e-mail from Erwin
22 Aug 2006
forgive this long email it is especially for those who
would want to know some details.
know that many of you would have wanted to be here with us at
this time but couldnt it is a hard time as you
can imagine, receiving so many people at our house, preparing
and bringing closure to this undesired event in our lives. Below
is an outline of the service used for the funeral that you who
were not with us can imagine it. The funeral service was unbelievable
the turn-out of people from every race & tribe, the
church as you might imagine overflowing, with some people standing
TWO HOURS to hear tributes and the singing!!! well, it
was deserved for our dear Esther. She touched so many lives.
We gathered at the Arusha Community Church on Monday at 2:30pm
for viewing of the body those who want to and
at 3:30pm we proceeded inside. Afterward at the Ilboru cemetery
there must have been 500 many from that village community
where we lived for 16 years plus those of us who drove up from
town church, singing spontaneously as we laid her body to final
rest. We are still recovering from this outpouring
of love and care from those who have known us all these years.
The grave was piled two feet high in flowers the Tanzanian
pastor likened it to Josephs coat. The Ilboru cemetery
is where Esthers parents, Hans & Ruth are also buried.
Following that we went to friends, Dave & Eunie Simonson,
for a reception remembrances and fellowship food.
we know how much you loved Esther, you would want to help us
through our grief together. We are buoyed up by the prayers
of many. We are also sending this to some who did attend but
might have asked for this summary.
we are learning to take a day at a time
new employer has been very understanding and said he should
not return to work until Elliot and Eric fly back next Sunday
so we still have an unexpected week together! God is
Ethan, Elliot and Eric
THE LIFE OF ESTHER DORA KINSEY-WILDBOLZ
was born on 2nd June, 1946 in Mbeya Hospital, the second child
and only daughter of Hans and Ruth Wildbolz, a Swiss family
who farmed in the Southern Highlands. Her earliest memory was
of falling down the gangplank of the SS Langhiby while debarking
at the Suez Canal enroute to visit relatives in Switzerland
- a rare trip made by her family. An elderly Egyptian man consoled
her and gave her a sea shell which she kept to this day. Her
early days were spent on the tea estate which her father managed;
her childhood memories were of playing with Tanzanian children
in the staff houses where she also learned the Kinyakyusa language.
Her mother often treated estate workers for minor ailments from
outside her kitchen door; this, together with her frequent play
as nurse with her patients being fruits from a sausage tree,
helped orient her toward nursing and midwifery which she pursued
later in life. Esther loved the views from her childhood home
of the Livingstone Mountains cascading into Lake Nyasa. In those
days the winding dirt road from Tukuyu to Mbeya was a full day
trip, not the one hour tarmac journey of today.
was a boarder in Mbeya School from first grade and saw her parents
only four times per year. The distance and profound longing
for her family, while something quite natural for children in
those times, did impart in her a strong sense of compassion
for children separated by schooling, including her sons as they
began their boarding years away from home. She loved her parents
intensely and never experienced years of rebellion. Her education
was through the English schooling system of Tanganyika, including
middle-school years at Kongwa and high schooling at Iringa.
She was a good student and sportsperson, but remembers the inevitable
lashes in the Principals office for minor offences, the
tears in her bed at night when no one noticed. She used to keep
a pet chameleon in the dorm.
appreciated a wide variety of Christian diversity from the various
mission influences of her parents friends, the Anglican
school disciplines, Swiss Reformed father, Pentecostal mother
and grandparents, and interdenominational fellowships in Mbeya.
It was while in England that she grew to have a stronger personal
Christian commitment in her life. During these years she studied
and worked her way through the East (now Royal)
London Hospital, and later midwifery training in Bristol. When
she finished she looked for jobs in Tanzania but they were not
easy to come by. Times were uncertain for her family during
the early years after independence and they encouraged her to
consider emigrating as her brother, Daniel, had done, to Australia.
decided to go to Canada, and obtained work in Nanaimo Hospital,
Vancouver Island, BC where she nursed for nine years. From here
she made a good income and was able to fulfill her lifelong
wish to travel the world. She made trips across south Asia and
throughout North America from which she would relate vivid impressions
years later. Upon realizing that her parents were unlikely to
follow her to Canada as had some of her friends parents,
she sought a way to return to her homeland Tanzania in the mid-1970s
where she obtained work at the Baptist Hospital in Mbeya. Later
she also nursed in Chimala Hospital and at the Mbalizi Evangelistic
Mission. It was during this period she met Erwin, and they were
married on October 31st, 1981.
work with Heifer International required them to move immediately
to Arusha. They lived in Ilboru from where Erwin managed his
work and Esther managed their home and garden. Three wonderful
sons were born, Ethan, Elliot and Eric, all at KCMC in Moshi.
Esther became very involved in starting a parent-run pre-school,
continuing the work of the International Womens Club,
supporting the Arusha Branch of the International School Moshi,
Sunday Schools of the Anglican Christ Church Arusha and later
of the Arusha Community Church. Soon she was providing fresh
garden produce, yoghurt and cheeses, to quite a number of friends,
something which is still continued by the staff she trained.
was an avid bird watcher, gardener, gourmet cook and home-maker.
Many in the community can give testimony to her joy of life,
bright spirit, animated conversation, wide interest in people
and events, and readiness with advice for pregnant mothers and
ill children. Her keen sense of social responsibility found
a channel of action through the church Projects and Benevolence
Committee. In her prayer life she practiced the presence of
God, something which affected those with whom she prayed. She
enjoyed her flower garden, her home and her private life with
her family. She was a loving wife, mother, daughter, extended
family member and neighbor. A natural care-giver, she will be
sorely missed by all who were privileged to know her.
and Esthers 25 years together would have been celebrated
in October this year. She desired so much to continue her life
here, but God has something better for her. Her 21 month battle
with cancer was courageously fought, her faith an inspiration
to any who witnessed it. She did not stop looking outward to
the needs of others even during this time, her hope steadfast
is survived by her husband & three sons, by her older brother
in Australia, and by aunts, uncles and cousins in Switzerland