The Adventures of Australia and Sister Beckham

Dear Australia

So here it is. The long-awaited, much anticipated post of my travels to Kigoma and Gombe stream. Australia I tried, really I did, to capture the magic of our first night in the tented lodge; the frightening noises made by the zebra/warthog/fisherman; the experience of having a boat load of Tanzanians stare at us solidly for the 3 hour water taxi ride; the joy of waiting patiently for 45 minutes under that tree only to have the best chimpanzee encounter (and we saw more than Luca); swimming in Lake Tanganyika, admiring the Congolese mountains; the fish supper; the hair stealing witch; the warp speed bus ride so we “can admire the beauty of the Tanzanian bush”. But I couldn’t. It’s impossible without the facial expressions, the interjections etc etc. So instead I’ve created a little photo montage – at the very least we’ll laugh.

Best wishes,

Sister Beckham


Tanzania Education System: Why Change It?

I’ve reblogged this as it gives a great insight into some of the challenges I have faced working in the education system here in Tanzania.

Each year and each time the National Examination results (Standard Seven, Form Four, and Form Six) are announced, the discussion regarding the failures of the education system in Tanzania pops up.  The central question in these discussions is whether or not the education system is meeting its goals of educating the Tanzanian youth? TWAWEZA’s  data (2011-2012) from a cross-sectional studies in over 38 districts of the Tanzanian education system highlights some of the issues and the difficulties facing the system. Access the report here. Findings from this cross-sectional study paints a gleam picture. At the primary, secondary, and high school levels, majority of our children are not learning and not acquiring practical  and problem-solving skills needed to be successful in life and for post primary education. The skills gap is much wider between rural and urban primary, secondary, and high schools. This skill gap has created a rural-urban divide on how children access quality education in Tanzania.

Major Issues…

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A little calamity


It was difficult telling the school the news from Raleigh. As I explained as best I could their reasons for not helping the school, Raymond covered his face with his hands. Continue reading

“If there is no struggle…

…there is no progress”. Frederick Douglass c. 1818 – February 20, 1895

Continue reading

Oranges are not the only fruit

As I write this, I am sitting in a small room filled with plastic chairs and tables and Tanzanian men, all facing a small TV placed on top of a fridge freezer. Everyone is shouting because they’ve just announced that transport costs are going up and a heated discussion has started. I’m nursing a cup of hot fresh milk, a rarity in the land of UHT, and waiting for the order I made at the wooden counter in the corner of the room, below it a glass counter filled with mandazi that people are buying to dip into their heavily sugared milk. Continue reading

Raleigh International’s visit…

Bungando (27)“He’s a good looking boy”

“Yes and he knows it. He’s the smartest, the cutest and the naughtiest in my class” Continue reading

The topic was clothes…

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These guys just break my heart sometimes. I really want the meeting on Friday (originally Tuesday) to go well.

Kits for Kids

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You may remember a post around Christmas time thanking everybody who’d kindly donated money, resources, clothes. I was given a collection of football kits that sadly I couldn’t use for the Bugando School (hopefully one day we’ll be able to).

Well Pat here they are, being sported by some of the street kids at Kuleanas, a street centre for young boys in Mwanza. working hard to get them off the street, provide them with an education, vocational training, counselling and where possible reunify them with their family. For more information check out the website

The clothes were shared so everyone got either a tshirt or pair of shorts. They were all so excited so thanks again Pat for your kind donation.