Dear All at The Rotary Club of Ryde Inc.,
Thank you so much for your continued support of The School of St Jude through your sponsorship of Ms Christina!
As Ms Christina’s generous sponsor/s, we hope that you’ve enjoyed hearing directly from our students just how much your contribution is appreciated. Your sponsorship of Ms Christina, who is teacher of Standard 1 Science classes at our Moshono Lower Primary campus, supports both her and her fellow St Jude’s teachers as they work hard to educate Tanzania’s future leaders.
Life at The School of St Jude is continuing to thrive; we now educate nearly 1,500 students spread across three amazing schools, two boarding campuses and employ over 340 local Tanzanian staff. All this would not be possible without the enormous contribution and generosity of supporters like you!
We hope you will enjoy the attached 2011 Update about Ms Christina, with news including her latest interests and opinions on life. Also attached is a Teacher Sponsorship FAQs document, for all the details of supporting a teacher at The School of St Jude.
Thank you again for your incredible ongoing support of Ms Christina, and ultimately for standing with us in our Fight against Poverty!
Julie Luxton Sponsor Relations Coordinator
The School of St Jude Fighting Poverty through Education
PO Box 11875, Arusha, Tanzania, East Africa
+255 686 049 142 or +255 755 106 058
Dear All at The Rotary Club of Ryde Inc.,
Welcome to the first ever 2011 edition of my newsletter. These last two weeks have been very family orientated which made me miss home a little bit, but in two weeks today I’ll be leaving. Time certainly does fly when you’re having fun.
Christmas was a little bit different for me this year, mostly not celebrating it with my own family. Other than that Christmas was a relaxing, family orientated weekend. My host family and I spent the Christmas weekend in Santa Cruz de Monte Castello which is a small city where my host mother was born and raised. We have been there a few times before to relax for the weekend. Just before we arrived there it started to absolutely bucket down. Your line of sight was literally only 5 metres at most which was a bit frightening sitting in the back seat of the car. Nevertheless we arrived safely.
The Friday night was a more peaceful and a close family occasion. We had a barbeque of various meats and continuing in the holiday spirit much beer was consumed. It turned out that we actually missed the church service because we were all talking and enjoying ourselves ,not watching the time. However once it struck midnight presents were given to everyone and we all indulged ourselves into those gifts. My host family got me a pair of Santos soccer shorts (for those of who you don’t know, Santos is the best soccer team in Brasil) so I was greatly delighted. I gave my host parents a bottle of wine and one of my bigger cross-stitches that I had been doing over the last few months. I also thought that I needed to give my host grandma something so I made her a kookaburra cross-stitch. Some of you may remember that it was the first one that I finished here, however the one I gave her I had just finished that afternoon.
The Saturday (or Christmas Day) followed in the same manner as the day before it. Most of the day was spent sitting around talking and sharing memories of the year that had nearly finished. During the day, once again following in the holiday spirit, much beer was consumed. Between 4 of them on Friday about 16L of beer was consumed compared to the 26L that was had on the Saturday between 6 people. After everyone recovering on the Sunday, we returned late on Sunday evening to Maringa.
During the week I was taken by my host father to his two soccer games. Towards the end of the first game one team was left without a player. My host father then decided that he would put me in goal so then he could fill the spot in the field. I have never played goalkeeper in a game before so as you would expect I was a little bit nervous and still surprised that my host father had that much confidence in me. However over the next 10 minutes, the ball never passed me. Yes there were only two attempts at goal from the other team but neither of those attempts got passed me. I also totally embarrassed one of the attackers from the other team as I passed the ball through his legs to get passed him.
The next game on the Thursday was in a slightly different light. There had been massive confusion from the other team if there was going to be a game so only about half of them turned up. After some conversing they eventually decided to just play with mixed up teams. While everyone was changing, I was mucking around with one of the kids in the goal. My host father then said to me “Go down to the other end of the field for us in the goal”. At first I thought it was just to practice so they could take shots at me, but then came “Also put this shirt on” at which point I realised that I would be actually playing. Well to be short I did play the whole game as goalkeeper. Everyone was surprised, including me, at how decent I was but soon the other team found the hole in my defence. As most of you know I have fairly good hand-eye coordination, so any ball in the air was not much of a challenge for me. The chink in my armour was ground balls as it takes me forever for me to get my hands to the ground. However, even with the gigantic hole in my defence my team won. I had saved enough attempts at goal that we had managed to stay in front for the whole game.
On the Wednesday night my host parents took me to the centre of the city to see the decorations and lights that had been placed on the cathedral. The sight of the cathedral all lit up was amazing. I took several photos of all the decorations and lights.
For the New Year’s Eve weekend, my host parents and I travelled back to Monte Castello. This weekend was a lot more relaxed than the Christmas weekend, but still many good times were had. Late on the Friday night we all went to Porto Rico, which I went to about a month before with the men from my host mum’s family, to watch the fireworks. There were about 20,000 people there partying and according to my host family that was the most amount of people that they had ever seen in Porto Rico. The fireworks were fairly amazing. They had placed boats on the river full of fireworks so it was quite a spectacular sight. I managed to take some very cool photos of the fireworks just as they were about to explode.
The next Saturday and Sunday were spent relaxing and enjoying the first moments of 2011. For me it still seems a bit strange to consider that we are now into 2011. I don’t know why, but seeing the date “3/1/11” just looks weird to me.
Well as you’ve read these last two weeks have been very relaxing and very family orientated. I have less than two weeks in Brasil until I start heading home. It will take me 53 hours to get home (thanks to the International Date Line) but I’ll eventually get there on the 18th of January. I will try to get a newsletter down when I get home to finish off the year.
I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Years and I look forward to catching up with a lot of you when I get back.
Abraço, James Dodd
Welcome to another edition of my fortnightly newsletter. These last two weeks have been a little difficult as I’m starting to finish up in some of my activities.
This last Thursday I had my last day of university and it was a little hard that I will never see some people in my class again. Now that I have now finished university, I’ve looked back across all of my marks. Considering that I didn’t do the exams for some subjects, I still would have passed onto 2nd year with the average across all my subjects (mostly thanks to Maths and Informatics).
Two weeks ago all Automation Engineering courses (including Mechatronic) presented their group projects at the “Mecaexpo” that was held at Cesumar. Over the Thursday and Friday night my group presented our project, the chicken farm, and it was a great time to explain everything that we had been working on for the past 10 months. As well as learning more about my group’s project, I got to see a lot of other innovative products. One project that I thought was hilarious and really inappropriate for the real world: a residential security system that fires iron bolts at objects. It charges through 6 huge capacitors with a capacity of 1500J of energy, they slide the bolt inside a huge coil of wire and then they discharge the current into the coil of wire which then generates a huge electromagnetic force firing the bolt at enormous speeds. They were testing it mostly with panes of glass but occasionally they tried it with a can of soft drink. I volunteered my can for the destruction and that is certainly something that I will hold onto. Looking at some of the other projects I could see that most of them could be taken to a whole new level and did give me some ideas that I might be able to use for my university project.
On that Friday night I went out with some friends from my class for the first time in a while. I ended up getting back home at a bit after 5am. My host mum then woke me up at 9:30 to get me out of bed to pack my bag for the weekend. We went travelling to her parents’ house about two hours drive from Maringa. I was practically cactus so sitting in a car for two hours wasn’t exactly something I was looking forward too, but I ended up sleeping most of the way. On the Saturday night, I was taken to my first “Baile de Avaí” which is a huge community social party. It is generally for couples and for those people who are looking for partners, but I was taken along for the experience anyway. Considering that I was still cactus from the night before I wasn’t exactly feeling my best, but it was definitely a memorable experience.
On the following Sunday, I went with my host dad and my host mum’s brothers to Porto Rico, which was about 20 minutes drive from where we were. Porto Rico is a tourist destination because it has a beach and amazing fish. The river that it is based on is about the same size as Lake Macquarie. The 6 of us mostly just sat in the bar at the beach because none of us were intending to swim and the beach was full of tourists thanks to the long weekend. The following Monday was a very relaxing day where everyone caught up on missed sleep from the weekend.
Last Wednesday I volunteered to do my presentation on Australia at my Rotary Club’s meeting. I wasn’t quite sure about any of the things that I should put in it, but from the reactions from the Rotarians, it was fantastically received. Everyone loved it and they all got a pin out of it as well. My President gave me 10-15 minutes to do my presentation. As some of you know, my presentation skills aren’t the best so I wasn’t even sure that I was going to make 10 minutes. Once I had finished I realised that I had been speaking for 25 minutes and everyone was still paying attention. At the end of my presentation I found out that this meeting might have been my last Rotary meeting at this club because when I return from travelling to the Northeast they will be on holidays and they might not return before I get back. Hopefully they will because I want to share my experiences from this amazing year with them.
On Friday night, my host parents took me to an 80’s themed party for people who work with my host mum. It was good to see some of the people from the wedding a month ago and it certainly was fun seeing all of the costumes that people had brought. I ended up going with jeans, a leather jacket and gelled back hair which really did suit the mood of the party.
This newsletter was literally a last minute effort before I go away on my Northeast trip. I will be back in a month, so I hope that everyone has a wonderful time while I’m away and won’t miss me too much. By the time I come back from my trip I will have a little less than a month here so time really is starting to get away from me!
Tchau, James Dodd
PS. Tomorrow is my birthday (and I get to spend the whole day on a bus)!
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