This first week at the hostel was a full one indeed. Well, even before the young women from through out the southern portion of Tanzania arrived on Sunday January 11th, we sisters cleaned, cleaned, and cleaned some more. The building expansion is not yet complete, so we shared dust and debris with the numerous construction workers (women and men). Because of the construction, only the girls from outside the immediate Songea area arrived--five in all; some more girls were scheduled to arrive on January 18.
Hilda, Winifreda, Stella, Teopista, and Otilia (ages 13-18) got themselves organized in their rooms, helped to clean the still dusty hostel, prayed, worked in the garden, learned how to play bingo, and washed their clothes and then ironed (with an iron heated with charcoal pieces). Secondary school started this week, so each night they devoted some quiet time to study. Their favorite activity seems to be gathering mangos newly dropped from the tree and eating. (Perhaps a close second activity is to make fun of Sr. Jackie's fractured Swahili.) The girls were very excited to see and "use" a laptop computer (donated by St. Joseph Academy of Baton Rouge, LA) and have written their first message to students of our three CSJ sponsored high schools in the USA.
Five more students arrived on Sunday 1/18 so time was devoted to getting to know you and learning the routines. More students are expected in the coming weeks.
Please be patient with me (Sr. Jackie) since electricity to access the internet is sporadic and as I learn the blog technology. Hopefully very soon I will update the photos. God's lessings to you in your daily lives. Thank you for your support of the work to advance the lives of young women here in Tanzania.