Monday, September 26, 2011

Meeting the Challenge

Father Andre Coindre, founder of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, met the challenge of his day when he secured support from his friends to help the orphans in Lyon, France back in 1821. Today, we are trying to help the orphans and other poor young men and women in Amatongas, Mozambique. Thankfully, we also have support from so many friends. It is a good time to celebrate the Brothers of the Sacred Foundation Day on Friday, September 30.

Thanks to all the volunteers helping to
"Meet the Challenge" at their 1st car wash fundraiser

“Meeting the Challenge” is a great title for this blog entry. A Non-Profit Organization, "Meet the Challenge", started by students from Catholic High, St. Joseph's Academy, University High, and Episcopal from Baton Rouge, LA designed to promote equal educational opportunities to help break the cycle of poverty throughout the world was gracious enough to partner with "Mission Amatongas". Because of their efforts Mission Amatongas will be able to support more orphans during the next school year beginning in January. Young people from across the globe helping other young people to have an education, proper and adequate nutrition, improved hygiene and health opportunities as well as a formation that includes social, physical and spiritual needs is indeed a breath of hope. Please help this group when you get a chance.

Also thanks to another organization of young people in college, HIA (Health Initiatives Abroad),  who had a great fundraiser called “Art for Africa” They are raising funds to help our school build a health clinic and infirmary.

SSP (Sustainable Support Project Update)

These four little pigs took their time arriving in their new home, but here they are enjoying a nap in their feed trough. Thanks to the Catholic High School class of 1984 these Sustainable Support Projects will hopefully help support the school and help us become self-sufficient as soon as possible. 

Along with the pigs, we now have goats, chickens and even a few new dogs to help with security. The German Shepard puppies may not look mean now, but wait a few months.

"Ama" and "Tongas"
 We received good news from the Bishop last week about expanding our land for the farm. After the war ended in 1992 there was apparently a land grab and people just used whatever land they wanted to raise crops. Unfortunately, a large portion of the original mission property, which was quite huge before the war, is being used by the local people or abandoned. It's difficult when you don’t know what land you can and can’t use for growing food for the school. However, after his recent visit, we received the permission to use more land next to the old pig house. It will help us expand our corn crops to 2 hectares, which we hope to plant next month. Again, all the work of clearing and maintaining the property, as well as buying the seeds, was made possible through the SSP program and the CHS ’84 class.

Bathroom Update


Though they are not finished, we wanted to include updated pictures of our bathroom renovations. The renovations were made possible by a generous donation in the memory of the mother and father of Br. Noel Lemmon, SC, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Louis Lemmon, Sr.,  We are hoping the renovations will be completed in the next few weeks. You can see by the pictures how much the renovations were needed. More pictures will be posted in a few weeks once completed.

LSU Tree

Mozambique celebrated LSU’s new number one ranking by sprouting beautiful purple flowering trees. We are grateful for three days of rain in the last two weeks helping our vegetables, bananas and flowering trees to flourish.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Amatongas Car Show 2011

If you haven't noticed, I love the cars and trucks the kids make out of scraps from home. I thought I would share a few more pictures. It wouldn't be right though if I didn't also include the proud owners of the vehicles. Share these with your family and friends and perhaps your children or grandchildren will get some ideas to build their own cars and trucks.

I tried to get some closeups as well. The one below I call the ATV, the biggest I have seen so far. He put a great deal of time in this one.

The thing I like about this car is the builder spent time constructing a hood and side panels.

 OK, an antenna on this sports car was an eye catcher.

This simple but useful design was actually a working truck when I saw this young man transporting grass.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Burn Season

For those of you looking for more information on the local people and the effects of drought, the article below from All Africa News is a great article. Most of the people living near us, actually including us, have small farms. We are waiting for the first rains to come before planting our big corn crop.

Climate Change Threatens Smallholder Farmers

Arlinda Cunah, 34, listens to her solar powered radio.
As a disaster management volunteer it is her duty to pay
attention to flood and cyclone
warnings and to alert her community
I publish this article because water has become such a big cause of concern for us. I know I have taken water for granted for way too long. During the last few weeks we have had a few scares when the pressure drops and a town about 18 km west of us, Inchope, has no water. How can a town have no water?

We are trying to find information on drilling a new well. There doesn't seem to be a company near by, so our search is expanding. We may have to look into Zimbabwe or South Africa.

Our work continues here as usual. Some projects are nearing completion such as the bathrooms, pig house and our residence. I'll have pictures up soon. Unfortunately, after purchasing our first four pigs from the Franciscans in Chimoio, two of the pigs died even before being transported. Actually, we aren't sure if they were our pigs that died or just two in the litter and they delayed the transport until they find the cause.

Finally, our wonderful Land Cruiser that I'm sure was used in that TV show back in 70's "Wild Kingdom" (I think that was the name) has broken down twice in the last few weeks leaving us stranded on the side of the road. Being stranded on the side of EN6 highway in the middle of nowhere Mozambique is a wonderful experience, by the way, that everyone should have once in your life. It's even better during the burn season. Oh yea, the "burn season". This is the time of the year when all the people use semi-controlled burns to cut the grass and old corn fields. A lovely smell and the smoke is everywhere.