Boa tarde (good afternoon) everyone! My name is Trey Schwartzenburg. I’m a Junior Biology major at LSU from Opelousas, LA and a new member of HIA. This is my very first mission trip, and what an experience it has been thus far! My decision to come on this trip was somewhat spontaneous, but I felt a strong calling to come here and hopefully make a difference in someone’s life.

Today is actually my 20th birthday, and I can honestly say this is one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. We started the day off as usual with breakfast in the kitchen, where I was serenaded with “Happy Birthday” by the gang (for the first time). Knox and I then walked over to the village to teach his daily health class of basic wound and dental care to the younger children at the primary school.

Since we finished painting the primary school ahead of schedule yesterday, we were eagerly looking for some other way to improve the school. We decided to paint the inside of one of the classrooms. The condition of these classrooms is horrific. The windows consist of rotting boards that let in very little light to complement the one 40 watt bulb hanging from a wire in the ceiling. The rooms are littered with trash and wasp and birds’ nests. There’s also a pungent smell of old urine and dirt. There are only four of these classrooms for approximately 800 students.

While some of us were painting away in the central village, the rest of our group made great progress on the playground back at the mission. They had a constant audience of intrigued and excited children.

Towards the end of the day, we played a much anticipated soccer game. The nine of us along with Brothers Angel and Fabian were matched up against eleven of the boarders that live here at the mission. We actually held up much better than I anticipated, only losing by one goal with a final score of 4-3. Everyone had a phenomenal time, and we were covered head to toe in dirt afterwards. The kids really enjoyed showing us how real futbol is played.

To top off this day, we were invited to the Fernando family’s house for dinner back in the village. None of us, including Brother Chris, had any idea what to expect! At dusk we were led into the village to the Fernando’s house. Once we arrived, we found a nice table outside set with a table cloth, flowers, lights, plates, silverware and glass bottles of Sprite. After meeting the Fernando family and sitting down at the table, the women brought never-ending bowls and trays of masa, rice, smothered chicken, barbecued chicken, couve, beans, penne pasta and angel hair pasta. We were in complete awe at the amount of food prepared for us. After we had feasted and thought that there was no possible way to fit anymore food into our stomachs, they brought us several traditional African roots, which tasted very similar to potatoes, sweet potatoes and bananas for desert. After dinner everyone sang me “Happy Birthday” again in English and the Fernando family followed with their rendition in Portuguese.  It was a great way to finish off a birthday in Africa under the stars.

Everyone is already in bed now because we have an early but exciting day tomorrow. We’ll be leaving for Gorongosa National Park at 4:30am to go on a Safari for a well deserved fun day!

Love you Mom, Dad and Lindsey! See you in a week.



05/31/2012 12:43pm

We are keeping all of you in our prayers. You are doing wonderful things.

Rhonda Schwartzenburg
05/31/2012 3:44pm

Happy,Happy Birthday! Lots of Love from home!
Love, Mom, Dad, Lindsey, Blaire, Eric, Anna and Mary Care

Gina Labbe
05/31/2012 7:15pm

What an amazing adventure! I can't wait to see pictures and hear all about the mission. Sounds like your group is doing wonderful things :)


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