Hujambo na Karibu!
Here we go! My first blog. Well, what shall I talk about! Let's see. I've been here for about 7 weeks and there is so much I can write about that I don't know where to begin. So, I think for this first time I will just simply tell you what I plan to do with this blog. I hope to share with you my experience of living as a Capuchin friar in Tanzania. Duh! I guess you already knew that.
"Well, Brother James! How are you going to do that?" I'm glad you asked.
I will share stories of some of my travels, the work I am doing, encounters with people and the life of the Capuchin friars of Tanzania. With their permission of course. For those of you who have no clue what a Capuchin friar is, I am tooooooo lazy to expound on that here. Sorry! I suggest you visit the following websites and maybe do something like go to the library, or download a book on your electronic thingamajiggs.(iPods, iPads, and all those other wonderful tools.) I am not going to do your homework for you. Teachers! Maybe you can assign a report from your students on famous Capuchin saints or the Capuchin's contribution to the United States.
To my brother Capuchin friars and Franciscan scholars, if you have any recommendations, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, since I am a blogging novice and have no clue about the rules of blogging, I will consider that an opportunity to try to be as creative as I possibly can. The problem is that internet access is limited here in Tanzania. You have to purchase internet access in bundled packages of various amounts of Megabytes or Gigabytes for certain time periods(Days, Weeks or Months). Whenever you upload or download something like pictures or email, your data access is depleted. Therefore, I have to be prudent regarding how I use my data access which affects the size and the type of content I can upload to my blog. Despite this difficulty, I hope to upload lots of pictures, videos and audios. I am thinking of doing interviews with various people I meet. We will see how that goes. I will also share many of my pictures on my flickr account(http://www.flickr.com/photos/65910478@N06/). When I figure this blogging thing out, I should have a permanent link for that on this blog.
If you are an experienced blogger, I say to you, "Wewe ni mwalimu wangu, mimi ni mwanafunzi wako." Whatever you have to offer me is greatly appreciated.
I also plan to give a Swahili word or phrase to you on every blog. Let's start with one that is very important to know if you are a Catholic, especially if you are a priest or member of a religious institute staying in Tanzania, Kenya or any area in East Africa where Swahili is spoken. If you are visiting a church or walking public and someone says to you "Tumsifu Yesu Kristu," the response you should give is, "Milele amina." Google it and find out what it means. You may hear this many times a day in your travels. By the way, now you know what the title of my blog page means.
I also plan to have guest bloggers. Don't be surprised if I invite you to share your knowledge with my subscribers. If you have been to Tanzania before, done missionary work, have some insight you think might be helpful or something strikes you as interesting, I may invite you to share some thoughts. I am especially open to having young people write and share their giftedness.
Something else I think I should mention is this. Knowing myself, I possess very firm spiritual, political and moral views, and I can be very forthright in how I express them. I will try to behave, but know that I can have views which strongly conflict with yours. Feel free to email, Skype or call me if you would like to discuss something further. All my contact info should be on this page somewhere. If not, I will get it on here.
Overall, I hope this blog will be exciting enjoyable blessing for all. I pray that my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit blesses every word, thought and deed put into this project. And may you and your loved ones experience the power of His grace, love and mercy in your homes and within your hearts. AMINA!(No, it is not a misspelling. It is Swahili for "Amen")