Friday, June 21, 2013

Delbarton High School Students from New Jersey, USA, at Hanga Abbey

In the mid of June High School students from Delbarton in New Jersey, USA, had the opportunity of spending time at Hanga Abbey. Delbarton school is run by Benedictines of St. Mary's Abbey in Morristown in New Jersey, USA. The school has established a program to expose students to the world outside the US. At Hanga Abbey in Tanzania the students witnessed the low standards of learning facilities of students at St. Benedict School of Hanga Abbey and other schools. As such they brought with them a gift of text books for students at St. Benedict School. 

Books for St. Benedict school, a gift from Delbarton school, in the US.

The students from Delbarton also helped Coland Secondary school, a branch of St. Benedict School, to make bricks from clay and put the bricks in kiln ready for baking. The process of making bricks involves digging clay soil and pounding it with water. Then the pound clay is put in wooden form and released on a flat ground for drying. After the brick get dry they are put in a kiln for baking using fire wood. You can see in the photos students from Delbarton and their host students digging clay, pounding it, putting in wooden form and laying bricks in the ground and then bringing them to a place to make a kiln. Indeed it was a new experience for students from the US to do the work.

At the end of their stay at Hanga there was a farewell party to the group form Delbarton. There was also exchange of sovenirs of T-shirts. Delbarton students received T-shirts from St. Benedict students and gave their T-shirts to St. Benedict students. Thanks to the monks of St. Mary's Abbey in Morristown, fuculty and students for their assistance to the students at Hanga Abbey.

A farewell dance by St. Benedict's students and a cake for Delbarton students

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Patricia Talbot and Steve Heard from USA at Hanga Abbey

Like many visitors at Hanga abbey Patricia and Steve from Sonoma in California,  USA, had good time at Hanga Abbey for two weeks in May arriving on May 5th and leaving May 20th. Steve who is a machinist worked at the abbey auto mechanic with a lathe machine. However, Steve proved to be very hand man. He worked not only with the lathe machine, he also repaired laundry machine that had been sitting at the abbey broken for two years. He also did some plumbing work of fixing leaking pipes and endeavored to make water pumps made out of plastic pipes. Such pumps can be used to pump water from deep wells and any other body of water such as river water for irrigation.

Patricia and Steve also brought gifts of soccer and basket balls to the abbey schools. Find in the picture Steve is handing a ball to Fr. Angelo Mugaga the head of St. Benedict Secondary School.


.Below Mr. Steve Heard in construction of a pvc water pump. Further down he is trying it by pumping water from a bucket. It worked!

Patricia Talbot is a nurse by profession. With that background she was hanging out at the abbey health center doing some paper work, taking weights of babies and blood pressure of patients among other things. She particularly was  impressed by how people lead hard life and can endure so much pain in their sicknesses such as being treated for boils without anesthetic.  She also noted the primitive ways of sensing a hear beat of a fetus. To that effect she and Steve decided to donate money to buy a modern equipment to sense fetus heart beat. We thank them for the machine. Patricia also enjoyed teaching the abbey cooks to make USA foods which included pasta sauce  and banana bread.

In the photo Patricia with some of the staff members of the abbey health center; she is also taking bp of expectant mothers.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Celebrating Sunday of The Holy Eucharist (Corpus Christi) at Hanga

It has be customary for the Catholic Church in Tanzania on Sunday of the Holy Eucharist to celebrate it with all pomps. It begins with ordinary Mass celebration and after the conclusion of Mass a Blessed Host is carried in a monstrance and people process with it outside the church on streets for a kilometer or so. As the people process the monstrance is insenced and people sing various songs. It is time for praise to God and meditation as well.
At Hanga the procession is very long involving about 1,000 people which include villagers, monks and students. Like in previous years, this year the celebration at Hanga was spectacular. The little children spreading flowers before the monstrance during the procession were so oustanding.

Below are some sections of the procession.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Frater Ansgar Kaisile, OSB, of Hanga Abbey Ordained to Priesthood

Fr. Ansgar Kasile, OSB, was ordained to prieshood at Hanga Abbey on May 30, this year 2013 by the retired archbishop Nortbert Mtega of the archdiocese of Songea. Fr. ansgar was  born in 1960 in Rulenge, northwest Tanzania and came to Hanga Abbey after his Primary School education making his first monastic vows on 16 June, 1982, and his perpertual vows in 1988. He studied philosophy at Salvatorian Institute in Morogoro, Tanzania, and theology at Cedara Seminary in South Africa. Congratulations to Fr.
Ansgar for his responding to the call to serve Jesus' flock.

Below are pictures of Frater Ansgar on his ordination day.
Arcbiship Nortbert Mtega is laying hands on Deacon Ansgar Kaisile, OSB.

Bishop Placidus Nkalanga and Abbot Thadei Mhagaga, OSB, the abbot of Hanga Abbey are laying hands on Deacon Ansgar

The newly ordained Fr. Ansgar Kaisile, OSB, is delivering his first blessings to the people
Fr. Ansgar with priests, friends and relatives.