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In Matola, novice Marco from Namibia joins the fold


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23/06/2008: Mozambique


MatolaLast Friday at 17.00 hours was a great day at Matola noviciate in Mozambique. We received our last Brother to be. He was in limbo in South Africa for a while as he was waiting for his police clearance. Namibia has no High Commissioner in Mozambique. And this made his entry rather difficult. While making efforts to arrange for his entry, Brother Norbert, our Master of Novices went to visit him in South Africa. He must have assured him that to a every problem there is always a solution but patience will be a virtue to use while waiting. Before leaving he decided to pose for a photo with him to show us how he looks like. Bravo Norbert because the photo helped me to identify him immediately at the bus stop point.

We are now orienting him in our life and his fellow first years are taking a big share in this process. Of course, as Brother Antonia Pisco is away, the internal official documents processing will be my next task. Knowing where to knock with my poor Portuguese, l am more confident that very soon l shall get somewhere to make him a legal foreigner.

You have to know that at the border of South Africa and Mozambique he was cornered by corrupt officials to throw into their pockets something of value in the form of money. After a bargaining game, they discovered that the poor novice had no change left to bribe. They eventually allowed him to cross.

Welcome our dear Marco and we are more than happy to see that you have already started feeling at home. The Cassock that Brother Mansoa has given you will be your religious garb especially on Mondays and Fridays when we have Mass in the noviciate and on Wednesdays and Saturdays when we have Communion Service, and of course on Sundays when we have adoration. It is our prayer that soon you will join us in learning a new language which is still difficult to some of us who came before you. As it the only language you will be hearing everywhere you go, we hope you will slowly be picking up new words and start building your vocabulary. Mass at the parish will be like Greek for you but you will have to take initiative by preparing yourself in English before going there.

Cultural shock will be another experience you will have to endure as you walk around. All your friends had to endure that and slowly they see it as normal for those not opting for religious life.
You will need to have a document with you as you walk around because the police can catch you and you may pay heavily with strokes once caught more especially as a stranger.

The hot weather is coming and maybe with your experience in Namibia, it will not be too strange as it was for some of us from the interior.

We are going to spare you for the end of semester exam. In fact it is an evaluation and no one should have a stress because of it.

Once again we shall make everything possible to make your life here bearable as you discover where you can serve God and his people better. We are more than willing to journey with you like Jesus with the Emmaus disciples. As the Provincial once said you will need to be open, honest. The journey will sometimes demand you to sacrifice and maybe pain may accompany that but be sure joy will be yours at the end of it. God bless.

Simeon Banda, fms, Matola

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