Thursday, February 28, 2013

Superior General Visits Amatongas

Br. Jose Ignacio (right) and Br. Ray Hetu (left)
The Superior General of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart arrived Wednesday to begin his official visit to the community in Amatongas. Br. Jose Ignacio Carmona is joined by General Councilor Br. Ray Hetu. Brothers Jose and Ray will be visiting for about a week. They are just finishing a two month visit to our brothers communities in Eastern and Southern Africa, Lesotho, Zimabawe, Zambia, Kenya and Uganda.

The brothers join our boarders for supper each night

Resident students perform a traditional dance for the visitors

Residents students welcome our special visitors....

....with personal letters.

Residents helping to dry corn on the roof

Resident students in the new school uniform

Who doesn't have tons of corn drying on their roof????

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Electricity Out Again

The electricity was out most of the weekend, my only real excuse for not posting. That should be sufficient. Actually, we have been pretty lucky here of late. The electricity normaly goes out during rain and/or wind, however there was no reason this weekend.

I meant to upload some of these pictures in my previous post, but I just recently found them buried in our computer.

Residents read over the rules and regulations of program

The new residents are welcomed by the old

Br. Fabian knows how to mix the new guys in with basketball

Our Director, Br. Lucas, organizing in the office

This weekend members of our Immaculate Conception Parish youth group helped with harvesting the corn and planting beans. They are putting in some service before getting ready to go as a group to the Diocese wide Palm Sunday weekend celebrations about 50kms away near Chimoio. Some of our residents are members of the Youth Group as well.
The people here love roasting fresh picked corn, yummm

Marcos, one of our Resident Monitors, joins in the work

Parish Youth Group picking corn

Random Pic of the Day - Our local market across the street from school

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Resident Students Return

Our 54 resident students returned to school a few weeks ago and are doing well. They are very happy with the quality and quantity of food we serve to them. Our menu varies each day from chicken, pork, fish, couve (Spinach), and is served with the staple of the African diet around the continent Massa, ground corn that's boiled similar to cooking grits back home in Louisiana. Of the 54 resident students 25 are orphans from the local area. We now have a long waiting list of students wanting to live in our dorm and we are awaiting funds to begin counstruction in order to expand to 100 students.

Br. Angel entertains even the little ones

Residents organizing supper

A little gravy is always good on Massa

Five hundred meters of fencing is presently being installed around our front farm. This was seen as an urgent need to prevent the local animals from eating anything we tried to grow. The goats, pigs, cows and monkies have loved eating from our farm. Thanks to Manos Unidas in Spain for providing us with this fencing.
New fencing going up around front farm

Pathway to the school

Pathway to the school before

 Random Photos from the area
Storks near the chicken farm

A very large vulture

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Desks Arrive Just in Time

Once again, thanks to Africa Directo and CAM for the donation of new desks for our school in Amatongas. Since last year we have been able to add 225 new desks to the school. The desks actually seat two students, so that's new seating for 450 students. This year we added an 11th grade and the desks were very much needed for the beginning of school. Next year we will continue to expand with the addition of a 12th grade.

Currently we have over 900 students attending school in three different groups, one in the morning (7:00-11:30 AM), one in the afternoon (12:00-4:30 PM), and the night school (5:30-10:00 PM). Needless to say our campus is busy and full of students all day and night. Never a dull moment in Amatongas.

Before the desks some students sat on the floor
...actually most of the students

Some teachers even brought the class outside

 New Desks arrive to save the day

50 new desks arrive stacked on a small truck
Resident students help move desks into new 11th grade classroom

New 11th grade classroom

1st completely finished classroom in school building

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2013 Ano Escolar Começa

The school year in Amatongas began with a special treat, textbooks. Sounds simple for a school to have textbooks unless you attend school in Mozambique where very few schools have textbooks as they are not provided by the state. Thanks to our great friends at Africa Directo and CAM in Spain for providing this awesome gift to our students. We are indeed blessed.

A teacher drove his truck 1000 kms back from Maputo with the new books

Br. Lucas, Director of our school, looks through the books

Students are amazed!

Our library now taking shape

One set of textbooks for each class, students don't take the books home though

Looking like a real classroom now

Teachers teaching with textbooks for first time, ever!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Busy in Amatongas

We're back! I know many people believed we were lost in the Mozambican floods, but nope, we are still here and going strong.

It has been a little over a month since my return from R&R in Louisiana and the action hasn't stopped. School began classes in the middle of January and our resident students returned eager to study and eat. I will be posting many pictures here in the next few days.

Many people say they don't see me in the pictures, ok maybe it was just my mom, so I am starting off with a picture of me and Roquito on our new tractor. Thanks to our friends in Spain from Manos Unidas we now have a 75hp John Deere tractor to help us around the farm. Actually, since its arrival last week we have used it everyday helping us harvest the corn and since it has been raining daily we couldn't have done the work without a tractor. The resident students help us out a little on the weekends and as you can see they have fun while working.