Photo: Stephanie Makosky
Father Juvenalis Ndaula will soon graduate with master's degree in educational administration from St. Ambrose University in Davenport. Father Juve will be returning to Tanzania after graduation.
DAVENPORT — A Tanzanian man who has lived in the United States for about six years will take something precious back to his country.
"The education I have, for me, is like a treasure," said the Rev. Juvenalis Ndaula, known as Father Juve.
Today, he will graduate from St. Ambrose University with a master's degree in educational administration. In June, Rev. Ndaula will return to the Rulenge-Ngara Catholic Diocese in Tanzania.
When he arrived in the U.S., he had a bachelor's degree in theology, which he earned in Rome. In 2009, he received a bachelor's in education history from St. Ambrose.
St. Ambrose offered him a full scholarship, and the Catholic Diocese of Davenport provided a place for him to live at the St. Vincent Center in Davenport. He said another priest from his diocese will come to the Quad-Cities after he leaves.
Rev. Ndaula said he could be a teacher or administrator when he returns to Tanzania, but he expects to be an administrator because of his experience. In Tanzania, his bishop appointed him as superintendent, and he served in that position for four years.
While earning his master's degree, Rev. Ndaula interned at Assumption High School and the Rock Island-Milan School District. His internship with Rock Island schools ended earlier this month.
Ken Jaeke, district director of instruction/assessment, said Rev. Ndaula is a "very astute man" who gained a "wealth of experiences" during his time with Rock Island schools.
He said Rev. Ndaula spent his internship in "different settings, different locations throughout the district" so he could gain experience at all age levels.
Rev. Ndaula said it was a "different world" when he arrived in the U.S.
It was a little embarrassing because people had a hard time understanding him, he said, adding that although he speaks English, there are a lot of differences between American English and the British English he speaks.
Rev. Ndaula also speaks Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Italian, Swahili (his national language) and Kinyambo.
At the Rock Island Academy, he said he was able to talk to Swahili-speaking students in the English Language Learners, or ELL, program. He said he wanted to be at a diverse school, and "see how these kids (in ELL) were accommodated."
He said there are a lot of refugees in Tanzania, including in the Kagera region, where he's from. One of the challenges he will face when he returns is a lack of instructional tools. Without certain tools, he won't be able to put some of what he learned to use.
"When I go back home, no computers, no Internet," he said, adding that he's looking into getting used books and computers sent to Tanzania.
Rev. Ndaula said he made many friends here, and he'll miss them, as well as the quality of life. In Tanzania, he said it can take a six- to eight-hour wait to see a medical professional in a hospital, compared to a half-hour wait here.
"America is a beautiful country, for school, infrastructure, education, all these opportunities for your kids," he said.
Although he likes the U.S., he wants to go back to share what he's learned, he said, adding that his bishop sent him here to study "and then go home and educate."