Greetings HIA followers! This is Mark Clements with the first installment of many in the Mission Amatongas Blog for HIA’s trip to Amatongas in Mozambique, Africa. I’ll start by giving a quick rundown of the mission to those of you who aren’t as familiar with what we’re doing. 

Coming from Catholic High School, HIA’s founding members naturally felt the significant impact the Brothers of the Sacred Heart instilled on all its students. One of the largest contributions came from Br. Chris Sweeney, who taught at Brother Martin High School in New Orleans. For several years, Br. Chris has helped sponsor and lead trips across the globe, bringing students with him each year to get involved with the experience. HIA members have joined Br. Chris on these trips since 2008, traveling to both Zambia, Africa and Davao City, Philippines. 

With residences and missions established around the world, the Brothers decided they wanted to open a new location in Amatongas, Mozambique. Br. Chris was one of the very select few Brothers (and only American Brother) chosen to help start this mission. After staying in Brazil for nearly three months to learn Portuguese, Br. Chris made the move to Amatongas in February and plans on being there for years to come.

HIA saw this as a tremendous opportunity to make significant strides in pursuing our vision and decided to focus its efforts on this mission. The great thing about this mission is that the result of any and all contributions and efforts can be seen directly through the progress we will be making in the future.

I’ll be typing up recaps daily, keeping everyone up to date on the trip. This initial trip is going to be highly informative and helpful for future ventures. Through photos, videos and these blog posts, we’ll keep you posted on what kinds of things me and my cohort Michael Kline are doing daily, what life is like in the village and what kinds of things we’re learning and experiencing.

Today was the first day of travel. Long story short, Michael and I departed on the same day, but ended up on separate flights to Africa. I flew New Orleans to Washington D.C. to Johannesburg, South Africa, which is where I am now. Michael flew New Orleans to New York to London to Johannesburg, which is also our rendezvous point. 

I arrived here around 6:00 p.m. local time (11:00 a.m. Central time) and was greeted by this large elephant made of little bitty beads strung together, sponsored by the delicious beverage called Amarula. Welcome to Africa.

I collected our four checked bags full of soccer equipment and jerseys we’re bringing for the community. HUGE thanks to Bo Cassidy for providing all this equipment for us. You have no idea how much this is going to mean to kids. We’ll be sure to capture pictures and videos of the children’s faces lighting up over it for you.

Michael doesn’t arrive until roughly 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. At the moment, I’m cozied up next to all four bags contemplating whether I should sleep or walk around. I’m sure I’ll end up doing both. We decided our meeting point would be in baggage claim, so I’m stuck here for another 12 hours or so.  Should be fun!



06/17/2011 6:41am

Stay safe! Love you, Mom

06/17/2011 10:01am

Sounds like a wonderful glad to be a part of this process and to have Mark on the Mission Trip. I have lots of respect for Bro. Chris and I hope there are other ways MBS will be able to help the Mission grow!
Blessings! David Planche

06/19/2011 12:40pm

wow. Enjoy

06/24/2011 3:01pm

More pictures, please!!!


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