School (Left) Church (right)
We woke up as normal Sunday and headed to breakfast. We finished up, freshened up, and began walking to the chapel for Mass at 8:30. Br. Chris showed us around the small church for a little bit before the ceremony began, leading us up the stairs of the tall bell tower, which looks to be the tallest point on the property.

We went in circles up the tower and ended up at the top, where four windows, one on each side, give yet another gorgeous view of the campus and surrounding areas of Amatongas. We stayed up there for about 10 minutes aweing at the lovely scenery. We just can’t get enough of these views.

Mass was soon so we headed back down and grabbed our seats. We were quickly surrounded by the kids, claiming the seats as close to us as they could get. Mass began with parents beating on drums and the congregation singing along to what must have been a well-liked and familiar tune. The younger girls in their native skirts and headbands danced down the aisle, leading the priests to the altar. Their moves were simple, yet passionate and precise. The Mass was slightly different than in America. We stood, sat and knelt what seemed as random. Michael and I just followed Br. Chris’ lead.

The Mass lasted roughly 2 hours, with singing and dancing lasting throughout. We left church and just casually walked around the school for a little bit before our tour of the border’s residence. We walked up the stairs and found Marcus, one of the most friendly/talkative borders in the school and also the one responsible for the key to the place. He unlocked the different rooms and Br. Chris was our tour guide again.

The living quarters looked like a large dorm or hostel, with 15 bunk beds sleeping 30 borders. The bathrooms have running water and plumbing and are actually in relatively good condition compared to other bathrooms we’ve seen. The upstairs also includes a study room and a movie room, which is where a lot of the kids gather at night to watch movies on a small TV. The kids got a hold of Michael’s camera and began modeling like GQ cover men. We continued on to where the rest of the borders live.

Downstairs and down a hallway are living quarters that look more like a jail cell. Cement on all sides without much natural lighting and sleeping about 8-10 more borders. Br. Chris hasn’t been here for a full summer yet but he imagines it must get nearly unbearably hot in these quarters. The bathrooms down here are also in terrible condition. It’s tough to even walk into the room because of the smell. Br. Chris said there’s only running water in one sink and no plumbing, which we could have guessed. He also said most of the kids who live downstairs will just go to the upstairs restroom to do any of their business.

We walked around a little more, visiting with the kids as they showed off their room. Br. Chris then took us to a couple different spots for the possible infirmary HIA hopes to set up here. He has three or four locations in mind and showed us all of them. One is a smaller room upstairs near the borders rooms, which has a spot for a possible sink, an exam room and the body of a cupboard already built in. Another is the old hospital (that now houses one family), which hasn’t been in use in years, although it still dons a red cross above its doorway. We aren’t sure what the inside looks like, but if it used to be a hospital/infirmary, it probably has a good layout. The final spot (Me and Michael’s personal favorite) is downstairs around the side of the building. It needs a little bit more work, but is full of potential. It has three different rooms Br. Chris said we could use. The ideas were flowing. The walls of one room is white tile which would look nice, there were already sinks installed and Br. Chris said running power to the room wouldn’t be difficult. It’s also a little more secluded and private, which could be good for the goods. Either way, Br. Chris said he’s going to talk it over with the other Brothers and also work on getting price estimates from supply companies. We were all very excited about the different possibilities.

We headed in for lunch before walking back over to the school for a soccer game. It wasn’t a league match, but the Missionarios were playing a game (for money we were told … 100 meticais which equals about $3-4) against another Amatongas team that Br. Chris said was a little older and had some of the teachers on it. The game had a rather large crowd, with people watching from all sides of the pitch. The Missionarios, rocking their new “Kickballs of Fury” shirts from Mr. Cassidy, ended up down two goals early. A late goal but Pedrito (in my opinion the best player on the field) made it a game. But the Missionarios suffered a late goalkeeping blunder and fell, 3-1. We never found out the opposing team’s name, but they were all wearing some old white Chelsea kits.

Earlier in the day, Michael and I walked over to the market across the street and bought some fabric. We brought it to the tailor to get fitted for our sizes – Michael a shirt and some PJ pants for myself. The tailor said it would be ready at 5:00 that day (impressive). The game ended around 5:15, so we headed over to the market. As soon as the tailor saw us, his face lit up as he pulled out finish garments out of his bag. Every fit beautifully, and it was done in just a few hours! He must have been thrilled for the business. Every time we pass his shop he gives us the biggest grin and wave and “Boadarde” Our night ended with the arrival of Br. Fabian. He came in Sunday afternoon and caught the tail end of the soccer game. We visited with him and his provincial, Br. Hebert, over dinner and drinks. Br. Fabian comes from a town on the border of Zimbabwe, a short drive from Amatongas. He finished school in Kenya and at 30 years old is helping start this mission in Mozambique. He’s been quiet the first couple days, but seems to be adapting well. He speaks English and one of the local African languages, making communication with the children a little easier for him. He and Br. Chris plan on taking some Portuguese classes together soon. Sounds like something I should get in on.



Scott Losavio
06/24/2011 8:02am

Mark and Michael,

This experience sounds awesome for both of you! I enjoyed reading about it. Keep up the good work. Come show us your pictures in person at CHS when you come back. Maybe come speak to our seniors. You guys are great. Thank you for sharing with us your incredible work.

Scott Losavio

05/22/2012 1:07am

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