Friday, July 29, 2011

Vacation Days

It is vacation time here in Mozambique. The kids are off from school for two weeks. We have used the time to clean the school and do a few other jobs we can't do while the kids are around. I have taken the opportunity to show a few random pictures from around the school. Hope you enjoy. While the U.S. is suffering a heat wave, it's still cool here in Moz. They say it stays cool until August, so I'm expecting a change soon.

Br. Lucas travels to Maputo this week to meet with the Department of Education. We are submitting our applications to teach and hoping to receive a salary.

Again, thanks to Patrick Young, CHS '84 and my classmate, we have been operating our big saw daily. (see video in previous post)

A weeks worth of wood cut by new saw
  Our future residence is taking shape and looks great with a coat of new paint. FYI: The brothers will live on the 3rd floor. The 2nd floor will be guest rooms on the left and the school computer lab on the right in the picture below. The 2nd floor will also host the infirmary and counseling office. We hope the bottom floor will be a library and teacher work room. Stay tuned.

Brothers residence (3rd floor)  gets new paint
  Here is a sad story, but I thought I would share it with you. In the picture below you will see a very cute monkey on the back of a bike. As I was walking through school one day a crowd was gathering around this bike so I had to check it out. After a brief exchange, I learned this man was trying to sell the monkey for 200 Meticais or about $6. I tried to explain that what he was doing was illegal, but I don't think he understood or didn't care. Just another day in Moz.

He's saying, "send me home".
  One more SSP (Sustainable Support Project) almost complete: After much work we have finally completed the piggery and will be purchasing pigs next week. Our plan is to start with 3 pigs. I have received a few requests to explain the SSP's. The SSP's are a project of the CHS class of 1984, my class. My classmates got together before I left and wanted to do a group project. We thought it would be good to invest the money raised in projects that would help support the school for many years to come. I will have a complete SSP update on the blog soon, but the projects include the farm, piggery, banana plantation, and raising chickens and goats.

Piggery - Finally ready for pigs next week
  The winter months of June and July are ending here, but we are enjoying the beautiful poinsetia trees which grow so big.

Poinsetia tree outside our house - It's winter here!
 I thought this turkey, which walks around the school grounds, was so random yet beautiful. He also doesn't have to worry about Thanksgiving coming up.

Turkey living in the school yard - No worries, No Thanksgiving

Another SSP - Back property being cleared for corn planting in October -
Huge Mangos trees in background

Friday, July 22, 2011

TDM offers up hope for lab

Met with the director of TDM (Telecommunication de Mozambique) yesterday. This was the second meeting with the director and we have had many visits from the TDM technical staff. They informed us that they will install a repeater-booster on our bell tower for "free". Therefore, no need for a very expensive satellite system. This will finally allow us to possibly have a computer lab in the school, one of our goals. Now we just need a computer lab.

Future Computer Lab - Formerly the Franciscans Community Room

New Saw Belts Mean New Life

It may not sound like a big deal, but getting new belts for our big saw here in Amatongas is an incredible improvement. Thanks to Patrick Young and J.A. Young and Associates from Baton Rouge, La for getting the belts and shipping them here, not an easy task. The new belts will allow us to buy wood at a much cheaper price therefore improving our lives here and providing more jobs for the local people. Please check out the video below.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Br. Angel celebrates 25 years of brotherhood

       Sunday, July 3, the community in Amatongas gathered for mass to celebrate Br. Angel's 25th anniversary as a Brother of the Sacred Heart. The ceremony was highlighted by spontaneous applause and much dancing. Br. Angel took the time at the end of mass to thank all those who have impacted his life and especially mentioned the wonderful children and people of Amatongas.
Brs. Angel, Fabian, Chris and Lucas took
the occasion renew their vows together

Br. Angel is congratulated by a student

We would like to take this occasion to thank all of those who have helped us these first 5 months in Amatongas. We realize each day in prayer that we could not do the work here without much help from our communities around the world, our families and many friends. Ametur Cor Jesu