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    Lar São Jerónimo

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NEW KIDS IN THE “LAR” (FEBRUARY – MARCH 2015)

In mid-February, while strolling through the Town Square in the center of city, I realized that there were more teenagers and children than normal, some begging, other cleaning cars. As I often do in these situations, whenever approached by them begging or asking to clean the car, I talk   to them about your situation, the reason for being there, on the street …; roughly ten days I had a general idea of the situation.

Kids in the Town Square

Kids in the Town Square

Nearly all of them knew me already, “you are the Father Pedro,” they tell me. Asking how they knew me, they said that they knew me from other companions of the street. It is significant that they knew me, because, as has happened on many occasions, they asked, “can we go with you to the Centre”. Having talked to them several times I took two and of them with me to “Social Acção” (Social Services). It was there that I was told by the “técnicos de”Social Acção ”  (social workers) that they  had a big problem, because there was markedly increase in  the number of “da rua crianças”  (street children) I told them that once registered with “Social Acção   and if there was no problems, I myself would take then to our  Center “. It was March 5 the officials told me to return the next day.

Night meeting in the Town Square

Night meeting in the Town Square

I returned the next day for a meeting with the Regional Director of Social Services, who told me that a center in the city had closed without notice, without trying to place the children in other centers, just putting the children on the street and walking away. “That’s the situation,” I was told, by the Regional Director. That same day, I took eleven children to our center including those I had taken to social services the day before. The next day three other children arrived. Now 16 March we are expecting four more.

We quickly had to adapt our houses to this new situation in structures and materials.

The first thing we did was buy clothes for these new children, because they came with nothing, empty-handed, then mattresses and blankets.

The arrival of the first group

The arrival of the first group

Quickly we contacted different schools to ask them to be admitted as soon as possible (here the classes had begun weeks earlier, in February).We arranged medical examinations and, thank God, no major health problems came up.
Their adaptation to Lar São Jerónimo  is going  very good. Here we have to  thank the older children the  of the  Lar for the help they are giving me in this work, we are all  helping to integrate them,  treat them well and take  care for them, ultimately, integration is going very positively.

Taking information  from the  newly arrived

Taking information from the newly arrived

Speaking of school concerns: I would like to emphasize that more than half of these kids are going to have to do “literacy”, their  ages range  from  12-14 years and it would not be correct to put the with  children of  6 years  in Primary 1. In addition, it is more advantageous for them to do three years of literacy rather than five of Primary Education, Today, March 16; they will begin classes at a literacy school more or less close to us.

The issue of documentation we will start right now, we are working on gathering data to reconstruct the social history of each one of these young people.

Giving the first indications

Giving the first indications

I would like emphasize here, that the  Friday after they  arriving at the Centre,  we gave the permission to leave the  Lar  the weekend with the intention  knowing whether they would or would not  prefer to stay in the street, and also to obtain information from the family, if it existed. On Saturday, some were back some here in the Lar, and by Sunday afternoon, all had arrived back with two new ones. This is a positive sign; at least we know that so far, they intend to continue here. Furthermore we have no news of any their families, everything indicates that, indeed, they are “children of St. Jerome,” fatherless and motherless.

Fr. Pedro arriving home with the last four who have joined

Fr. Pedro arriving home with the last four who have joined

* After March 16th nine more children arrived, three from “Gabinete de Atendimento à ea Mulher Crianca Vítima de  violenca” (Juvenile Police) two from “ Social Acção”  and four others came  directly from the street, some former  residents of  the center which closed.

THINGS Of CHRISTMAS

Throughout the year there are many intimate details, some call ” Winks of God” other “surprises of life” … Sometimes things are striking, sometimes almost imperceptible, may are pure chance, perhaps all the result of previous work in predictable times and others unexpected, all are what makes each day special.

On 1st January flourished the first "Passion Flower" of this year. Day 2, as seen, there is some more. (Photo: P. Pedro)

On 1st January flourished the first “Passion Flower” of this year. Day 2, as seen, there is some more. (Photo: P. Pedro)

We rejoice to do or see traces of goodness and kindness, in lower or upper case, each sensitive to the beliefs of the other, each passing and leaving some small or large glow. Of course, keep your eyes open, somewhat naive enough, with the capacity to marvel, eyes of children, who are open to learn new things, to see as special what for others are obvious, “normal”, without anything “special”.

Children´s eyes (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Children´s eyes (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

This year we had a mobile crib, that is, that the figures were moved in the circumstances where they were needed. The “residence” was mixed in the dining room, with all figures, the complete set, this time with “large figures” that used to be in the chapel. Thus came the Mass of Christmas Day.

Several moments of the celebration (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Several moments of the celebration (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

We started the celebration, which would be accompanied by baptism, with five figures, some already know: S. Joseph, the Virgin … a sheep with their shepherd and an angel. Most would expect the typical “mystery figures” which are of course, baby Jesus, the mule and the ox? But no, the mule and the ox were in their residence and the baby Jesus would come later solemnly accompanied with the singing of “Glory” , the latter was well accepted by all, the lack of animals in the manger … was not.

The five figures accompanying the Child (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

The five figures accompanying the Child (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

The cattle would ask for their role in the celebration: “It’s the only time of year that we are near the Child and we are” left out “This cannot be!”. And what happened? Predictable! The head of the herd, Canela, for those who know her temperament, stood before the front door wanting to do something that is more common in some of the dogs we have, they like to approach the altar, they wanted to show that it was “their right to be there” and not some passing fancy. So she brought the rest of the “family”

Is it an apparition? No! Is it, the Canela, and it comes with company.(Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Is it an apparition? No! Is it, the Canela, and it comes with company.(Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

and there we had the cattle, all the while respecting the sacred precinct, coming to see the Child. It’s Christmas.

Everyone cutting grass ... to make it pretty. (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Everyone cutting grass … to make it pretty. (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Three days later, for Catholics, is the feast of the Holy Innocents, in which we remember the killing of children under two years ordered by King Herod, and for the Somascan Fathers it is the Day for Defense of Children “forgotten” by the new “Herods” who remain a burden and still the executioners of many children, even in the twenty-first century, two thousand years later, children are still being mistreated.
On that date, already the 5th edition, Fr. Pedro recalled the festive celebration, organized by the Youth Police (Cabine de atendimento à mulher e à criança victims of violence), a party organized (see last years of the police and victims of abuse or neglect, who are temporarily in care until a solution newsletter ) in which children are invited from various juvenile facilities,

Greetings to the Commander. Games, the end of "musical chairs" for children. (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Greetings to the Commander. Games, the end of “musical chairs” for children. (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

orphans of members is found , as well as other children with little resources. We are often accompanied by authorities, on this occasion there were: Mrs. Sophia, the wife of the Governor,

Mrs Sofía received by young and old. (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Mrs Sofía received by young and old. (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

this is her third time here and we have spoken of her on other occasions, the Provincial Chief of Police, the Director General of Social Services (Acção Social) and other personalities and collaborators and representatives of organizations that help so this event is a really big celebration for these children: games, dances, speeches, food and gifts. This time a surprise bag was provided by a telephone company and a hat of “Santa Claus”.

Cozy inside and out, place, gestures and words. (Photo Lar Sãi Jerónimo)

Cozy inside and out, place, gestures and words. (Photo Lar Sãi Jerónimo)

One of the most significant moments was “corta-bolo” when the cakes (or one of them) is solemnly cut, this is usually done with several hands signifying the union and participation of the guests. The event was picked up by various media outlets: press, radio and television. All the participants were very happy, waiting in anticipation for the next edition. This time though we expected 200 guests, but according to the caterers some 310 meals were given.

Santa Claus everywhere (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Santa Claus everywhere (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

And as a reminder of our commitment to childcare a child remained in our center, who was attended by the “Cabinet ” and from now on can enjoy a new “home “.

And we approach New Year’s Eve, this time with water, it rained all night, but this did not stop the fireworks and shouts of a Happy New Year at correct time to be heard throughout Beira and much of the world. Music was also not lacking in the area throughout the night and the next day, except the moments when there was no power, about three hours of rest at 2pm.

At night the lightning lights up the garden. (Photo: P. Carlos).

At night the lightning lights up the garden. (Photo: P. Carlos).

This was preceded by a day or, better said, a good night’s thunderstorm, with the corresponding rain and which left as witness, some curious photographs.

Lightning can be seen in the distance and makes a strange effect. Is it near? (Photo: P. Pedro)

Lightning can be seen in the distance and makes a strange effect. Is it near? (Photo: P. Pedro)

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!

We got cows!!

The cows of the village have “escaped” I remember the saying from a Spanish song, thus we started with our cows.

The news reached some of our friends that Lar São Jerónimo now had cows! And the real thing!
It was first an idea, then an intention, later a commitment, because there were people who had offered to finance them, Thanks! And finally it is a reality that, for various reasons it has taken longer than expected.

Café and Canela before getting down from the truck. / Lar São Jerónimo

Café and Canela before getting down from the truck. / Lar São Jerónimo

On April 13, a Saturday afternoon a truck appeared from the Esmabama Association with the first pair of cows that entered this compound. They came from Brarada, where the first Somascan fathers resided and began their work in Mozambique.

We did not know what to do. We had the fenced area with a gate but not completely finished and had to bring them there we removed some bamboo fencing and putting some boards to bridge the gap between the truck and the ground the two animals marched down. Quite a sight!
That day, there were not many people, some children had left and those who were at home mingled around, but with an eye on the lookout and kept their distance “just in case” and those who prefer more adventure came closer to see if they could help and see up close those “beasts ” so big.
The animals got out of the truck pretty calmly and did not give much trouble going to fenced area; it was hard to keep up. But after a while, at nightfall, the guards and some of the older children told us that cows are walking “outside their home”. Let’s see what we do! They had found the part that was unfinished and putting them back was not going to help much. We decided to put them where the goats spend the night, a closed and protected area and goats in a little smaller place, in this case with rabbits.

Café and Canela on one of their escapes.  / Lar São Jerónimo

Café and Canela on one of their escapes. / Lar São Jerónimo

The first adventure was to move the goats, which are known to be quite stubborn, so with some with ropes, others on our shoulders (an image which seemed to be taken from a nativity scene) and did not give too much trouble.

The real adventure was with the new tenants, first to find them, although they are really big it is not easy to see at night between buildings, trees, grass and certain areas without light.
Once found … it was not too much trouble, the real problem was not moving them, but … to where. They did not like narrow places or where there were gates close by … There was nothing to do, flashlights, sticks: all to no avail. We had to give up; they laughed at us all they wanted.
First task had to be: to seal the fenced area and train someone well in the breeding of cattle, something that began on the Monday. The issue of food and drink was no problem with a good grass up the knees and three ponds, thus they could feed well.

Lúa and Cometa outside their enclosure, the day after they arrived.  / Lar São Jerónimo

Lúa and Cometa outside their enclosure, the day after they arrived. / Lar São Jerónimo

Month or so later, on May 27, went in search of milk calves the first two were for meat The dairy heifer calves themselves were not yet a year old, they will be in the month of July, two female bicolor, black with white spots. Here we were able to load them into our car, the pick-up, as they call a car with the open air trunk, the hooves were tied Roped, to avoid them getting up on the two kilometer distance home to the Lar from the farm of origin.

Cometa y Lúa with birds that usually accompany the cows. / Lar São Jerónimo

Cometa y Lúa with birds that usually accompany the cows. / Lar São Jerónimo

They also escaped their first night, but no problem getting them back to the enclosure, as we had more experience and they are more docile than we expected.

Here the problem was that the security measures “anti-escape” were prepared for the other two, which are double in weight and size. So the next day we had to reduce certain spaces and … even with this, one of them returned the next night to it’s the old ways and escaped. To find from where it escaped, because the next day she was heard bellowing near the chapel when the Mass was beginning, we struggled to find the place where she was getting out, but between closing spaces and them getting used to their new home … we have managed that they remain within the enclosure.

The first two are male and female, Café and Canela, respectively, their name, is inspired by the color of the coats, they are a Brahma breed. The two dairy cows are a Dutch breed, still we cannot say which is which the names that we have are: Lua (​​Moon in Portuguese) and Comet.

Café and Canela in the bath area. /Lar São Jerónimo

Café and Canela in the bath area. /Lar São Jerónimo

The most rebellious is Canela three mornings we struggled to make her come into the “shower hall “, that was also an adventure worthy of videotaping. Luckily no one recorded the scene!

Cafe did not give us so many problems, it took a while, but since the first day, not without fatigue and with a few races, it received its first shower, which must be repeated every 15 days.
With the funnel-shaped pen we made, it makes the job easier, but Canela, remains very much Canela. Small Lua, always restless and adventurous, and Comet, with her broken voice and I would say (if the musicians are not scandalized) more out of tune, do not give much trouble for such care.

The complete family (from left to right) Café, Canela, Lúa y Cometa. / Lar São Jerónimo

The complete family (from left to right) Café, Canela, Lúa y Cometa./ Lar São Jerónimo

The care other animals is ongoing … Now, what we’re doing is preparing enclosed area also for the goats, who are destroying every plant they reach, and the first plantings in the garden … we cannot let these “devouring animals” loose.

The plan is to raise more cattle, but we have to go slowly, picking up the pace and see how things go.

Something we have not written of before or in this present article: “man’s best friend”, usually used to refer to dogs. The number has been significantly reduced (if not “very much “) not just in our house, but in the wider area, another disease that is decimating the animal population, in this case canine.

File Photo: before the decimation of  the canine population.  / P. José Antonio, crs

File Photo: before the decimation of the canine population.
/ P. José Antonio, crs

Newsflash:  we have just had the first days of large-scale fishing in our fish farm. Although, with cat-fish, which are larger, we caught only a few, there was a plentiful catch of the “macacana” fish, over one hundred and then cooked in tomato sauce (the base of most sauces used in our house) and eaten with rice, it was a good meal.

Fishing time /  Lar São Jerónimo

Fishing time / Lar São Jerónimo

THIS IS THE PLAGUE

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Now I see the literal sense, even on a small scale, that phrase so many times I have heard and used “this is the plague”, a term usually used to refer to a disease that spreads rapidly, often used for those “weeds “that appear everywhere and no one knows how to remove them. Something similar happened to the pigs. And do not talk of “plague” in the sense of an unpleasant smell. 
Chickens-it was the first species to breed-(Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Chickens-it was the first species to breed- (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

For the past year or so we are raising pigs, also broilers hens, the odd rabbit and three “guinea pigs”, here called “parakeets” best four, the other day another was born. In mid-February (the 20th) we got four ducks, sharing land with few fish falling from the sky, as the say with the rain, and it seems to be true, they appeared in a pond that is sometimes used as a pool, after days of heavy rain.

Fish "godsend" (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Fish “godsend” (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Until February 5 breeding pigs was doing fairly well, it is true that the previous week we saw some of them a little thin, we blamed the food, it would have been more limited as the number and size of the pigs were growing, or that the feed did not have enough “fattening elements”.  The following day, after a night of heavy rain, 5 pigs were found  dead, quickly the alarm was sounded .It is true that we had found some dead, but they were always tiny, In all this time I do not think they  have reached half a dozen.

Goats and two types of rabbits (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Goats and two types of rabbits (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

We called the person responsible for agriculture, who has advised and worked with us on other occasions. After some time two veterinarians were called to see the situation and take appropriate action. Various samples of blood were taken of both living and dead pigs, opting not want to give us hope, but rather, saying that it may not be the dreaded “ASF” (here called “swine fever “), the samples were sent to Maputo, the capital of the country, and in 24 or 48 hours we would have an answer.

The promises ... and survivors (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

The promises … and survivors (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

The next morning, the two vets returned to see how things are going and openly wondered how many pigs would be found dead, twelve was the answer. At this, it seemed there was no need to wait for the results to confirm what was suspected: it was the plague!
They were all affected but not yet showing it: they were lifeless , with small red marks like moles, all over their bodies … We had to do what they call “sanitary slaughter”, that is, must be removed to prevent the further spread of the disease. What to do with the nearly 60 pigs that were still alive? Those who look worse remove them and let nature take its course. Those that looked ok, take advantage of that and slaughter them, if we still have time, the meat is usable, this way we try and recover some of the expenses and work .
We got in touch with the nearest municipal slaughterhouse, to see if they can butcher the better off ones. They cannot, due overwork and we would have to wait until the next day. The veterinarians warned us, if you waited until tomorrow we may not have any “usable meat”, and offered us the possibility of asking for the Provincial Department of Livestock´s authorization to slaughter the pigs in own center. The veterinarians offered to control the mass slaughter, permission was given, and 26 pigs were slaughtered and cleaned in one afternoon. We asked for help and reinforcements and more than a dozen people helped, including some of the older kids the “Lar” collaborated in this task, some to butcher and the others responsible for cleaning them, holding them, opening them…

Sucking pigs, it were good times (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Sucking pigs, it were good times (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

During this process we discarded another five, including the male breading pig we had, only one “big” (adult) who was apparently in acceptable conditions, and it was the last to be put under the knife after being held for almost everyone.  The meat of just over 20 animals, mostly small, one medium pig, ended that night in the freezer, the rest of the animal had to be throw away. A slightly larger number were burned and buried.

Pig slaughtering season supervised by veterinarians (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Pig slaughtering season supervised by veterinarians (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

As expected in the following days those remaining pigs died. Although there is always the miracle of life, often hard to see, a large sow (very thin) and a baby are still alive, immune from the sickness , although, we were told by the veterinarians, who returned about ten days later, they are also infected, but just do not show symptoms of the disease, so we have to sacrifice them before we can raise more.

Ducks in its pool (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Ducks in its pool (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Now we are with the two survivors, hoping they increase their weight and knowing, that once they are removed and the pen the whole area disinfect will have to wait at least two months before you start breeding again.
For now, we continue with chickens, increase the number of ducks and begin a new activity: livestock, cattle breeding, which can greatly help feed the Lar, both with milk and with meat. We rely on God’s help, hoping that He will help us in this new stage that faces our farm.

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

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After a long School year, finally the holidays arrive. We take this opportunity to honor the commitment we made in the previous article, in it we said we would write on how the classes areorganized.

The school year, always talking aboutGeneral Education “EnsinoGeral” , begins in the second half of January or early February and ends in late October.

In the courtyard just before entering class / LSJ

In the courtyard just before entering class / LSJ

It is divided into three terms, each with its corresponding holiday period, usually one weekafter the first term, two weeks after the second term and the third ends with the school holidays of around two and a half to threemonths.

The numbering of the courses iscontinuous, going from 1 to 12,they are called“1st Class” to “12th Class”. There is a division in thePrimary school: divided into two parts or “cycles”The first covers from 1st to 5th and the second covers the years 6 and 7. Then Secondary education (ESG)begins, which includes grades 8 to 10 º and then Education (Ensino) Pre-university indicated the letters EPU. Students have to take exams at the end of the various cycles, corresponding to the 5th, 7th, 10th and 12thcourses.

These exams are done in the same school or college, a few days after finishing classes, which is in the month of November, but if you get a higher that averagegrade you do not have to sit the exams. It’s not easy, but every year some of us get it.

A test day/ LSJ

A test day/ LSJ

The first course starts with the minimum age of 6 years, or to reach that age before the end of June. While some colleges and schools offer the possibility of attending two preschool courses, what we call “Pre-School” or, colloquially “Pre”.

In a provisional class to accommodate more children/ LSJ

In a provisional class to accommodate more children / LSJ

When one begins to study later (with a somewhat advanced age), it is possible to go to the “Adult Education” or Literacy courses. They last three years, and are equivalent to first grade. Several of us have done it this way and the truth and, s that we do well.

At the same time there are the Industrial Schools which have their own pace and do not agree with the rest, usually no more than than sharing end of school year holidays. They also have a month off mid-year.

Waiting for the school bus/ LSJ

Waiting for the school bus / LSJ

As for class sizes  … Normally not less than fifty, in some, mostly in  the secondary schools ,   you can reach and sometimes pass the hundred mark , due to, as you can imagine, the large number of students and the shortage educational centers to meet that demand. To take full advantage of the facilities, virtually all schools have (the majority) three shifts, with four hourly   lessons per course.

We arrive at home/ LSJ

We arrive at home/ LSJ

Some asked us about the subjects  …  They are mostly the same as exist in much of the educational systems of any country, with some subjects chosen by each center, such as:

music, religion, psychology (EPU) … and  some special subjects that we have been told do not exist in other countries: agriculture  what we call “agropecuaria” and “oficio” which is related to  partnership’s and various manual tasks in school.

And so withmany things stillto tell, but we will not make this too long. You know that you can ask us questions and comments through this same medium (Web), and we will try to answer. And now, to pick up the results of the work of the school year, which we hope is good.

Preschoolers / LSJ

Preschoolers / LSJ

Going to School

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In  past articles we have spoken about the different activities we have realized in the Center, visits of a certain importance, games… Now we are going talk about what we do “outside” the Center, which are our classes.

Going to school with scholbags on their backs   (Photo Lar S. Jerónimo)

It is true that some of us have had some formation in the installations of the Centre last year, some classes of Alphabetization (actually we have all succeeded in passing “Ensino Geral”) and others  did a type of professional course in our now famous,  Emiliani Center for Professional Formation , but now all of us are going to study outside.

Actually we are divided in five different educational centers: four inside the so called “Ensino Geral” (General Education) and the fifth, situated in the center of Beira, with the more specific task of preparing for young people for the world of work and is called the Industrial and Commercial School. This school offers as well, as subjects available in “Ensino Geral” others much more specific to each profession chosen by the students, with the number of hours in common subjects, for the moment, superior than the specific courses, chosen by our companions, such as the Electrical Course and the Car Mechanics Course.

Los de la Escuela Industrial

Students of the Industrial School

If these have the furthest to go to study, each day they have to catch the “chapa”, that is how the public transport minibus of 15 seats is called. The last to arrive at the Center, because of the timetable, are those who study the nearest, in the nearby “Escola Primária de Matadouro” (Slaughterhouse Primary School). Do not be afraid of the name, nobody is killed. The name, the same as our street name (which, in the end, is just a dirt track) comes from the name of our neighborhood, which gets the name because that is where the Municipal Slaughterhouse has always been. To arrive at the school we have to pass by it, which is about 200m. distancefrom our house.

Matadouro

From home to the “Matadouro” Primary School is a short walk

A little further away is what we call the “Colégio”, at least that is what is written on the wall at the entrance, in the neighborhood called “Chamba”. It is here that some ofus go in the morning(Primary) and others in the afternoon (Secondary). In this way, as in nearly all Educational Centers, there are different turns, usually three; in this way it is possible to get the maximum usage out of the installations. Thus it is possible to offer academic formation to a wide range of children, teenagers and young people in these lands.

Nos vamos al Colégio (de Chamba)

We go to the “Colegio” (from Chamba)

We complete the list with Our Lady of Peace Secondary school (within the grounds of our parish ,of the same name) and John XXIII school here again there are differ turns , but here it is the reverse Secondary for the morning and Primary for the afternoon. As it is somewhat far, we have to use the school transport minibus, which takes to and brings us home each day. At mid-day, just after lunch, it takes the smaller kids to school and drops off the older ones , who get on with their tasks. It is the hour of “  Carrinha! ,  Carrinha ! “  Everybody should be on their toes!!
The educators are also studying, they go to the University to continue their formation, once again, some in the morning others in the afternoon.
In these day we have begun the 3rd trimester “Ensino Geral” and will shortly receive our report cards and will see the results of our efforts, although there are always  those with more luck (or possibilities) than others. Now we have to prepare for the last push and be able to obtain good results at the end of the academic year.
In the next article we will describe how the courses are organized: classes, exams, subjects, activities, way of evaluating, holidays ….. and everything else that occurs to us.

THE THREE VISITS

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On previous occasions we spoke of visits to our Centre – some of them “official” – made by prominent persons in various fields: political, education, finances… This time we will speak of three other visits: first a symbolic one, then one spiritual, and lastly a physical visit.

Bienvenida a la Semana Santa (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

Beginning of the Holy Week (Photo by Lar São Jerónimo)

The symbolic visit was made by the stork. It has been some time already since we have acquired a few “swine” inhabitants for our compound, within the sector of agriculture and breeding, which is being gradually developed in our Centre. Last March 6 we got the first births, thanks to the “stork of animals” that brought us 7 piglets ( 6 of them with dark spots, and one with a black paw and the rest of the body of the same colour).

La madre con sus crias (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

The mother-sow with her piglets (Photo by Lar São Jerónimo)

They have already been injected with the first vaccine and, after a little more than one month of life, all of them are enjoying perfect health. We intend to expand this activity (breeding), that will hopefully improve the nutritional aspect (in terms of proteins) and will get us closer to the goal -still a bit distant- of self-sufficiency.

Los que se van a bautizar precedidos de las "dançarinas" (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

The Baptism candidates, preceded by the “dançarinas” (Photo by Lar São Jerónimo)

Nuestros chavales con la vela del bautismo (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

Our boys holding the candle of their Baptism (Photo by Lar São Jerónimo)

The spiritual visit was that of the Holy Spirit . Ten of our boys were baptized in our Centre during the Paschal Vigil. During that night – that was by no means fresh- they received “the water and the
Spirit”.

El Domingo de Ramos en la capilla (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

The Palm Sunday in our chapel (Photo by Lar São Jerónimo)

The spiritual visit was that of the Holy Spirit . Ten of our boys were baptized in our Centre during the Paschal Vigil. During that night – that was by no means fresh- they received “the water and the Spirit”.

It was a festive celebration, during which the little ones spent the time of the mass by making good use of the palm leaves.

Momento del bautismo (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

The moment of Baptism ( Photo : Lar São Jerónimo) 

It is interesting in fact to observe in how many different ways palm branches can be used: they serve to make baskets, to thatch roofs, and, after removing the leaves, they can also be used as sticks to stir the food when it is being cooked in large containers ( sometimes even in drums!)

The physical visit was paid by the new Bishop, D. João Carlos Nunes Hatoa, who was born in Beira in that famous year ’68, but has been living in the capital, Maputo, for many years. The visit was organized especially for those who live and study inside our Centre, rather than for those persons who come to pray on Sundays or the kids who attend catechism classes on Saturdays.

The Bishop arrived a few minutes before 9 a.m. and was welcomed by the two “padres” who are presently residing at the Centre.

Niños... y mayores en misa (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

Children… and adults in church (Photo by Lar São Jerónimo)

Recibiendo las ofertas (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

Receiving the gifts (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Accompanied by drums, cymbals (that are called “gojos” in the local language) and even a
keyboard added a more lively and joyful character to the celebration. The offertory was marked
by the gift of a solemn chairs made by the students of the Centro de Formação Profissional; the
metal frame had been manufactured by the students of the Welding workshop, who also donated a bucket made by them; the armrests and he seats had been made by the students of the Carpentry and Stitching workshops.

Los niños también plantaron su acacia (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

Also the children planted their own acacia tree (Photo byLar São Jerónimo)

An item that remained pending was a pizza to be baked by the students of the Cooking course (kitchen) for the evening party. All the groups were given a task: the choir was formed by the students of the Professional Formation Centre (mostly the female students), the dance team by little and young girls of the Christian Community; the readings and intercessory prayers were entrusted to the insiders of the Lar and the seminarians; the altar servers were those who are normally fulfilling this task on Sundays; at the offertory…all those who wanted to join.

Importante que no falte agua (Foto: Lar São Jerónino)

It is essential that there is no lack of water ! (Photo by  Lar S.J.) 

Subsequently the bishop proceeded to the blessing of all the appliances and machinery, which included the planting of a tree (an acacia tree), following a tradition established on previous official visits.

Immediately after there took place the formal visit to the whole Centre, during which the Bishop did not stop asking questions and offering suggestions The encounter was concluded with a lunch: those of the house in the refectory, as usual, with the company of our guests of honour; the other invitees (students, altar servers, etc.) , for lack of space, were served lunch in the corridors or in the classrooms. The bishop expressed admiration and appreciation for the work we have undertaken and gave us thanks for the accomplishments already produced.

Bendiciendo todo el Centro (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

Blessing the Center (Photo by Lar São Jerónimo)

It is a recognition we want to extend to all those who have made it possible, through their cooperation, that our Centre would become an ever-growing reality.