Language School: Our Schedule, Monkeys, & the International Scope

Our language school has an amazing program for our children; they are woodcarving, jewelry making, singing songs in and learning Swahili.  It is such a blessing to know that our children are fully engaged and enjoying life here along with us as we study Swahili.  Our schedule is rigorous, but quite enjoyable: 


Wake up 6:15

Breakfast- 7:15-8:00

(Drop the kids off at ‘kindergarten’)

Class- 8:30-10:00

Tea Time (awesome!)- 10:00-10:30


Lunch (with the kids)- 12:30-2:00

Class- 2:00-4:30

Tea Time- 4:30-5:00

(Free time – playing ball, walking to the duka [shop], visiting with other TCDC students)

Dinner- 6:30-8:00 


After that we put the kids to bed, do our homework, rest and start over again the next day! 


It is quite a schedule, but…

Tunajifunza Kiswahili!

(We are learning Swahili!)



Lyndi drinking in Swahili.

Lyndi drinking in Swahili.

There are many amazing aspects of the school we are attending – we could write a novel on this alone. A couple of things that we truly appreciate are the monkeys and the diverse international scope. 

First, the monkeys: anyone who knows our oldest son, Aidan, knows that for many years monkeys were his topic of interest.  The first day of school at MS-TCDC we were greeted at our cabin/dorm by an amazingly friendly and curious vervet monkey welcoming us on the roof of the cabin.  As it jumped from our temporary dwelling to the adjacent trees of a lush forest we looked up to see a whole family of monkeys greeting us.  Now, at the time, we were not sure how to take this greeting, especially Lyndi who still swears that there was some form of paw prints on our closet door. Since we all have gotten a bit more comfortable with the playful creatures, we have started to marvel at their presence and enjoy this form of cohabitation of man and animal that from our previous experience we can only equate to the squirrel/human relationship.  On the first day of classes the kids even got to play on playground equipment while there were real monkeys swinging on nothing other than – the monkey bars!

Another wonderful aspect of the school is that its primary purpose is to serve as a training centre for development and to that end, strengthen sustainable development, promote good governance, and increase international understanding.

For us, this means that while we take part in one small aspect of what the centre offers – Swahili training – we also get the opportunity to meet people from all over Africa and the world who are engaged in fascinating work.  The highlight for me was meeting a man who oversees NGO-related activity focused on abused and neglected children in Kampala, Uganda.  The plight of the children in Uganda is at the epicenter of how my attention turned toward Africa. We are meeting people who do development in Dar es Salaam, Duke students here on an intensive international studies program, World Wild Life Fund workers, we even met an amazing woman who was born in southern Sudan, lives in northern Sudan, and has probably lived through more than I can even imagine.  During this stage of our journey, one month in, we are sensing that God continues to prepare us each and every day. 



This is the mountain that overlooks our language school.

This is the mountain that overlooks our language school.


Last weekend we (all 11 of us- the Miller and Buckley clan {This is one of those, “We would never do this in the States” moments.}) got in the “gari” and traveled to downtown Arusha.  During this trip we encountered a Tanzanian cultural experience that I captured on video out the roof of the car.  This “band in a pickup” is part of a line of cars in a wedding celebration.  We saw three of these on this Saturday drive alone.  Enjoy! 



9 Responses to “Language School: Our Schedule, Monkeys, & the International Scope”

  1. chelsea Says:

    yay for monkeys, swahili and new posts.

  2. kirsten Says:

    AMAZING! I’m so glad you’re having such a good experience at language school! Love you guys!!

  3. Fred Kohn Says:

    that video was awsome! So glad you are posting..I love reading this stuff and check you blog daily!


  4. Kaufmans Says:

    Hello! *blowing kisses* I am still in awe of you guys and very proud. Thanks for the updates. Much love and prayers for you all!

  5. erik Says:

    thanks for taking the time to post! it’s great to experience arusha through your words and photos!
    we love you. liam is really missing aidan.

  6. nikkip Says:

    i love the band on the truck! that’s so cool

  7. Amy Says:

    Mambo Buckley family!
    My younger cousin, Kit, is a student at Thomas Worthington and heard Mr. Buckley speak in February about Tanzania. I finally found your website/blog again today and was thrilled to see you are in Arusha! I hadn’t read where you were, but recognized the location from the video of the wedding party! I love Arusha on Saturdays! Are you going to be living there instead of Dar? What language school are you at?
    I have visited Tanzania three times since June 2007 and am obviously in love with the country–the landscapes, the people, the simple happiness everywhere you look despite such struggles. If I had known you were in Arusha, I would have tried to get in touch before my mom and I went in July. 🙂 I volunteer/stay at Nkoaranga Orphanage about 30 minutes from town (by taxi, much longer by daladala).. I am going to return in the next few months to further pursue adoption and I’d love to meet up. My email address is if you get any free time between the kids and Swahili courses.
    I hope to talk with you soon!
    Amy Summers

  8. kjames Says:

    i love the video! and monkeys!!! YAY! thanks for posting. i love updates from you guys.

  9. Grace Says:

    Hi Buckleys in Tanzania

    I have just returned from my 3rd visit to Tanzania and this time I went to check out if i’ve been hearing a call to mission on my life and so was googling language courses in Arusha as my missionary friends in Dodoma were recomending them and came across your blog. Would be great to hear more about where and how you studied swahili and what you are doing now….

    Many Thanks

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