Asante Sana Holy Family Staff, Bell Park, Victoria... rafiki zetu....

Thank you so much Holy Family School staff......our friends!

With your generosity you have given us the gift of language. The Kiswahili/English dictionaries you donated to us with your 2011 Xmas Kris Kringle money will be appreciated for a lifetime! We have progressed from Pre Formal class into Form 1 and are excitedly looking forward to learning all our subjects in English. The new buildings will be completed this week. One of them is our dormitory. We have been day girls this past two weeks however, Jumapili hii, this Sunday, we come to SEGA with a change of clothes and our soap .... and sleepover....the first of many more!!

Holy Family staff, we will remember you. You are now a part of our family.
Asante SANA rafiki zetu.

Celebrations: 50 Years of VSO in Tz....SEGA featured in their publications

VSO Tanzania
50 Years of Partnership
During the latter part of 2011, I had the pleasure of three CUSO-VSO (Canadian branch of VSO) representatives visiting SEGA and witnessing the intensive work being done. Much of the interview information, pictures and videos were used in the promotion of the work being done by VSO Education in Tanzania. Shown above is the front cover of the book published to recognise and celebrate 50 years of VSO’s active participation in Tanzania which features my Pre-Formal Intensive English class. 2011. Nasura is just one of our many focused and hungry students desperately wanting to, and working hard towards, succeeding in mastering their command of the English language.
Educating girls out of poverty

VSO is assisting teachers to use participatory methods at the Secondary Education for Girls’
Advancement (SEGA) School in Morogoro

When Lucy Richard was 14, she was a “house girl” who
cooked, cleaned and washed laundry for a family in return
for room and board and a small salary which she gave to her
impoverished, widowed mother. After the first month, the
salary disappeared and she was trapped in a job destined to
keep her illiterate, dependent and poor.
One day at church, her pastor told the congregation that a
new secondary school for girls was starting up in Morogoro
and was looking for students. She talked to the pastor after
the service, walked for two hours to the school office and
was told the intake process was already completed. But she
was determined to go back to school so they let her write the
entrance exams anyway. “The headmistress came to my house
and said get ready for school- I passed the exam,” Lucy says,
her smile widening at the memory. “I was so happy. I jumped
up and down and I prayed.”
That was three years ago. Today, Lucy, aged 17, is one of the
most promising students at the Secondary Education for
Girls’ Advancement (SEGA) School in Morogoro, an institution
for motivated but economically disadvantaged girls who
otherwise would have no access to a secondary education
because of poverty or teenage pregnancy.
“I get an education, I get books, I get all I want here and I
have my friends to study with in group discussions and I have
others to teach me when I don’t know things,” says Lucy.
“So much is needed here in Tanzania,” says the school’s
founder Polly Dolan. When she learned that some girls were
prostituting themselves in exchange for room and board while
attending school, she came up with the idea of SEGA. “You can
help get communities out of poverty by educating girls.”
Volunteer Fran Bruty has been training SEGA’s Tanzanian
teachers to use participatory tools to enhance their skills and
hopefully increase the quality of education the girls receive.
She’s also been helping with English language instruction.
“They all want to be doctors, accountants, engineers, pilots
and teachers,” says Fran, of the students. “It’s really rewarding
to see their enthusiasm.”

The previous two pages were featured illustrating our work and the reality of the girls we are supporting. Lucy is a very dedicated, hard working student who has a naturally inquiring mind. She is moving quickly in her learning, guided and supported by her teachers and their commitment to nurturing higher level thinking skills and participatory learning techniques in their education.  
During the annual VSO conference held in December 2011, the video reflecting the 50 years of work engaged in by Tz VSO, was shown together with the distribution of the published book.
Whenever we have visitors come to SEGA our girls welcome them by singing the “Welcome Visitors” song. We had done this as Lisa, Laurie and Scott (CUSO-VSO reps) had joined our Intensive English class. I had joined the girls in song as I usually do when it is my own class welcoming our guests. This footage, together with the informative interview done with Polly, Director of SEGA, was featured during this documentary spotlighting SEGA and sharing our vision and that of VSO education, to..........
educate girls out of poverty.

.....and soThe 2012 SEGA school year begins.

It is now a week later and I am back into the swing of life in Tz. I spent Sunday, 8 January at school welcoming the girls as they arrived back @ SEGA from their holidays. Their enthusiasm, excitement and intense love for their SEGA family blazing! I was squeezed so tightly by them all and the shine in their eyes and broad smiles, blitzing their faces, said it all.
They are the reason I have taken myself away from my dear family. They have softened the blow and intensity of emotions I have been trying to contain in facing the reality of being back and not seeing my loved ones for another 12 months. I know I am in the right place. I love being able to give to the lives of these girls and to support my colleagues, SEGA and Nurturing Minds, in their endeavor to nurture our girls into a rewarding life.
 The staff had met for two days of planning and preparing for the school year. New blood brings new skills and fresh enthusiasm which was evident in our staff as our new Management team settled in. 

With Salome leaving we have a new Head Mistress: Clementina Karaziki; together with our other new teachers: Deputy Head and Physics teacher: Anastazia Lukomo; Academic Master and Geography/History teacher: Enock Gray; Book Keeping/Commerce teacher: Alex Omony which allows Joffrey Lubega to move into a non-teaching role of Book Keeping for SEGA. Kennedy Wilson, has stepped up into a full time position teaching English/Civics; Esupat Songoyo will continue part time with us as our Kiswahili teacher.
Our 2011 staff who have returned are: veteran Grace Johns (Biology/Chemistry) who has been with SEGA since its conception in 2008; Pauline Rusisye (Counselor Polly/Lifeskills); Noami Mabina (Computers/Communications); Sylvanus Maguba (Maths);   Lydia Kleine & Jessie Voohese (US Volunteers involved in almost all areas!). 

 Clemetina greets the staff in her new role as Head Mistress.

 Enock and Anatazia discussing the schedule
 Sharing ideas

Great communication happening 

 Preparations continue.
Lydia, Pauline, Naomi, Jessie.

 Finding files and sorting out offices.
Enock, the Academic Master's office.


A VERY, VERY happy staff completing their day boarding Noah, our new school car, for the first time
....Room for 9 passengers.....comfortably seated, air conditioned, 4wd, comfortable seats, moon roof to let the fresh air in and even if we have to put a few extras in....a high roof for extra head space (as I'm usually the one sitting on someone else's knee I will appreciate this space!!!)....Frantastic!
The staff didn't want to get out at their homes that night. They wanted to drive around Morogoro all evening and show everyone their limousine! Thanks SEGA.

 Whilst our Maasai askari's whiled away their day. Centre back is Thomas my own askari!
....and so 2012 SEGA school year began....slashing grass...washing grass slashing..........then classes began! Everyone wass so happy and the year is feeling great!
 Lush and green the growth was overwhelming but it was soon reduced to a tidy, safe height.
 The staff shared some muscle. Well done Maguba for setting the example!
 Even with so much energy being used to slash, Faith still had the energy to sing and dance as she waited for her turn with the scythe. 
Our girls were so happy to be back!

 How many people does it take to move ONE table and a chair??! 
Their laughter and smiles told me that at least they were having fun.

 Moving furniture down into the nearly completed classrooms. The white one is the new classroom block.

Satisfaction as their environment was nearly clean!

Deliciously home again in Aus….then so quickly I had to leave!

And so 2012 has begun but 2011 finished memorably...most of it spent at home in Aus!
I left Tanzania Sunday 4th December after limping out the year suffering malaria followed by a chest infection. I wasn’t too healthy leaving the country but, in good Aussie spirit, I managed to party with, and farewell, some of my dear friends who were finishing their VSO placements here in Tz to continue their careers back in their own homelands. Great reasons for me to continue traveling the world!
 Jim, Pam, Hanna (aka Sean) Claire (aka Paddy) and me (aka Mickey)
Arriving at Tullamarine airport, Melbourne, nearing midnight, Monday 5th December, minus my luggage which hadn’t made the 1hr transfer at Doha, I was enveloped in the warm hugs and kisses of my three darling children! Oh how special to finally be able to hold them closely again.
I stayed with Gem in Melbourne then on Tuesday we arrived in Ballarat to arrive unexpectedly on my very surprised, emotional Mum! She knew I was coming home but didn’t know it was going to be so early in the week!  
 It was so nice to chill out in front of the TV with Gem and Mum....armed with cups of tea, chocolates, books, chat and everything at my fingertips!!! (sorry Gem..I know you didn't really want me to print this one but it perfectly represents being home! xx)
I spent the first week feeling as though I was in a bubble. I have been around Christmas shopping in Australia for a long time so didn’t expect to be so culturally shocked. I felt the intensity of all that was around me: the vast selection of items in the shops and the endless buying of seemingly incidental necessities…both large and small, expensive and inexpensive. It was challenging being around the unending quantity of things…… so I stayed away from the shops and retail as much as I could and spent my precious time in Aus with my children, family and friends.....

Ballarat with Mum and the family gang and friends; Melbourne with Gem and helped her move address to a lovely town house in Moonee Ponds; Torquay and the beach with AJ, Dyl and Kiz….having the grand tour of the impressive headquarters of Quicksilver which is the workplace of both Aidan and Kirrily...and the Roxy/Quicksilver factory outlet where Dyl is wooing all the customers with his charm!…......breathing in the ocean walking the warm beaches, getting my fix of the pounding surf and harsh summer sun;
Bells Beach where the boys surf. Renowned for it huge waves and also The Bells Beach Surf Classic which is an International surfing competition  held annually at Easter time.

I spent several days hiking the beaches and cliff tops soaking in this beauty.

Dyl and his mates checking out the waves before heading in for a surf. Disappointing as the waves were only small stuff but still good fun.

In my borrowed Gringo cap....loving it all!

Quicksilver Headquarters, Torquay, Victoria, Australia!
Kirrily and Aidan's workplace

...and just down the road....
Dyl's headquarters....well where he chats, sorts, organises... and sells great cheap gear!

.... sharing Christmas lunch with Sandie’s family then back to Mum’s for our traditional Bruty gathering…..
Christmas morning and time to open our pressies.

Gran reading our '2011 Y-Worry Rag'
...An annual production distributed every Christmas day which shares the goings on in the Bruty family. Contributions of events are given by all (well almost all) members of the family and are tirelessly collated then published by my Dear Bil, Colin together with his very patient wife, Eily and IT savvy son, Grant.
ASANTE SANA guys for your dedication to capturing our special family's many memorable moments.
We all love it  .....
especially Gran!!!

An Aussie Christmas lunch outdoors at the Deveralls..what a perfect setting for a perfect day!
Me, Sandie, Les, Nick, Ange and Mum (and Dee was taking the pic!)
Sandie had asked me what I had missed? I remembered one of the nights  when I had first returned. I had been sitting out the back of the Gdaks home in Geelong with Evie, drinking champagne out of fine glasses watching the girls play and the sun set. 
"Fine glassware, champagne and good wine!" I replied!
I opened their present to find 4 beautiful wine glasses especially to take to Tz. 
(I wasn't sure if I could get them back in one piece but.....I succeeded....and guess what??...even water tastes fantastic being consumed from a fine wine glass!!! My first celebratory drink when I returned to Tz was a shot or two of  Johnny Walker Red whiskey on ice. I had managed to buy a bottle duty free on my return and, as I didn't have any other alcohol in the house, it was appropriate! Yes, I have since been to the duka and bought quite a nice bottle of red to really celebrate my return, my wonderful memories of my time at home and the safe arrival of all 4 glasses! So decadent!!)

Us all together in one place at the same time!...
 nili furahi SANA...I was sooooo happy!
.....all 'slightly' sunburned....
surely we should know how to live in this harsh Aussie sun by now!!?

....and so the eating, drinking and celebrations continued around Mum's Christmas table...!

My wonderful family: Tony, me, Evie, Mum, Jules, Sandie and Eily

The boys in the kitchen!
...and the girls finishing their cuppas

'The grand kids'...(and the big kid hiding at the back!)
'The Bruty Gang' 

Traditional Christmas birthday wishes were sung and candles blown out.

The three tall boys...Dyl, AJ, Grant....and one short Tony! (can you see him??)

 Our three eldest girls: Dee, Kathryn and Gem (her sunburn getting redder as the night progressed!)

My boys and their little idol LJ

Mum (Bibi Gemma) Auntie Mollie, me, Lynnie and Doug Thompson
Oh how wonderful it was to be home amongst the people I love so much…..we ate, drank champagne, talked and talked and took the annual family pics (about which no one complains these days because each pic holds such wonderful memories!!); visited Bacchus Marsh friends …such a short time to try and catch up on 15 months of goss….Geelong with Evie’s gang and her school family; "Yes I’m selling Trav, my car…….no I’m not….I can’t bear to part with him!!"....Melbourne again: more dear friends.......

Too much emotion to be bottled up and kept inside so when I left Melbourne at midnight on Tuesday 3 January, farewelled by Kiz, AJ, Dyl and my Darling Bloss, Gem….it hurt.
Farewells have never been easy for me.
I love you all.
  Dyl, Bloss, me, AJ, Kiz.