Monday, August 15, 2011

Week 1

It took two long travel days (San Francisco -> New York -> Johannesburg -> Port Elizabeth), but I made it to South Africa!  Besides being a bit jet lagged, I’ve completed my first week at the Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery.

The brothers and staff at the monastery have been extraordinarily kind and welcoming.  They have made it easy for me to jump into a new community and living situation.  It definitely is a new living situation in the sense that the brothers start their day off with morning vigils at 6:00 am and then have a structured series of daily offices (prayer services) throughout the rest of the day.   I’m attending most of the daily offices with hopes that I will eventually be able to fall into the rhythm of the monastic prayer schedule. 

Also, during this first week, I’ve been able to spend three days helping at the Holy Cross School where I will be working the rest of the year.  It has been a nice way to meet and spend time with the kids and staff.  The children all speak Xhosa and very little English, but despite this challenge, I find that I am still able to help with lesson plans just fine.  The kids are very friendly and seem excited and curious to have a new face around school. 

It has been a wonderful first week!  More to come soon!

View from the monastery

Holy Cross students

The Holy Cross School


  1. I was just wondering about you! So great to hear about what's going on in Grahamstown. The view from the monastery is quite different from the view from my office in Hong Kong! Love the photos. Can't wait to hear more!! -Kathleen

  2. Stephen, so glad to see you have a blog! My friend Elizabeth Broyles is of course there with you...I'm hoping to make it over sooner than later. Blessings, blessings from California! Stacey Grossman

  3. Xhosa?! Sounds cool & exciting: also, a race between you learning Xhosa and the kids learning English! Keep me posted on the meditation: I expect you'll get there before I do as well!! Love, George