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January 27th 2015
Published: February 2nd 2015
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6. Travelblog

TUESDAY - January 27, 2015

A big day..

Today - January 27, 2015 was the "Fixing of the Touchstones" ceremony at KARUCO. The Bishop and Dr. Katabaro had been storing the touchstones since Groundbreaking at KARUCO on October 11, 2012. The three touchstones were given to our Partner KAD at the groundbreaking occasion to signify and honor the support from ETI and two ETI donors - The Estate of Jacqueline Nolte Jones and The Oswald Family Foundation - that were instrumental in getting KARUCO started and in getting the first buildings built. The three touchstones were to serve as encouragement for family and friends associated with the touchstones to come to Karagwe and touch the stone at KARUCO.

That happened today when Christopher Jones visited the KARUCO site for the first time and saw for himself, the building that stands because of the generous donation from the Estate of Jacqueline Nolte Jones - his mother.

The Bishop drove Christopher and me to the KARUCO site where a group of about 70 were gathered. After greetings, Bishop led us on a tour of the Academic Zone: The Administration Building, the Labs, the Library and Media Center, the 2nd Classroom, and then the 1st Classroom. The buildings looked strong and quite beautiful, made with local labor, local rock and brick. Interiors were well done, bright and cheerful. We encouraged Bishop and Brighton to utilize the classrooms for seminars or other courses to begin use of the buildings even before the opening date of KARUCO - October, 2016. Christopher and I were ushered to the head table while guests lined the room. The choir sang, the local radio station recorded, people snapped photos, smiles were abundant, and the mood was very festive.

When the choir was finished Bishop welcomed everyone, thanked God for our time together, and introduced the guests. After more music from an outstanding choir, Brighton gave an overview of KARUCO. It is amazing how much has been done in such a short time. More music and then the Bishop gave a short message on the importance of working in the body and community. People were encouraged to work together for a higher purpose. People always enjoy that Bishop's messages are short.

It was time for the "Fixing of
Jacqueline Nolte JonesJacqueline Nolte JonesJacqueline Nolte Jones

Opening Doors Through Education
the Touchstones" ceremony. We exited the building and gathered around the pink satin cloth hung on the side of the building. Christopher slid the cloth to the side and unveiled the three touchstones. ETI at the center top, the Estate of Jacqueline Nolte Jones at the lower left and the Oswald Family Foundation at the lower right. There was a brief silence and then a collective breath taking it in. Christopher was beaming. The Bishop reiterated the impact of Jacqueline Nolte Jones and the legacy she is leaving for future generations in Karagwe. He impressed upon the group gathered that one person, with vision and heart, can have an enormous impact. Very touching.

We re-entered the classroom that was built from funds from the estate of Jacqueline Nolte Jones and were asked to give a short speech. I reiterated the Bishop's message that each person is responsible to contribute as Christopher's mother did; that no matter how big or small, each contribution matters and each person has something to give. I congratulated all on their efforts, and thanked all for our warm welcome. I also gave the District Commissioner and District Mayor each an ETI t-shirt which they accepted graciously. I closed by offering support for some requested upgrades for tile floors. Christopher gave an amazing speech. He addressed the dignitaries, thanked all, and then told the story of Jacqueline Nolte Jones - his mother. He shared how his mother was from a family that understood agriculture and education. She did not make decisions easily. At a time when she was nearing the end of her life, she listened as Christopher shared the KARUCO vision. At one point she made the determination to move forward and said, "Let's do it!" Those words and that decision became the pivot that started KARUCO. Her decision enabled the first classroom to be built. That first building encouraged the local people that their dream of a university would come true. Importantly, her decision prompted other donors around the world to see that 'something' was happening at KARUCO, and they joined in to help build KARUCO. To date there are eight buildings
Laying Eyes on KARUCOLaying Eyes on KARUCOLaying Eyes on KARUCO

Christopher sees KARUCO for the first time
on the site - begun by one woman's decision to be part of the story. Christopher closed his speech as he presented a framed portrait of his mother, saying "Bishop Bagonza, I introduce you to Jacqueline Nolte Jones". Bishop Bagonza received the portrait thanking Christopher and his family for all they have done for the future generations of Karagwe.

The District Commissioner who just lost her father, asked for special prayers. After some time in prayer, we all shared a special lunch together brought in by Edina's staff from the hotel. After, we loaded into the Land Cruisers and gathered at the landmark peak. Christopher was amazed at the view, the site and the possibilities. Bishop and others threw out ideas about water delivery, a restaurant, and other businesses connected to KARUCO. We are in strong need to keep focused on agreed-upon goals. After a beautiful time 'at the lookout' we said goodbye to our friends and returned to Kayanga.

It was a big day.

Take me to the Educate Tanzania website:www.educatetanzania.org


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