Merry Christmas Everyone

We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

Is it Christmas time again? As much as I see all our friends and family’s posts on facebook as they enjoy the run up to Christmas it is hard to see any sign of it here or to indeed feel Christmas-y. But tomorrow Thursday 18th of December we will be erecting our decorations and declaring the start of Christmas in the Kanungha household. We have Mincemeat ready for making pies and the ingredients for a boiled fruit cake which will become our Christmas cake. A little fake tree and some Christmas paper chain already to be made. On Christmas Eve we will attend a service in the Cathedral at which Festo will become a God father for baby Festo and on Christmas day – well we haven’t planned it yet, but we will be either roasting Pork or Chicken, stuffing was flown in from the UK and we will have to wait and see if Father Christmas will leave anything under our tree.

December is always a much different month to the rest of the year, for one there are no students, two; it gets ridiculously hot and leaves us praying for rain, 3; Festo spends about 12 hours a day farming, 4; flies are every where and it feels like a plague. So do join us in praying for the rain so that our farms will be fruitful and the number of flies will reduce dramatically. None of this stops us however and here is a brief over view of the last couple of months since our last blog.

In October the wonderful Charlotte McCarthy joined us from Bognor Regis, she is here for 10 months to help with the Nursery school and has already been working hard. This picture shows her with a random guy who asked for a picture with her she agreed because of his snazzy outfit.

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In October before the national exams began (results to come in the new year) our Form four class of 2014 graduated in style. We were very proud of them. The exams passed as smoothly as they could and we are hopeful for good results. In November our form two students also completed national exams as well as our own school annual exams and regional annual exams for forms 1 and 3. Not to mention we ran a pre form one course for two months for students who have finished primary school. It was a busy time and  the graduation was a perfect day of celebration in the midst of it all.

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On the Left Ema with Ezekiel our Nephew and on the right with his Happy Head Master on graduation day.

Ema joined us at the beginning of form 3 having completed his form 2 in a government school. He came  to the house and asked for an opportunity to study at St. John’s stating that he was a good student but felt the quality of education offered at his state school would not enable him to realise his full potential. Intrigued by this courageous young man we decided to give him a chance and for the last two seasons he has helped Festo farm while we have enabled him to be at our school. His grades are good and he averages B’s across the board so we are looking forward to his results and what God has next for him. He is a great example of the impact sponsoring a student can have. If you would like to know more please get in touch with us.

image-5 At the end of term Juliet one of our Nursery teachers got married. Here she is at here send off party 2 days before the wedding. She was sent off from Kilimatinde because she got married in a different village, Chikuyu.

image-3image-2We also said fare well to Mdoma our longstanding caretaker who retired at the end of this year. He has been working for the school since it opened and worked as an Evangelist in the Diocese long before that. For those who have visited St. John’s you will understand how strange it will be for us not to have him around all the time.

St. John’s Nursery closed for the month of December along with the Secondary school, this is our summer holiday. A big MASSIVE thank you to all those of you who have given money towards the building of the Nursery. The build hasn’t yet begun as we are waiting on drawings but all the other preparations are complete and we will be starting soon. It is still not too late to give…

And so December arrived… We have had some rain, but we need more. Zephaniah enjoyed his first play out in it though. We have been swimming in Dodoma once, the first time for several months and are looking forward to going again hopefully in the next week, before Christmas. It will be Kelvin’s treat as he asked for that when asked what he would like to celebrate his good end of year exam results. Kv also did national exams this year as per Standard 4 in Tanzania, these exams check a child’s progress through primary school and will show whether he needs to repeat a class or progress on to the next. In the school exams he was 4th in the class with 2A’s 7 B’s and 2 C’s so we are very hopeful.

We had a lovely family day out last week to Singida as we went to apply for a passport for Kv and a renewal for Festo (pic of boys asleep in car). Bureaucratic matters here are always tedious but it was great to be out as a family and we hope to be able to take Kv to the UK with us next year – pennies, passport and visa permitting! Amongst all of this we had a visitor in our newly built pig pen – Made by Festo and some students. There is some debate whether it belongs to a Leopard or a Lion but to be honest whichever that is I’m not sure I want it so close to our house!

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image-9Here Zeph is pictured with the big boys eating pork from one of our pigs. “Pig, pig, yum yum.” Sam even made it into this one!

And so Christmas is here, Charlotte has made us a fantastic advent calendar to count us down and we are looking forward to remembering THE Reason for the Season our Saviour Jesus Christ.

image-4Our Advent Calender on day 8.

So what will next year bring…

image-8 Due in May 2015

Prayers please for:

Rain

Good health for Grace in her pregnancy

A good start to term in January with both students and staff

A good harvest from this years farming season

And PRAISE GOD for all his goodness as shown above!

We really do wish you a Merry Christmas and we hope that you will have a blessed 2015.

With love from, Festo, Grace, Kv and Zephaniah.

20141208_171641We know, not a great picture but it is all we have…

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