Report by James Mansaray: Freetown, Sierra Leone:
I realise it has been a while since I last wrote on this blog. I miss reporting and I miss you all so much - especially those contributing in making NHA grow and become more interesting. I've been very busy working, implementing the care and aid that you, through Nazareth House provides for the people of my country. So much to say but I will start with just a few words, and they are actually words of prayer for you all supporting the Nazareth House Apostolate Cause here in Salone (Krio for Sierra Leone).
You won't expect me to jump straight to the activities coming up this year 2009 without first mentioning the last days of the year 2008, would you? As the old year rolls out and the new year slides in; there is so much to reflect on. With your help and support a whole lot has been accomplished. We now look forward to reaching more of the lost, more of the sick, more of those clothed in rags and to make bigger and better differences in the lives of those who are our brothers and sisters in God.
Customarily for NHA, our first priorities are to pray and to love each other and to bring smiles to those who think there is no need to smile. I guess you've all had a visual taste of the tiny red and white stuff called candy canes that Nazareth House has been spreading around Salone. Not all are fortunate to have it but we at NHA have been making it possible for hundreds to have a taste of it for at least once a year.
This time round, our thanks goes to Carlos & Pat Portuondo ( Milford, Connecticut) who kindly provided it for distribution to our kids in memory of our dear friend, Fr. Bob Haux.
Sorry to say it took more than a month traveling in post to get here but it did come, Better late than never - and as Mama Vicki said in earlier blog posts, its usually around the time for dusty Harmattan. No matter when they come, the kids are extremely grateful and happy.
As usual, Roo, Lucy, and Ann Marie were the first to get a bite of the peppermint canes, followed by a handful of kids at Godrich village, and then on to one hut village before reaching the final destination at the Nazareth House Kabala School.
Alie Jalloh from USA who was here to help me do it all.
Alie was a bit shy to enter into the hut at ONE HUT VILLAGE. It is so different from his life now in America.
Once inside, Alie got a good memory of what it is like to live in a hut such as this and now with these photos you can experience life in a mud hut, too. Notice the simple but strong bed made of wood (Alie must have thought his weight would break it, but it is very sturdy). Click on the photo to enlarge it and you will see that this village is using its Mosquito Netting that Nazareth House Provided last September.
Mohammad seems a bit thin, I think next visit we should concentrate on more food supplies for this village. Mama Vicki treated everyone at One Hut Village for internal worms and from the kids bellies we can see some improvement but we will need another treatment for them soon.
Once back out of the hut, Alie gets back to handing out NHA candy canes.
It doesn't take long before the kids are sucking down the sweet minty sticks. A treat they have never experienced before. Thanks Pat & Carlos and thanks to all of you that make it all possible to do this work. It is a team work, the candy, the funds to make the trip, the other supplies we carried on this trip. NHA has the best team and the best cooperation. Thank you all.
I sign of for now, but look again tomorrow...we have much more to say about candy canes as we reach Kabala and see the students. And you know me, I will be showing you lots of my pictures. See you tomorrow. I love you all, James
St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA
With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.
See our website at www.nazarethhouseap.org
Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.
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