Isamilo multicultural International School for a semester. Ellen hopes to be an Olympic swimmer so she will make good use of the large pool on campus that I use each Sunday.

Please remember me to all during your leisure activities this summer. Be assured of our thoughts and prayers. Let us pray for one another.
Gratefully yours,
Fr. Jim

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Post gefällig?

Haha. Es war einmal ein Paket, welches ich am 15.3. nach Masaba schickte… Ein Fotobuch, unzählige einzelne Bilder, etwas Kinderspielzeug und Sämchen für Cherry-Tomaten. Nach der 14-tägigen Zollkontrolle angekommen in Migori, wurde Peter angezeigt, dass Zollgebühren fällig sind (damit habe ich gerechnet). Bis er das Geld abholen konnte, war die Sendung zurück in Nairobi. Das Spiel wiederholt sich xMal: ich kontakte DHL für die Zurücksendung nach Migori, Peter erreicht mich/ich ihn (irgendwann), bis er in der Stadt ist, befindet sich das Paket wieder in Nairobi….. Ich verfolge die Sendung täglich per Tracking. Am 7.5. hat es ein gewisser Marocho ausgehändigt bekommen. Niemand kennt den, geschweige denn, dass einer übrig Geld hat? Ende Juni immer noch keine (Tracking-)News, ausser Peter, der auf meine Email „I dont care anymore“ ganz entsetzt anruft, er habe doch gar nichts Unrechtes getan… Ich will von DHL wissen, wie es sein kann, dass das Paket an jemanden Unerlaubten ausgehändigt wurde. Ha! Und da steht neu auf der Trackingliste, dass die Sendung in Nairobi ist und auf die Zerstörung warte. Gopfgopfgopf! Ich rufe wieder bei DHL an, bestätige für die Rücksendung die Übernahme der Zollgebühren (kommt immer noch günstiger, als alles nochmals neu zu printen). Dann steht im Tracking „Sendung zerstört“, sch…dann hab ich einfach Pech gehabt. Doch da steht soeben DHL smilend vor meiner Tür – und das gratis – vom kenianischen Zoll geöffnet, ist sogar noch alles drin!!! Jaja, jetzt ist eine Entschuldigung gegenüber Peter fällig. Und es bestätigt sich wieder „C’est le ton qui fait la musique“, ich war nicht die stänkernde Kundin; im Gegenteil, ich habe bei allen Kontakten darüber herzlich lachen müssen. Jetzt bleibt mir wohl nichts anderes übrig, als die versprochenen Fotos selber vorbeizubringen… ;-)))

Hebids guet! Andrea

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