CK update and Ravi Coltrane

 In the Carpenter’s Kids office we are getting ready to start doing 2013 distributions. We are working on the distribution calendar and our first one should happen by the end of March or in early April. Each distribution consists of going out to a village and giving all of the kids in the program school supplies, school uniforms, socks, soap, and food.

2013 will be a year of transition for Carpenter’s Kids, the program is shrinking because several links in the United States have fulfilled their five year commitment to the program and will no longer be involved with their CK links in Tanzania. This is by no means a negative turn of events, in fact it should be considered a mission accomplished for the parishes in the States that have completed their role in the program, and they should be applauded for their efforts. They succeeded in supplying children with supplies and food for five years, which gave these kids the opportunity to receive an education that they could not have gotten otherwise. Carpenter’s Kids in the form it is now was always meant to have an end date, Ck was originally meant to support kids in primary school and now some of the children that were originally in the program have moved on to secondary and vocational school, and that has become a very important part of CK. So while the program is shrinking it is also evolving to support some of these kids in secondary school. This evolution also coincides with the retirement of Bishop Mdimi Mhogolo, who has said that after he retires the program will continue in a different format, which for the links that plan on staying involved will be most likely supporting CK’s in secondary school.

 On a different note Chris Dennison, the other CK volunteer, Stuart Bloor, a teacher at the local school, and I have bought a goat. Her name is Ravi Coltrane and originally we meant to buy it because we are having a party at our house on March 15th and she was going to be dinner. Once we saw Coltrane though we realized she was too small so we decided to keep her as a pet, we are going to get a bigger goat that I am going to kill, to be dinner at the party.

After a couple of days though the general consensus of the group changed we decided that even though she wouldn’t be dinner on the ides of March she will be dinner at some point, I initially was opposed to this because I liked the Idea of keeping Coltrane as a pet, but that was before I found out that goats are bad pets. Especially Ravi Coltrane, she runs away from us and doesn’t eat any of the food that we give her. The straw that broke the camels back for me though has nothing to do with that stuff. I have a tractor tire that I flip for exercise and apparently to Coltrane it looked like a great place to use the bathroom, which was the breaking point for me. Coltrane became more trouble than she was worth, so she went from being a pet to a future meal. Also our guards Nelson and Jackson and our housekeeper Margret did not get the concept of keeping a goat as a pet, because in Tanzania if you buy a goat at some point it is going to be dinner, (actually a couple of our friends bought a goat in December and called him Christmas Dinner, I will give you one guess to figure out which meal he was) so even if I had decided to keep her as pet the minute I leave Tanzania she would be someone’s lunch. I know this kind of unusual because back in the States most people don’t actually kill any of the animals they eat, but being here it is part of the culture, so I figured I would give it a try. Other than that not a040 whole lot has been going on.041



  1. Nancy Lisy · · Reply

    But Bri…..I really think Coltrane would fit in fine on S Kensico Ave!!!!

  2. Donna V. · · Reply

    Definitely a pet, Vri. She’s acorable.

  3. Donna V. · · Reply

    Definitely a pet, Bri, she’s adorable. (corrected for iPad autotyping)

  4. Lauren Salminen · · Reply

    Hahaha – Brian, that post really made laugh! Whenever I have someone visit from Africa, they can’t even believe I have a dog in the house. Pets (aside from maybe cats?) are not really a concept well understood there. Hey – maybe we can have it when we visit on Pilgrimage? Although I don’t think it would feed 14 of us! I’m going to be interested to see who actually swings that butcher knife – you or Chris? Somehow I suspect maybe someone else on the compound might be brought in for the deed – like one of the guards? Keep us updated.

  5. Seth Raymond · · Reply

    Hi Brian,

    My name is Seth Raymond, I’m a priest in Milwaukee and a former YASCer (Taiwan). My middle school Sunday school class wrote letters to YASCers today and we would love to send you one. Please send your snail mail address to

    Blessings on your work!


    1. Hi Seth,

      Thank you for following my blog. My address is Carpenter’s Kids, Mackay House, P.O. Box 15, Dodoma Tanzania, East Africa.


      Brian Orlay

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