Tales from Tanzania - O'Neil Family Blog

Though we have already been in Tanzania for one year, this is a journal of our time at Haven of Peace Academy in Dar es Salaam. Karibu sana.

September 25, 2006

New Website For HOPAC

Check out HOPAC's new website at

We are thankful to Kurt Wilson from Compass Outreach Media for his work in producing a new website and 3 films which you can stream from the website. The new website and films capture HOPAC's exciting work and serve as a tool to communicate our message to prospective teachers and donors. The website continues to be tweaked and adjusted, but we thought you might want to see it now.

We'd particularly like to draw your attention to the "opportunities" section so that you can network and pray on our behalf to fill these positions for the 2007-2008 school year.


September 09, 2006

Back to School

Well, school has started back up at HOPAC as I am sure it has started back up in the States. It is nice to have the campus full of children again and they all arrived excited about the new year. It is always nice to see some of the same faces that have been here for long but there are also many new faces.

The entire reception (kindergarden) class is of course new and includes our own Tommy. They are an energetic bunch of kids with an exceptionally large portion of them being missionary kids. No way to power my camera batteries at the moment but he lost his tooth one of the first days of school. Luckily, someone found it for him under the jungle gym! Is there anything cuter than a kidergardener without any front teeth?

We also have quite a few new teachers this year. There are new teachers from the US, UK, and even other parts of Africa. New teachers always bring in freshness and new ideas and are just great to have around! Please pray for our new teachers as they adjust to Tanzania. It has been made more difficult with power cuts (we are without power during the day and only have it at night). Our new single teachers all live on a compound and just had their transformer robbed. I know this is a foreign concept to us but what it means for them is no electricity for several months while the electric company tries to replace it. It also means no running water in their houses since water pressure must be made by pumping water with electricity. Pray for them as they adjust to new classes, new school, new country, new language, and now, new lifestyle.

Speaking of new, the campus is looking nice with new paint and some new grass. But what we are really excited about is a new science and art building that was opened this year. It is quite nice and the Minister of Education of Tanzania will be coming to campus to see its grand opening. We are also excited to have our first set of 11th graders and we are praying that God will continue to grow the secondary school. Last, but probably most exciting for the kids is that there is a huge pile of dirt on campus - as big as a house - because they have started digging for a new swimming pool. This is especially exciting as swimming is the number one sport in the heat here in Tanzania (besides of course soccer!).

There are a few issues this year that will need prayer and faith. Pray for one teacher who is yet sitting in Germany with bags packed waiting for some papers slowly making there way through the litany of signatures required to get here. It especially hits close to home as it is Benjamin's third grade teacher we are waiting for. Pray for miraculous speed. We also have two other teachers, myself included, who are waiting for paperwork to be processed. I am able to begin teaching as parent volunteer but we are hoping for approval from the Department of Education. We also have several unfilled position in the office where qualified people are desparately needed.

All in all, it is exciting to be back in school! Hope you are feeling the same way as the weather cools in the Sates. Keep us in your prayers as you send your own or see others heading off to school.