Welcome! Karibu!

This blog ("web log") is compiled by Sister Patrice Colletti, SDS to share the stories of our four Sisters who sojourn in Tanzania this summer, June- July 2011. The information below is from their emails; we've edited it for clarity.

Blogs typically go in "reverse chronological order", with the most RECENT posting at the top. So, as you read along, you're reading "backwards" in time, with the most recently received and posted information first.

You can also receive these postings by email! This is an option you can select, but isn't required. Enter your email address where it says FOLLOW THIS BLOG BY EMAIL to set up your email to automatically get a copy of the posting each time a new one goes up. Then, you can read it on your email. You are always welcome to come here to read it as well!

Questions on how this works? Please, contact S. Patrice Colletti at patricecolletti@sbcglobal.net.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Home again, Home again, Jiggity-jog!

Sisters Ellen and Jeanette, along with the Encounter Tanzania participants, arrived home to Milwaukee the evening of July 16, after almost 40 hours of travel. Sister Ellen and Jeanette were part of the Encounter Tanzania program during the first and also the final portion of their immersion experience.

The Encounter Tanzania group brought with them many, many greetings from our Salvatorian friends in Tanzania, numerous little gifts, a smattering of the kiswahili language, considerable jet-lag, and one case of malaria. Please make it a point to invite them to share some of their (combined!) 3,000-plus digital photos of their adventures! Sister Jeanette and Sister Ellen also took some digital movies and, eventually, will produce a wonderful glimpse into life in Tanzania via YouTube or some other method! Yay for digital media!!

And, of course, 


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Final Submission: Soon we will be home!

 Go down for the explanation please.

We tried to help with chores as much as possible. The novices quickly concluded that we were out of practice with washing clothes in a bucket/wash tub as it took us at least twice as long to wash each shirt. They didn’t trust us to use the wood stove but did let us peel fruit and dry dishes. I “helped” Sr. Bonita with the pigs by filling a feed bag and blocking a pig who escaped its pen from leaving the building (sorry no picture of that one). Sr. Bonita took the single bucket of water I was carrying (she carries two at a time) before I got half way and wouldn’t allow me to try to carry the manure bucket to the garden.

Helping a Sick Child

On our first morning at Makulani, we went with Sr. Maxensia to the outskirts of the village where the 5-7 year old girls were completing a month of initiation. When we got there we found out that one of the girls was listless, feverish, and so weak she could not stand up. The dispensary at Makulani was not open as the only nurse was away. It was decided that we would take her to the hospital in Masasi in the sisters’ car. She was admitted with severe malaria. She received an IV and stayed in the hospital. Her grandmother stayed with her. After she was released from the hospital we visited her twice at her grandmother’s house and her grandmother came to the convent once to let us know that the girl was improving and thank us for our help and prayers. On the day we were leaving Makulani the girl was well enough to travel over three hours by bus to her home in Mtwara. She stopped by the convent before leaving to let us know she was feeling better.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Helping with Learning

While at Makulani we were asked to help the novices with their English. Although neither of us is a professional English teacher, we did our best. Our class started with a gospel passage and sharing. The novices then shared on a predetermined topic – family, vocation story, and ministry. We then worked one on one with each novice. Sr. Jeanette conversed with the novice to work with pronunciation and vocabulary. I reviewed pronouns and verb tenses using some of the pictures that are on this blog. All the sisters said they would miss us, but the novices set it to song.

Life in Makulani

The convent at Makulani is one of the few buildings in the village that has electricity. They have solar panels that provide enough power for a single light bulb in each occupied room as well as a few hours of television. 

More importantly, it provides the reliability that allows them to freeze produce and meat for later use. Sr. Maxensia is showing the freezer to Sr. Jeanette.

We were able to visit several families while in Makulani. Bibi (Grandma) Margaret is one of the seniors that the sisters visit regularly. 

Almost anywhere we went, a group of children would congregate and want to get into the picture.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Picking Beans!

We went out to the farm one afternoon to pick beans. A group of children wanted to come along. Four of them who were about 8-10 years came with us and picked as fast or faster than we did.

Makulani: Local Life

 On Monday, July 11, 2011 the school started. The children at the local primary school wear uniforms (some of which are made by the sisters). Some are pictured walking across the football [soccer] field after school.
Playing Football
Going to the School
Local Children

Water is an issue for Makulani. The sisters’ well/cistern is a primary source for villagers who carry water in a variety of ways – buckets on heads, in hand, and on bicycles are the most common. Many times children collect the water from the sisters. People need to go further for water during the dry season.