Birika!!! That’s the Swahili word used by teachers, students, and community members to name the tea pot asterism in Sagittarius. With dark skies (magnitude 7 on the Great World Wide Star Count chart) it was great fun finding deep sky objects during a month-long teaching experience in northern Tanzania.
In October Chuck Ruehle returned to Africa for a second year of teaching astronomy, optics, and light. He shared his love of astronomy and left almost 250 pounds of equipment and resources with five secondary and two elementary schools on Mt. Meru (4,566 meters). Each of the seven schools received either a 50mm Galileoscope or a 70mm Vixen Space Eye telescope, a tripod, three or four modern eyepieces, and other astronomy related materials. Traveling most of the time by Land Rover, he often lived off the grid between fifteen hundred and three thousand meters while staying in the villages of Kikatiti, Kitefu, Ngarenanyuki, Songoro, and Mulala.
From mid June to early July Chuck Ruehle, a Racine Astronomical Society member, traveled from Wisconsin to Northern Tanzania in East Africa.
One of his activities included sharing telescopes and his love of astronomy with secondary students and village communities on Mt. Meru. Traveling and living between six and ten thousand feet the eight member mission delegation stayed in the villages of Mulala, Kilinga, and Kyuta. From their location on the side of Mt. Meru (4,566 meters) the delegation enjoyed viewing the dark skies, especially objects like the Jewell Box in the Southern Cross. They also arranged for stops at Ngarenanyuki, and Songoro secondary schools.