Blog


April 4, 20180

by Mary Duda

Preschool and Elementary

In Tanzania children 5 years of age are eligible for pre-primary public education for two years, although it is not mandatory.  Kids from age 7-13 are supposed to all be enrolled in free public primary school (Standard I-VII), but families must still pay for school supplies and uniforms.  If the family has no money, their children cannot attend school.

Preschool kids playing with balls for the very first time

Help from Nebraska

The Nebraska Synod of the ELCA Lutheran church teams up Tanzanian Lutheran churches with Nebraska churches to provide support for these families.  My church, Trinity Lutheran, has been supporting the Lyamanyaki Parish for over 11 years.  We provide uniforms and school supplies for orphans and families in financial need.  We have also established chicken and rabbit raising programs, and milk storage facilities so families can earn income.

Secondary Education

Secondary school kids

Children age 14-17 are eligible for 4 years of secondary ordinary level education (Form 1-4).  However, children in many low-income families are expected to go to work at age 14 or even earlier.  Some kids work for more well-off neighbors as servants or farm laborers.  If they are lucky enough to escape this fate, students must pass the Primary School Leaving Exam at the end of Standard VII in order to go on for 2 years of public secondary advanced level education for ages 18-19 (Form 5 and 6).  Only about half

of the tested students pass this exam.

Trade Schools

Trade school students

The ones who don’t pass can attend trade schools that might teach sewing, cooking, nursing, wood-wo

Wooden organs made by trade school students

rking or metal-working.  If their family runs out of money, these schools often make a plea to American visitors to provide scholarships so these students can finish their studies.  If you are interested in contributing to a scholarship, joining a Tanzania Vision Trip like the one we went on, or just to find more information please visit http://nebraskasynod.org/ministries/globalmission/tanzania/elct.html .

 

 

 


February 26, 20180

by Mary Duda

Mari Susette Sandoz was a Nebraska novelist, biographer, lecturer, and teacher. She became one of the West’s foremost writers, and wrote extensively about pioneer life and the Plains Indians. Wikipedia

March 2, 2018 is Read Across America Day.  So in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday and to promote children’s literacy I am sharing with you one of Mari Sandoz’s writings.

This is a letter she wrote to her students:

 

My dear Students,

If I could endow every young person in Nebraska and in the world with two things, and two things only, I should choose not beauty or fame or power or riches.  I should choose to endow you with courage and a love for reading.

With a fondness for reading you would have at your elbow, as often as you liked, all the strange and precious things of the world and never have to guard them against thieves and never have to dust them at all.

And with courage — ah, with courage you would find that all the obstacles of the world shrink away before you and are as nothing.

Take these two gifts then, if you will.  They are yours, not from me but from yourself.  And if you go out as a teacher, office worker, housewife or any other position, even writer, they will serve you well, particularly if you wish to be a writer will you need these two gifts ever with you.

Sincerely,

Mari Sandoz

Courtesy of the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society of Nebraska

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January 4, 2018

by Mary Duda

In the corner is our standard everyday toilet, also called a Western-style toilet, because it is common in western countries like America, Canada, and Great Britain. It is meant to be used sitting and can be flushed using water.

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December 31, 2017

by Mary Duda

Bananas are Amazing!

Did you know there are over 1000 kinds of bananas in the world? In the United States of America, we usually only eat one kind, the Cavendish banana, which unfortunately is being threatened by the fungal Panama Disease. Scientists are working to create a resistant banana before the disease hits Latin America, where the majority of bananas are grown. 

Little banana varieties

Brown bananas

Bright red bananas
Red Bananas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some photos of some different sizes and colors of bananas. Botanists, scientists who study plants, say that a banana is a type of berry. It is the fruit of the banana plant, which is not really a tree, even though they can grow more than 12 feet tall. They are actually an herb distantly related to ginger, since the banana plant has an herbaceous stem instead of a woody one.  

Banana Flower
Banana Flower

Bananas grow upside down in BIG bunches like the women at the Tanzanian market carry on their heads.  The huge purple thing on the end of the stalk is the banana flower, also called the banana heart.  The heart or flower is also edible.

Tanzanian Marketplace

wrapping banana stems
Wrapping banana stems

Normally the ones we find at the grocery store are picked while green and ripened atthe store or in your home.  You can put green bananas in a brown paper bag where the ethylene gas made by the bananas can build up and make them ripen faster.  You can also ripen other fruit like peaches or pears with the paper bag trick.  Adding a banana to the peaches in the bag will speed up the process even more.  If you don't want your nice ripe yellow bananas to get all brown and spotted you can separate each banana in the bunch and wrap each stem individually in plastic wrap.  This prevents the ethylene gas from escaping as fast and slows down the ripening process.

Banana seeds
Banana Seeds

Since banana plants have been commercially grown, the plants are sterile and the seeds have gradually been reduced to tiny specs. That is why you can’t get a banana plant by burying one from the grocery store. So how do you grow a banana plant? Basically, you clone the original plant by separating shoots growing from the main stem. Banana offshoots are also called pups or suckers.  Can you grow your own banana tree?  Yes, even if you live in a cold climate.  The Musa variety is cold resistant, and the Basjoo variety can even survive Minnesota winters.  You can find them on the internet.  A farm that raises banana plants is called a plantation.  Each shoot only produces one bunch of bananas, so they are often harvested by simply cutting down the main stem.

banana plantation
Banana plantation

Banana propagation
Banana Pups

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plantains

baked stuffed plantain
Baked Stuffed Plantain

You might have noticed plantains for sale at your grocery store. They look like a big green banana. Plantains are a species of banana used for cooking instead of eating raw. You can bake, fry, boil, roast, or mash plantains and add them to stew, soup, rice, and many other dishes. In Tanzania, almost every meal includes plantains or bananas.

 

Banana Peel Uses

Banana peel also has many uses.  You can put a peel on a splinter to help loosen the foreign fragments in the skin and heal the wound.  To stop a scratched DVD or CD from skipping, rub it with a banana peel to fill in the scratches without damaging the plastic finish.  Rub it on your skin to remove ink stains or sooth insect bites.  Banana peel can be used to remove warts, polish shoes, dust plants, or even whiten your teeth.  If you are a gardener, grind up banana peel, used coffee grounds, and empty egg shells in a blender or food processor.  Add a spoonful of the mixture to your houseplants or garden plants as fertilizer.  Visit 20 Uses for Banana Peels for more ideas.

 

 

Education in Tanzania

April 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

Preschool and Elementary In Tanzania children 5 years of age are eligible for pre-primary public education for two years, although […]

Read More

Mari Sandoz’s Letter to Her Students

February 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

Mari Susette Sandoz was a Nebraska novelist, biographer, lecturer, and teacher. She became one of the West’s foremost writers, and […]

Read More

Toilets Around The Globe

January 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

In the corner is our standard everyday toilet, also called a Western-style toilet, because it is common in western countries like America, Canada, and Great Britain. It is meant to be used sitting and can be flushed using water.

Read More

Going Bananas About BANANAS!

December 31, 2017 | 0 Comments

Bananas are Amazing! Did you know there are over 1000 kinds of bananas in the world? In the United States […]

Read More

Kids Love Kids Around The Globe Books

December 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

Kids Love Kids Around The Globe Books Through funding from the Trinity Reads Program we gave 325 copies of my […]

Read More
letter2.jpg

December 18, 2017

by Mary Duda

Kids Love Kids Around The Globe Books

Through funding from the Trinity Reads Program we gave 325 copies of my book, Noel From Tanzania, to second grade students in six low-income schools in Omaha, Nebraska. I read my book to each of these classes.  Students from Ms. Grant’s Second Grade class wrote me these wonderful thank you letters expressing their appreciation for my visit. My favorite letter is the one that exclaims "We enjoyed reading about Noel and especially his toilet."

Thank you letter from Ms Grant's 2nd Grade classSylva's thank you noteRed heart letterSecond Grade thank you noteVirginia's thank you noteHeart thank you noteJennifer's thank you noteAbraham's drawing

 

Purple heartChanna's thank you noteNadiya's thank you noteNote picture

Silver's thank you noteAiden's thank you noteBreatna's thank you note

Education in Tanzania

April 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

Preschool and Elementary In Tanzania children 5 years of age are eligible for pre-primary public education for two years, although […]

Read More

Mari Sandoz’s Letter to Her Students

February 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

Mari Susette Sandoz was a Nebraska novelist, biographer, lecturer, and teacher. She became one of the West’s foremost writers, and […]

Read More

Toilets Around The Globe

January 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

In the corner is our standard everyday toilet, also called a Western-style toilet, because it is common in western countries like America, Canada, and Great Britain. It is meant to be used sitting and can be flushed using water.

Read More

Going Bananas About BANANAS!

December 31, 2017 | 0 Comments

Bananas are Amazing! Did you know there are over 1000 kinds of bananas in the world? In the United States […]

Read More

Kids Love Kids Around The Globe Books

December 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

Kids Love Kids Around The Globe Books Through funding from the Trinity Reads Program we gave 325 copies of my […]

Read More