Abilene High School Class of 1961

December 14, 2007

The Messiah, by Karen Lusby Wiggins from Africa

Filed under: Abilene High School — johnodam @ 3:24 pm

 John and Larry,
>> Thanks for bringing this back to my memory.  The year
>> the A.H.S choir sang THE MESSIAH  was so much fun.
>> THE MESSIAH that we performed that December was also
>> very special for me, too.  My father, who knew nothing
>> about music attended.  It meant so much for him to be
>> there.  I felt as if our performance  was
>> extraordinary in my mind.  As time went by and I
>> attended other not so wonderful productions of the
>> THE MESSIAH, I convinced myself that it could not have
>> been as good as I remembered.  We were just in high
>> school.  At the time, I was so very proud of all the
>> extra work we put into that performance.  I was always
>> proud of the quality of our teachers.
>> We did have fun in choirs.  I remember Mr. Glover when
>> I was at South Junior High School. It was then that I
>> started to believe in myself through those choirs.  I
>> remember going on a tour in Galveston where It snowed.
>> Many of us from the choir went to a pizza place where
>> there were red checked tablecloths on small round
>> tables with candles dripped on wine bottles.  I had my
>> first pizza there.  As we were waiting for the pizza ,
>> someone just started singing  something–sort of an
>> Italian drinking song. Tell me if you remember the
>> song.  Was it an opera? All of us were singing and
>> raising our coke glasses in the air.  I felt as if I
>> were in some sort of musical.  Those who were not in
>> the choir just looked at all of us with wonder and
>> amazement.  Wow!   What wonderful people kept us in
>> their homes!
>> Later, in McMurry I was also lucky to be in the
>> touring choir with Dr.Von Ende.  All these experiences
>> plus being in community choirs in Boston, Mass. and
>> singing Durefle’s Requiem under the direction of Roger
>> Wagner in a performance in Fayetteville, Arkansas,
>> gave my life a rich background to round out my life.
>> Does anyone know if either Michael Johnstone or Carl
>> Best are alive?  I would love to tell them thank you.
>> Here in Africa, I can get energy from those times by
>> listening to our DVD of George Friderick Handel’s The
>> THE MESSIAH  as sung by the choir of King’s College,
>> Cambridge.  We also listen to  our DVD of Mozart ‘s
>> The Requiem From Sarajevo.  We also really enjoy Beth
>> Nielsesn Chapman Hymns which has Adoramus Te Christi
>> that we did one year as I recall.  Her choir sings
>> Latin Hymns.  The few things that we miss is worship
>> time in English. We miss organ music, choirs , praise
>> music and a good old pew polishing sermon.
>> I would like to use this time to thank Joyce
>> (Berry)Johnson, one of our choir friends who has been
>> good enough to pay for my school for one whole year at
>> $250 a month.  She was one of the triplets. Thanks,
>> Joyce.  Now I can continue for two more classes.  My
>> last school was a very good success and the children
>> did very well on the end of the year English Tests at
>> their public school. .  Now I can send 26 more
>> children to my school.  Another 1961 friend, Deana
>> Carmack, sent my class 30 Starfall books that will
>> allow 30 new teachers to teach E.S.L.   When the
>> teachers come to watch my model classroom they are
>> given a packet of Instructions and material to  help
>> with their pronunciation and  methods of teaching.
>> With the Starfall books in that packet, they can teach
>> the rules for English vowel sounds and will have 15
>> small books to allow the students to practice reading
>> in English.  With my last class, after passing the 15
>> books they were able to pick up other books in English
>> and just read it correctly.  New vocabulary had to be
>> learned at this time, but the excitement was wonderful
>> and led them to learn many new things.  After a
>> wonderful graduation on one day, the next day my
>> driver and friend and I drove our two cars winding
>> through the Serengeti watching animals. We had lunch
>> at the Visitor’s Center in the middle with all the
>> moneyed people from the world over.  Many from all
>> over the world get to see the animals that belong to
>> my class and on that day, they did too.
>> This was my first time to drive on a safari. Some
>> field trip, huh? For pictures of last years  school go
>> to:
>> http://web.mac.com/ninjapenguin/iWeb/Mama%20Africa%27s%20Shule%20%28school%29/
>> Thank you so much friends for praying us through.
>> *Our One Book Foundation is talking about building me
>> a classroom so  we will be out of the way when
>> missionaries come to give Sanitation and Hygiene
>> classes.
>> *Our good friends in Fayetteville, Arkansas have
>> raised the 2,500 dollars to buy and send the container
>> and collected a container of books so in February we
>> will open the first ever Public Library in Bunda. Now
>> we will be entering them into the computer and
>> labeling them.
>> *We have made and either sold or had donated over 50
>> Bio-Sand filters to clean their water. Head teachers
>> at schools say the illness goes way down when they
>> have a filter. They were presented with an award by
>> the Government of Tanzania because of all the charcoal
>> they did not use boiling water.  It cost 60 Dollars
>> and in three months of not buying charcoal it will pay
>> for itself.  Many are learning the significance of
>> these filters.
>> God Bless,
>> Karen (Lusby) WIggins
>> Mama Africa


October 12, 2006

Message from Karen Lusby Wiggins to the AHS Class of 61 45th reunion

Filed under: Abilene High School — johnodam @ 9:39 pm

John, If you can read this to the group, I would be so
happy.  Thanks John!

Fellow 1961 A.H.S. grads,

I am sending this little note to give you  just a
small taste of Tanzania, Africa.  All of us were
blessed to have the safe, happy foundation of Abilene,
Texas, in the fifties.  That culture of “A hand shake
and a promise is better than a contract”  world gave
us all strength we did not know we had.  I am forever
telling God, ” But remember, God, I am just a
kindergarten teacher! That is a good Idea! Find
someone else to do that!”

These are some things I have learned as I live here:

Happiness is helping others help themselves.

Contentment is laughing with others about your
mistakes and life.

Joy is a retuned smile and wave from a small child

Brilliant is solving problems using only what is

Rest is tired bones snuggling under a mosquito net.

Respect is saying shikamu to our elders and saying
marahaba to those saying shidamu to us old folks.

Shikamu- May I sit at your feet and learn from you?
Marahaba- Certainly you may. Thanks for respecting me.

MMmmmmmmm is hot buttered biscuits made in a dutch
oven over a kerosene stove when the eletricity is out
(which is often).

Humbleness is standing with friends and watching them
grieve for their lost loved ones to Aids/HIV and

Connectiveness is a letter in the mail box. 

Excitement is the electricity coming on after a week
with out it.

Appreciation is Juliana (our cook) stopping her
cooking and cleaning and kneeling at my bed and
praying me out of malaria.

Reminders are the Texas blue sky with puffy white
clouds and the smell of the rain coming right here in
East Africa.

Lifesaving is teaching ways to clean the water and
providing sand filters.
Music is hearing the sounds of chickens, roosters,
donkeys, cows, goats and many birds all day long.

Longevity is planting trees and helping in the
reforestation plan in the Lake Victoria region.

Elation is the lifesaving rains coming after the dry

Generosity is watching many neighbors getting water
from another neighbor’s well.

Welcoming is sharing our greetings back and forth for
five or ten minutes to Tanzanians one at a time.

Freedom is a very small child feeling totally safe
singing a song as she walks alone for a mile to
collect water for her family.

Rejoicing is singing and moving and dancing and
praising God, with young and old at church.

Informative is N.P.R and B.B.C. from Berlin.

Hopefulness is providing work for others that had no

Hilarity is ordering cold wet underwear in Swahili
instead of cold bottled water (my husband actually did

Refreshing is listening to giggles in the cool
afternoon and watching children happily playing with
tied-up plastic bag balls, Galimoto, and just each
Galimoto is a home made toy from the Book ‘Galimoto’
by Karen Williams

Interesting is watching the customs of maasai and
other tribes.

Regret is knowing children are dying of dehydration
because I have yet to teach the mothers.

Closeness to God is watching His free animals in the
Serengeti National Park.
Love is chatting on line with my sons and their wives.

Being rich is having a warm shower or bath.

Surprise is finding beautiful silver hair under my
bottle blonde hair.

Gifts from God are double rainbows, beautiful
sunrises, and sunsets.

Delicious is fresh spinach and tomato salad from our

Relief will be to have a library in Bunda with many
books and having a story hour each day. With English
books the children can learn English so well they can
pass the test to continue their education.

God Bless you all. Have a wonderful time at our

May 20, 2006

“Remember When”, submitted by John Marshall, AHS 61

Filed under: Abilene High School — johnodam @ 9:13 pm

Very good, go to, double click:       http://www.marycy.org/remember.html

May 8, 2006

Filed under: Abilene High School,Uncategorized — johnodam @ 3:28 pm

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