M.H.S.= Middletown High School, Connecticut, where I graduated in 1962. My sister, Sheri, informed me that Melilli, Sicily is Middletown’s Sister City. And the church in Middletown is based on the design of Church of Saint Sebastian Martyr.    So, we had to swing through on the way to Agrigento.              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melilli

Taormina - Melilli - Agrigento - Palermo (47c)

That’s Dave and Caroline by the rental car as we arrive in Melilli.

Taormina - Melilli - Agrigento - Palermo (52)

BELOW is the church where Apollonia Vitelli was wed to Michael Corleone in the movie The Godfather.

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Turkey – Italy – Sicily

Istanbul day 3 (6)

Inside Hagia Sophia

Istanbul day 3 (3)

The real whirling dervishes, a sect of Islam. The whirling is meditative and prayerful.

Istanbul Guided Tour (38)

Outside our hotel: Best Western Empire Palace, Istanbul


The Key to England

Henry II had some serious damage control to tend to after he allegedly ordered his buddy Beckett’s murder. So he built Dover Castle to distract and impress his constituencies. Of course, he could not predict how useful these fortifications and secret tunnels would become in defending against Adolf and company many centuries later. We enjoyed a very informative tour of the WWII tunnels yesterday. (no photos allowed) For more info see http://www.historyextra.com/visit/dover-war-tunnels

Just write

That’s what hit me just now, “Just Write.” So…here we are in our hotel room in Canterbury. It is Thursday and my alto angel, Barbara has been singing at Canterbury Cathedral for almost a week now. She does not feel so well and we skipped today’s side trip to Leeds Castle and Rochester so that she has a voice left with which to go on singing tomorrow.  https://twitter.com/No1Cathedral/status/760008489989185536

Our flights from Windhoek, Namibia to London’s Gatwick were a mixed bag but Air Europa booked us on a later flight from Madrid on Iberia Airlines to London after we missed a connection; we were only about three hours late. Still had a lekker geslaap (good sleep).Carrying our backpacks and another bag was hard on us, especially on my right knee and feet, but here in Canterbury I found a large duffle bag on wheels that will take both of our packs and fold into a small pouch when empty. So we’ll be putting the weight on the floor most of the time instead of on our legs and feet. We’ll both save a lot of energy.

The stabbings in London where we were last week have me now looking at people to see if they look crazy enough to hurt strangers. We still plan to visit Turkey next week. Safety is an illusion? Then we go to Pompeii where Vesuvius quickly killed tens of thousands of people. Then to Sicily where immigrants and mafia are problematic. Then to France. But what could go wrong in France?

On a positive note (from a hummer) we have met some wonderful new acquaintances here and love being with the choir again. St. Albans and Canterbury have been beautiful and peaceful…and lush with greenery!



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The choir rehearses mornings at this Baptist church!


Our favorite cheerleader helps us get orientated.


Ann, Sarah, Ken, Holly and me with Barbara and Jo enjoying Canterbury cuisine…er…from Morocco. Excellent evening!

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Phylis at the city walls of Battle near Hastings


A Battle bench.


Fancy an urn so fancy.


Battle near Hastings



[27-July, Windhoek]  People have been asking us lately, “So how do you feel about leaving Namibia?” And I say, It’s okay. It was the plan all along. I’ll miss a lot of the people I met – both Namibians and Americans. I’ll miss the challenges, although I expect more to come. I wish my understanding of how to navigate toward my goal of helping people had come to me faster. Maybe I didn’t ask enough of the right questions. Maybe if I had insinuated myself into the lives of Namibian’s. But that’s now water over the dam – or under the bridge – spilled milk. I know I had some positive impact. And that’s enough for me. Besides there are some things I will be doing from Ohio to further my contribution to the good people in Namibia via the wonders of modern communication technology. So tonight, as we make sure our seat backs and tray tables are in their upright and locked positions, I will see the Land of the Brave slip away and feel a tinge of sadness blended with hope for the future of Namibia as a maturing country and for the Namibian people who contribute their best efforts to making things better every day.

Beauty Pageant

Beauty pageant right there in our front yard! And a fabulous dinner at the Canyon Hotel. Enjoyed Carol-Ann, Candy and Geraldine’s company.

Love from Charmilla


01July 2016 Central Lodge Katrina and Nicole (5)

Did you thank a teacher today?

I was humbled and honored to address the teachers and learners of Kronlein Primary School at Friday’s Prestige Awards Ceremony where the top learners and teachers received certificates of achievement and public recognition. There are over 1,000 learners at Kronlein PS and they were a perfect audience. It was so good to see them and their teachers receive recognition. Congratulations to Principal Coetzee and his staff not only for a well-run event, but for the concept they have embraced and implemented so well. https://www.facebook.com/kronleinprimaryschool/

My outline for the presentation:

Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.


These important things you could not choose:

  • Where on this planet you were born.
  • What year in history you were born.
  • Your parents.

Even a few years later you could not choose your

  • Food.
  • Healthcare.
  • Immediate environment.

But as we get older we start making our own choices more and more each year. Now – every moment in life we make a choice …and never about the past. Every choice is a change. So have the courage to make good choices.

Because every choice you make is about the future. And not just your future, but the future of all the people that you may connect with over the years. All the people you may influence throughout your life.

That’s exactly what teachers do. And in a very big way. Every day. They make choices to have a positive impact on your future…so that you will have the intelligence and spirit to do the same for the rest of your life for others.

Knowledge is Life. [school’s motto] But teachers don’t give you knowledge. They present knowledge to you on a gold plate. Only you can make the choice to eat or not to eat from that plate. You may understand that reading and writing are important. But those skills and habits you develop today are absolutely the keys to unlocking many doors so that you can enjoy your lives and make the most of your lives.

And who can show you directly to those keys? Your teachers. Please ask yourself, “Do I appreciate my teachers?”  Ask, “What do my teachers need?” A few years ago during Teacher Appreciation Week a sampling of teachers were asked what they want most.

1. Teachers want to hear how their teaching connects with their students’ lives.

When a parent asks what you ‘did’ at school today, instead of saying ‘nothing,’ explain something that you learned: what ‘irony’ is, or the definition of ‘resilience’. Could they share a few statistics they read about the history of slavery, or that their shirt was made in a country that utilizes child-labor? “I’d love to know what my learners tell family and friends about our class and their learning – it would really make me smile.”

  1. Teachers want to have former students contact them.

“Last week as I was sitting at my desk after school, one of my former students walked through my door. He was man-sized! I asked how old he was and what he was doing. He told me 19, and that he was enrolled at the university. Then he said, “You know, I wanted to tell you that I’m actually going there because of your class. When you took us on that field trip to the campus and showed us around, I could picture myself there. It was because of you.” I could hardly hold back the tears. Six years later, for him to come back to tell me that, made my heart swell. It made all the hassle of field trip forms, parent drivers and permission slips worthwhile. For teachers, seeing our students growing up and turning into happy humans is all the appreciation we need.”

  1. Teachers want to know they matter.

They didn’t start teaching because they felt it was their responsibility to become substitute parents, or because they wanted a lot of money, or to do anything except make a difference in the lives of learners. Teachers are service-oriented professionals who, for the most part, want to earn enough money to support their family, live in their community, and send their own children to college. And at the end of the day they want to know that their tired brains and stacks of papers to grade are worth it because they matter in your life. You cannot overdo it. You cannot thank your teacher too often or show too much appreciation for their hard work, dedication and commitment to your future.

You know, every year has a Teacher Appreciation Week. Make it every week. Pick a day… choices! Tues, Weds, Fri …doesn’t matter, but on that day every week thank your teachers!

So remember, Knowledge is Life… and Education is Gold.        Always Go for the Gold [current FB motto]. 

Thank you.

Oranjemund II

NCCI Oranjemund 21-24 APR 2016 (15)

Barbara serving up the meat at our Thank You braai Saturday night. These are warm, wonderful and talented folks. A pleasure to know them.

Oranjemund Programme Schedule 21-24 April 2016

21-APRIL we jumped on a kombi and headed to Oranjemund for the second time to do business trainings and consultations under the auspices of NCCI (Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry). Our first visit was in July. On Friday we had one-hour consultations with entrepreneurs. Barbara had a second hour with her clients on Saturday while I conducted workshop presentations on Sales, Business Plans, and Personality Traits of Effective Business People. All of our efforts were well received and mostly effective. We met some wonderful people and were treated like royalty. Early Sunday morning we returned to Keetmanshoop.

sample slide

Moving through the business plan…using PowerPoint.


NCCI Oranjemund 21-24 APR 2016 (13)

Met with the owner of this restaurant…where we had dinner in July and again last month. I had some suggestions…starting with the “book’s cover” before moving inside.

NCCI Oranjemund 21-24 APR 2016 (13r)

A rather graphic suggestion for Berronnies Restaurant.



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