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.

The two schools and the Mulala Lutheran parish each received a telescope and tripod, two modern eyepieces, and other astronomy materials.  Instructional sessions ranged from a brief equipment overview in Songoro, to introductory training in Mulala, and an evening viewing at Ngarenanyuki.  At the sessions Chuck was able to show teachers how to use these instruments when instructing the students about astronomy and optics, and sharing the Southern night sky with children and adults in their communities.

Since returning, Chuck has stayed in communication with teachers and community members.  A community member from Mulala reports that with the end of the rainy season that skies are clear and views are great.  A science teacher from Songoro reports, “. . .our students are real excited and enjoying watching the stars. Thanks to you for providing us with a telescope. In fact my students are wondering why those object in the sky are not falling down.”

Chuck is continuing to support this work.  Recently another delegation from the area took classroom teaching materials about using the Galileoscopes and learning about optics, plus  the recent NOVA two hour program, “Hunting the Edge of Space” to the schools and community.



In addition, he hopes that reports like this one will make it possible to take more Galileoscopes, tripods, and astronomy materials to other secondary schools in the area sometime in the coming year. As high quality, low tech instruments, the Galileoscopes are great tools to use in these very remote locations.

Special thanks for donating portions of the equipment and supplies taken in June go to members of the Racine Astronomical Society, the Astronomical Society of Kansas City, Adoration Lutheran Church in Greenfield, WI, and individual donors.

Chuck Ruehle is a retired Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastor, community organizer, and trainer. He loves to teach adults and young people, especially his five grandchildren, about the beauty of the universe and the night sky from Southeastern Wisconsin.  He can be reached at



Acting Headmaster and Geography teacher Aloyce Mbuya at Songoro Secondary School was pleased to receive the  astronomy equipment from Chuck Ruehle.  The material will assist students as they prepare for National Education  exams in October.

Each location received a telescope and tripod, two Modern eyepieces, and other astronomy materials.


Students and instructors from Ngarenanyuki Secondary  School did night time observing of the lunar landscape



Students and Community leaders at Mulala Lutheran Parish did some  daytime observing of a grazing cow. That brought smiles – as the cow  appeared upside down in the eyepiece.


Mt Meru (4566 meters) and Mt Kilimanjaro (5869 meters) became familiar vistas for the delegation members.  They also enjoyed viewing the Jewel Box in the Southern Cross.