Eglwys Crist ~ Christ Church

Eglwys Crist, Y Bala. Christ Church, Bala.

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Swper y Flwyddyn Newydd ~ New Years Supper

Posted by Eglwys Crist Admin on January 23, 2016 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (39)

O'r diwedd byddwn yn dathlu y Flwyddyn Newydd! Nos Wener Chwefror 19fed yn Y Cwrt am 7-00 o'r gloch. Bydd dewis o ddau neu dri chwrs a bwydlen dda. Mae rhestr yn yr Eglwys i ddewis a rhoi eich enw i lawr. Dewch am noson o hwyl a chwmniaeth ....a phwy a wyr beth arall. 

At last we will be celebraing the New Year! Friday February 19th at Y Cwrt at 7-00 o'clock. A choice of two or three courses from a good menu. There is a list for your choice and to sign up at Church. Join us for an evening of fun and fellowship........and who knows what else.

Crempog a Llwnc ~ Pancake and Plonk

Posted by Eglwys Crist Admin on January 23, 2016 at 5:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Dewch i'n cefnogi ac i fwynhau cwmniaeth Nos Fawrth Chwefror 9ed rhwng 6-8 o'r gloch. Noson hwyliog a chyfe am fwyd blasus a sgwrs. Fe'ch gwelwn yno.

Come and join us for Pancake and Plonk Tuesday evening February 9th between 6-8-00 o'clock. A fun evening and opportunity for good food and a chat. We'll see you there. 

ions on Tanzania from Iwan & Katie

Posted by Eglwys Crist Admin on January 7, 2016 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Q Why did you go there?

Katie: I went to Tanzania because it was an experience of a lifetime, I had been wanting to go since year 9 when we first had a slideshow in Rock Solid about Africa. We saw all of the children marching and singing for Hilary’s and Adrian’s arrival, I remember because Rachel and I couldn't stop talking about how we wanted to go so we asked Hilary and she said she might take us when we were 18. Ever since then I have been so excited. When I had the news at the end of year 11 that we were definitely were going to go, that Iwan and I were chosen, I was more than excited, words couldn't explain how I was feeling. By then I wanted to go and teach English and crafts to the children, I also brought all my nail vanish so I could teach some of the children and teachers to do nail art. Iwan: We went to a village called Milo that now has a link with Bala through the churches, through the hospital in Milo and some doctors in Bala, and through the Football Clubs and primary schools. They asked for help to start a carpentry workshop for AIDS orphans and boys from poor families and I’m learning carpentry in Coleg Meirion Dwyfor.

Q What was the weather like?

Katie: Hot!! When we stepped out of the airplane in Dubai, I wasn't expecting that sort of heat. It made you feel dizzy and sick. Iwan: It was really hot in Dar es Salaam as well but Milo village is in the mountains and the weather was lovely there, just like a British summer but without the rain.

Q And are the people very poor?

Iwan: In the village most families have a small field called a shamba. They grow maize, wheat, potatoes, sunflowers (for cooking oil), tomatoes, onions, bananas, and other things. They all have hens so there are plenty of eggs and chickens to eat, and some have pigs, goats and cows. Most of the time we ate eggs, chips, rice, chicken and a salad called Katchumbari made from onions, tomatoes and herbs. And we drank tea. The food was yummy – different from our food. It was much more fresh. Nearly everyone has a mobile phone but they are not smart phones. They mostly live in small houses made from home-made bricks with tin sheet roofs. The kitchen and toilet are usually outside. But they don’t have much money so it’s hard to pay for treatment if they get sick or for school if they pass the secondary school entrance exam. Many of the boys who came for the carpentry workshop have only one parent and have no shop or business, only the field. Katie: The village only just had electricity put in, some houses have electricity now but the poorest of the poor still don’t, the transport is pretty basic, some people would have a motorcycle to get around places and some would go on the bus that would leave in the morning and come back once a day, so if you miss the bus there wouldn't be another one to pick you up. The Hospital only has one sort of transport and that’s the 4x4, the car is really old, they would pay a lot of money fixing the car because it keeps breaking down. While we were there we were able to get them a new car with money that was donated.

Q So what did you do?

Katie: Hilary and I went to the school every morning to teach English. We had about 2– 3 lessons a day, I was more like the class assistant writing on the black board and helping some of the children if they don’t understand. I also helped some of the teachers by showing them how the laptop works and also drawing some pictures to go on the wall. Hilary and I would decorate the classrooms on lunchtime, when we went back to the house we did a lot of lesson planning and expanding our ideas. While I was there I gave some money to Casimir (the Head) to buy the new school flag, they haven't had one for a while, and it seemed really important that they do so I felt like buying one for the school. I also painted the teachers’ nails and also some of the shopkeepers’ nails, they really enjoyed it they really couldn't stop smiling for a long time. I spent time with Casimir, showing him how the laptop works and also the webcam. I do love spending time with him he always puts a smile on my face. Iwan: We took a full set of carpentry tools. Chisels, mallets, saws, hammers, screwdrivers, vices, planes, spoke shaves, combination squares, steel rules, pencils, and a cordless drill. They can charge the drill from solar or mains power in the hospital but they don’t have electricity in the workshop. We also took training manuals and DVDs (including Mr Bean because they don't have to know English to laugh at Mr Bean). The DVDs were to learn carpentry skills from tool sharpening and care to making anything from a wooden spoon to a workbench. We built a workbench from timber that we bought in the village. It took nearly 2 weeks. It was 3.5 meters long and has two woodworking vices. College helped me with the design and working out how to do it. I saw a demo from the teacher in College first. I practised making the different joints and gluing them up in college before I went. Then I did a scale drawing, which we used when we were in Milo and afterwards I gave to a carpenter in the village because he wanted to make a workbench as well!

Q What did you learn while you were there?

Iwan: The culture and environment were very different and difficult at first. You had to be very open and alert because the greetings were most important for them. I became aware of their culture and how I had to behave in a respectful way. The people were all kind and they gave more to us than we could ever give to them. So I learned to greet people and to spend time talking with them. I learned that things take time and you can’t always hurry them. I learned that BO doesn’t matter. Everyone has got it especially on the bus. When we went to the school, I found the schoolkids were much, much happier than the ones in school here. They always had something to do – carrying water, chopping wood, and looking after the gardens. Here all the kids are on their phones all the time. None of the kids in Milo had phones. They made their own toys – one boy had a plastic bottle as a lorry with bottle tops as wheels. When we were taking pictures, they all gathered around to see them – I loved that. Katie: I have learnt a lot about their culture, although its really scary trying to adjust to a life that is very different to your own. Once I got used to it for a couple of days and just kept thinking positive thoughts I was okay. I did remind everyone every morning to take their malaria tablet that shows that I have a good memory. I have learnt that patience is really important while in Tanzania they don’t care about time especially in the lessons, most of the time they’re 20 minutes late or leaving 20 minutes early.

Q What would you say was your best memory of Tanzania?

Katie: My best memory was when I was in Casimir’s office preparing for the next lesson, a bunch of kids came into the office wanting to draw pictures with me and also they wanted their picture taken. I took a selfie with some of the children, because they had never seen a front camera they were screaming and laughing at their reflection, more and more kids kept showing up outside wanting to have their picture taken. Iwan: My best memory was visiting a workshop for disabled people in Iringa town. We stayed in their guesthouse where many of the staff were deaf. We saw weaving, making elephant dung paper that didn’t smell at all and carpentry. One of the workers was dragging himself along the floor to his workbench, which was a plank of wood on two blocks and a vice. He was chiselling decorations on the timber. He didn’t have the use of his legs.

Q And what have you learned from your experience?


Iwan: Since I got back, I find I am more laid back – if a mistake happens, I just say, “OK it happens” instead of worrying that it needs to be spot on. The workbench was the best thing I have ever made – it wasn’t spot on – some of the wood was bowed – but it was good. Hopefully when we get to see it again it will be alright. I miss the welcome of the people in Tanzania and the way everyone wants to know you. I am seriously thinking I will go back after two years when I have finished third year in college and competition work. I would like to be there for a longer time. I would like to go to Milo and also to Iringa. I would like to teach woodworking in either Milo village where the people were so friendly or in the disabled workshops in Iringa, which I really enjoyed. Katie: I have learned a lot since coming home. I have learned that having a job is important because many don’t have one and don’t earn enough money, so now I take my job very seriously, I used to mess around in work skipping days but now I have learnt that I am very lucky to have what I have. I have learned a lot about their culture and also the environment that they live in, we are very lucky to have tarmac on the roads, while there they only have red dust roads that are very bumpy and uncomfortable to spent 4 hours or even longer on. I hardly ever waste any food anymore, when I'm shopping I still feel like there is too much choice to be had. The time we had in the village was very short, like everyone said to me before I left “once you’ve gone you would want to go again” they’re right I really do want to go again. It’s safe to say that my experience was amazing I would recommend it to everyone that would have a chance to go. It does change your life.

Llythyr gan Elaine

Posted by Eglwys Crist Admin on January 7, 2016 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Anodd credu bod blwyddyn wedi mynd heibio ers i mi ysgrifennu fy llythyr cyntaf atoch i Cloch y Llan fel eich Rheithor. Mae wedi bod yn fraint i allu dod i’ch adnabod a rhannu yn llawenydd a thristwch ein bywyd yma yn Y Bala. Mae’r flwyddyn Gristnogol wedi gwneud troad llawn ac unwaith eto rydym ar ddechrau tymor Yr Adfent – mae’r Nadolig ar ddod....ond nid yw yma eto! Piws yw ein lliw litwrgaidd ar gyfer Yr Adfent – mae yn lliw sydd yn nodi’r amseroedd hynny lle rydym i adlewyrchu a pharatoi – i agor ein calonnau a’n meddyliau yn barod am rhywbeth llawer dyfnach na rhialtwch ac aduniadau teuluol. Gall hyn ymddangos yn hollol amhosib wrth i ni gael ein llethu gan “ Y Nadolig Masnachol “ - yn cael ein cyflyru i brynu mwy a mwy, i wneud mwy a mwy ac i addurno yn fwy ysblennydd.

Tueddwn i wisgo pethau ‘ disglair’, addurno ein cartrefi gyda phethau “ disglair” – a gadewch i ni fod yn onest – mae goleuadau’r Nadolig yn ein llonni ar foreau a nosweithiau tywyll. Gwnawn hyn oherwydd ei bod yn Nadolig....a rydym yn wrth gwrs da o beth yw ein bod yn ymdrechu i ddathlu genedigaeth Crist.....onid e?! Yn bersonol, dwi yn hoff iawn o’r “ disgleirdeb” a’r dathlu. Mae’n rhyfedd sut y gwna y golau bach Nadoligaidd i bethau edrych yn dlws. Ond gallant gael eu defnyddio i guddio sut y mae pethau go iawn, yn enwedig os ydym wedi cael ein “ dallu gan y golau “ ac anghofio beth yw gwir ystyr Y Nadolig.

Mor wahanol yw’r golau a ddaw Iesu i’n bywydau. Nid yw ei olau ef yn dieithrio pethau – dydy o ddim yn cuddio pethau ond yn hytrach yn dangos pethau fel y maent. Os ydym yn byw yn y golau hwnnw fe ddengys y golau beth ydym ac yn ogystal fe ddengys beth yw y cymhelliad tu ôl i’r hyn a wnawn. Dyna pam fod ei olau yn gallu bod yn gymaint o eto’i gyd mae yn holl bwysig bod sialens yn cael ei chynnig i ni o bryd i’w gilydd, ac mae yn bosib bod y Nadolig gystal amser a’r un. Felly wrth i ni baratoi ein hunain , unwaith eto ,drwy dymor yr Adfent i ddathlu yr anrheg orau erioed- genedigaeth y plentyn Iesu, erfyniaf arnoch i ad fyfyrio o ddifrif beth allwch gynnig Iddo yn 2016 – helpu i gefnogi ein gweinidogaeth Gristnogol gyda’n gilydd yn Y Bala fel rhan o gorff Crist yn y byd, a dweud diolch wrth Dduw am ei rodd o Iesu ac am fendith ei Ysbryd Glân yn ein bywydau. Cofiwch – mae golau yn disgleirio mewn tywyllwch – ac ni all y tywyllwch ei ddiffodd. Adnabu y bugeiliaid hyn ac fe wnaethant ledaenu y gair. Cofiwch hefyd fod y gannwyll leiaf mewn tywyllwch yn gallu creu gwrid cynnes.....

Gallwn ninnau hefyd fynd ymlaen yn llawen, gan ledaeni cariad Crist – fel y bydd eraill hefyd yn gallu pelydru, pefrio neu “ddisgleirio” gyda’r cariad hwnnw. Gall fod yn heintus.....a’r anrheg fwyaf ystyrlon oll y Nadolig hwn. Edrychaf ymlaen i’ch croesawi i’n holl amrywiol Wasanaethau yr Adfent a’r Nadolig hwn gan weddïo y bydd ein dathlu gyda’n gilydd yn amser bendithiol a heddychlon.

Boed i chi gael Adfent feddylgar ac heddychlon – a Nadolig yn llawn rhyfeddod.


Gyda chariad a bendithion, Elaine.

Letter from Elaine

Posted by Eglwys Crist Admin on January 7, 2016 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I wrote my first letter for Cloch y Llan as your Rector. It has been a real privilege to get to know you and share in the joys and heartaches of our lives here in Bala. The Christian year has come full circle and we are once again at the beginning of the season of Advent - Christmas is coming... but not yet! Our liturgical colour for Advent is purple – the colour that marks those times where we are to reflect and prepare – to open our hearts and minds in readiness for something far deeper than social fun and family reunions. This can seem impossible as we are bombarded by “Christmas Commercialism” – pressured to buy more and more, to do more and more and to decorate bigger and better!

We tend to wear “sparkly” things, decorate our homes with all things “sparkly” – and let’s face it – Christmas lights cheer us up on these dark mornings and evenings. We do this because it’s Christmas...and we’re celebrating - it’s good that we make an effort to celebrate the birth of Christ – isn’t it?! Personally, I love the “sparkle” and the celebration;it’s amazing how attractive Christmas lights can make things look. They make things sparkle, make things look pretty. But they can be used to cover up what things are really like, if we have become “blinded by the light” and forget what Christmas is really all about.

How different to the light that Jesus brings into our lives. His light doesn’t disguise things – it doesn’t hide things, but shows things for what they are. And if we live in that light it shows us for who we are and exposes the motives behind all that we do. That’s why his light can be so challenging... But then it’s important that we are challenged every now and then, and perhaps Christmas is as good a time as any. Therefore – as we prepare ourselves through the season of Advent to celebrate once again the greatest gift of all time – the birth of the Christ child, please reflect seriously on what you might give back to Him in 2016 – helping to support our Christian ministry together in Bala as part of Christ’s body in the world, and saying thank you to God for the gift of Jesus and the blessing of His Holy Spirit in our lives. Remember – the light shines in the darkness – and the darkness cannot quench it The shepherds recognised this and spread the world. Remember too that it only takes a tiny candle shining in the darkness to create a warm glow...

We too can go forward, joyfully spreading the love of Christ - so that others too will radiate, twinkle even “sparkle” with that love. It can be very infectious..... and the most meaningful gift of all this Christmas. I look forward to welcoming you to our various Advent and Christmas services, and pray that our celebrations together may be a time of great blessing and peace.

Have a thoughtful, peaceful Advent – and a wonder-filled Christmas,

With love and blessings, Elaine

The New School...

Posted by Eglwys Crist Admin on January 7, 2016 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Bala has always been at the centre of pioneering events, whether we think of Ann Griffiths reciting hymns to her maid as they walked from Dolwar Fach to Bala or Mary Jones as she walked from Llanfihangel-y-Pennant for her bible or Thomas Charles who organised the circulating day schools and Sunday schools for local people to continue their education. All pioneers in their time. What have these got to do with the recent consultation on education in Bala? They show that the people of Bala have never been afraid to try new things and to work together for the best in their community.

At the heart of any school is its children and their needs are the most important consideration. I hope that the new school will give the children of Bala and Penllyn the very best opportunities and experiences for an education that is rooted in Welsh culture and heritage based on Christian values. There has been much written about the new school and what it might be like. I answered these questions at the public meetings and had many useful emails and telephone calls with parents and residents who wanted to know more about what it would mean. Some of the most frequently asked questions were:

Will a church school make every child go to church? No Children who go to church schools don't have to go to church

Will you have to go to church to go to the new school? No You don't have to be a church goer to attend a church school

Will you only learn about Christianity? No The PSE and RE curriculum is the same as the one taught at Ysgol y Berwyn and Ysgol Bro Tegid. Children are taught about a range of religions so they are informed citizens in a multi faith society. Collective worship is a legal requirement in every school, regardless of category.

Will this be an English school? No The new school will be a Welsh medium school rooted in Welsh heritage and culture

Will the church interfere in the running of the school? No A Voluntary Controlled School is run by the Gwynedd Council and the Governing Body.

Will the church have control of the Governing Body? No There are 24 Governors and two from the Dioceses of Bangor and St Asaph and two chosen by the Governors from other denominations in Bala.

Will the church choose the name of the new school? No The Shadow Governing Body will choose the name of the school

Why does the church want to be involved in schools? We have always provided and supported schools. We believe strongly that schools should be inclusive places where everyone can reach their full potential.

Why should we have a church School in Bala? There is a mix of both community and church schools in the area. This school will be a new model of school, offering a Welsh education, rich in culture and heritage, and also based on Christian values such as honesty, respect, tolerance and hope.

If Thomas Charles were here today he would see the legacy of the Welsh culture and religion that he worked so hard to promote being developed together in Bala. The community of Bala can show how a school can be developed where language and religion can mix with the importance of the Welsh Language being central to the ethos of the Christian values it has.

It is disappointing that the few people who have written in the papers objecting to the proposal for a new school have not made the effort to see for themselves what a church school offers. They have based their objections wholly on a perception of a historical church that no longer exists in Wales. The Church of England in Wales was disestablished in 1920 when the new Church in Wales was formed.

Today’s Church is rooted in its local communities. We can’t change the injustices of the tithe wars or views of the Church in Wales unless we are given a chance. This is a real opportunity to show by actions and commitment what a new school in Bala might look like. How this huge investment in the town will benefit the children, parents, teachers, governors and the community. We know that there will be a review of the school after it’s opened, so if we haven’t worked with the community, if we haven’t worked to make sure the children in Bala and Penllyn have the very best school, please judge us then. But for now, can we put our differences aside and take this chance to work together creating a school that gives every child the very best opportunities to learn and achieve their full potential.

As Thomas Charles wrote in his diary "All things work together for good." Let us now move forward, working together, for the good of the children.

Rosalind Williams Director of Education and Lifelong Learning

Y Gynhadledd Esgobaethol 2015 yn Bafiliwn Llangollen

Posted by Eglwys Crist Admin on January 6, 2016 at 12:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Yr Anerchiad agoriadol Thema'r gynhadledd eleni oedd Eglwys,Sul,gwyl a gwaith. Fel ffordd gwyreddu weledigaeth 2020 a datgloi ein potensial. Agorodd yr Esgob Gregory ei anerchiad wrth ofyn “beth yw’r Eglwys heddiw” Cymharodd lluniau o’r eglwys o’r gorffennol gyda lluniau o’r eglwys yn wersyll y jwngl yn Calais, A gofynnodd i’r gynhadledd cysidro lle fasa’r Iesu heddiw? Awgrymodd i’r gynhadledd y posibilrwydd tywyll bod yr eglwys yn diflannu fel mae ei haddolwyr hi yn marw allan. Ond mae’r esgob yn credu bod yr Arglwydd a phethau gwell i bobl yng Nghymru, ac anogodd ei chynrychiolwyr i fwrw ymlaen a’i gilydd hefo cenhadaeth Iesu. Yr Offrwm esgobaethol Yr elusen a gafodd pleidlais y gynhadledd llynedd oedd ambiwlans Awyr Cymru.Ac mae’n falch cyhoeddi bod dros £8000 wedi codi gan eglwysi’r esgobaeth i’r achos. Cyflwynwyd y siec I Debra Sims cynrychiolydd yr ambiwlans awyr gan yr esgob Gregory Cameron, Clare Cameron llywydd , a Ros Crawford swyddog yr offrwm esgobaethol.

Y Prif Anerchiad Mandy Harvey oedd y prif siaradwr llysgennad y Cinnamon Network, sef partneriaeth rhwng eglwysi lleol o bob cennad ac elusennau sydd yn cynnig prosiectau cymdeithasol wedi sefydlu yn yr eglwys. Siaradodd Mandy yn angerddol am ei siwrne bersonol a’i phrofiadau wrth helpu eglwysi cyfranogi a’i chymunedau. Disgrifiodd ymofyn yr Arglwydd yn ei chnawd mewn unigolion oedd dim yn unig yn siarad am gariad Duw ond yn fodlon ymroi cariad Duw yn ei bywydau.Un o’r prif ddyletswyddau’r eglwys yw dangos enghreifftiau ymarferol o dywalltiad cariad duw yn ein cymunedau, gan bwysleisio hyn gan ddyfynnu'r gwleidydd di gristion Americanaidd Cory Booker

“Don’t speak to me about your religion; first show it to me in how you treat other people. Don’t tell me how much you love God; show me in how much you love all God’s children Don’t preach to me your passion for your faith;teach me through the compassion for your neighbours. In the end I am not so much interested in what you have to tell or sell as I am in how you choose to live and give” Atgoffodd Mandy ‘r cynhadledd bod gwybodaeth am Iesu Grist yn brin iawn ymysg pobl yn ein cymunedau enghraifft o hyn yn ein plwyf ni oedd adeg gwasanaeth diwrnod y Pasg wrth y Llyn , hogan yn gofyn beth oedd rheswm am y gwasanaeth a beth oedd mor bwysig am y diwrnod hwnnw Wrth feddwl am brosiectau addas i’n cymunedau anogodd Mandy I ni feddwl am anghenion ein cymunedau wrth ddod i nabod ein cymunedau. Caeodd Mandy ei anerchiad gyda’r geiriau Cariad + carwyr bywyd = Duw yn y cnawd = Eglwys eirian Sul gŵyl a gwaith Geiriau oedd dal i weld ar y sleid pan ddiolchodd yr esgob I Mandy am ei anerchiad ysgogol, grymusol ac adloniadol. Caewyd y gynhadledd gan griw o blant ifanc o’r St Asaph youth forum dan arweiniad Tim Freak. Cymysgedd o emynau, caneuon ,pypedau a darlleniadau o’r Beibl.

The 2015 Diocesan conference at Llangollen pavilion

Posted by Eglwys Crist Admin on January 6, 2016 at 12:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Bishop Gregory opened the conference with his presidential address by asking what the church was about. He compared photos of the church in the past, with the church in the jungle at Calais and asked us to consider where would Jesus be found today? He presented the conference with the bleak possibility that to continue as we are will bring about a church which will die well as our worshipers die out. But Bishop Gregory believes that God has much more in store for his people in Wales and urged delegates to “Get on with God’s Mission together. If there’s one message you take away from today,” he said, “It’s get on with God’s Mission together.”

The keynote speaker at the 2015 conference was Mandy Harvey, the Cinnamon Network’s Ambassador for Wales. Mandy spoke passionately and personally of her own journey and experiences in helping churches engage with their communities. She described seeking God with skin on; someone to not only tell her that God loved her but to also be that giver of God’s love in her life. And it’s this practical out-pouring of God’s love that churches and the people within the church should be in their own communities. Mandy quoted an American politician, Cory Booker, a non-Christian, whom she believes describes clearly how Christians should be “Don’t speak to me about your religion; first show it to me in how you treat other people. Don’t tell me how much you love God; show me in how much you love all God’s children Don’t preach to me your passion for your faith; teach me through the compassion for your neighbours. In the end I am not so much interested in what you have to tell or sell as I am in how you choose to live and give” It was Mandy’s closing slide which was still on the screen when Bishop Gregory rose to offer a vote of thanks, which summed up her powerful, inspiring and entertaining keynote speech:

Ahead of the conference, Mandy gave Teulu Asaph an interview, Church is Beautiful when it works well which you can read at Members of the St Asaph Youth Forum, led by the diocesan under 25s officer, Tim Feak, closed the 2015 diocesan conference with an act of worship. After a hymn Calon Lan, a bible reading, and a puppet sketch, the Youth Forum collected the pledge I can do cards distributed to delegates asking them what they can do to unlock their potential. The worship ended with prayers, written by the youth forum and the hymn Be thou my vision.

Tanzania September 2015

Posted by Eglwys Crist Admin on January 6, 2016 at 12:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Tanzania September 2015 Thank you to everyone who came and supported the Tanzania evening on 3rd November. Since then Iwan has given two presentations to students in Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor about his visit and his teachers want him to do a further presentation just for them. An Assembly presentation at Ysgol Y Berwyn was done on 23rd November and Amy Jones has booked us to talk to Year 9 as part of their Development course. Bookings at WI and Rotary are in the diary.

We are very willing to share our stories with anyone or any groups who would like it. Since taking a laptop and laser printer to Milo Primary School in September 2013, the pass rate for progressing to secondary School has risen from 50% to 90% due to the ability to print exam papers for each student. We took 4 more laptops this visit and then had a visit from the four Heads from schools further down the valley asking us if it was possible for them to raise funds and for us to take laptops and printers for their schools. Our link is growing! Education in Tanzania is changing, as it is here, and free Primary education will extend from Year 7 to year 10 within 2-3 years. This is a challenge which Casimir, the Head of Milo Primary School is excited about. He took on board some of our Western teaching methods while Katie and I were teaching English in the school and is hoping to raise funds to come to the UK in a year or so to study education methods here. Katie enjoyed giving him IT lessons while we were there!

While we were in Tanzania we were able to see and approve the purchase of a new vehicle for Milo Hospital. The existing 4x4 is 26 years old and rusting badly, needing many repairs. Money was available from friends of Milo Hospital in London and Gloucester and was being held in St Asaph. The new vehicle was previously owned by the American Embassy in Dar es Salaam and is in very good condition.

The Village Chair and Council in Milo took us all to see a possible new water intake several miles away in the forest. Water shortage is a perennial problem. There is no running water, not even for the hospital which has a standpipe. Many people have to walk some distance during the dry season to fetch water. The intake we observed had a small stream still flowing at the end of the dry season when we visited which showed promise. It will cost about £4000 to build a dam and small reservoir and pipe the water to the village. We have promised to match fund this project. If you would like to support this, please let us know.

The generosity of the people in Tanzania is humbling. We were given the free use of a 4x4 vehicle for the whole time and the best house in Milo to live in – the family moved out for us. Beautiful clothes were made-to-measure for us and we were fed abundantly. We are so proud of Katie and Iwan in the way they behaved, adapted to the culture and related to the people. They were an absolute delight to be with. As a small reward, we enjoyed a two day Safari in Ruaha National Park where we saw 25 lions at very close quarters, leopards, elephants, giraffe, zebra, warthogs, antelope and a huge variety of other animals. Anyone up for the next trip?