Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Day 5: A day in the life of secondary school students in the village of Lutangilo

Today we woke up and had breakfast provided by the lovely Harrison, who is the head of the kitchen at the Lutheran Center. We left at 8:30 a.m. and rode 2.5 hours in the land cruisers (all-terrain vehicles), having a rocky trip on clay roads to the village of Lutangilo. The drive included beautiful views of the Southern Highlands.
We arrived to a warm welcome from the village people including a song and ceremony from the secondary school students and an introduction from the headmaster, as well as the teachers. The students showed us African dancing, and we showed them traditional American dancing; Catie did the Macarena and Mia and Sam whipped. Peter caught Will’s woah and Rayna broke it down.

Headmaster Sebastian welcomed us into his office, and we were introduced to the secondary school leaders. Sebastion then took us on a comprehensive tour of the school campus, which included the dormitories, classroom, libraries, dining halls, kitchen, and the newly built physics and chemistry laboratories.

Everyone was surprised to learn about the lengthy hours of the students’ timetable which starts at 4 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m., and includes private study, prayer, exercise, and extensive classes. We also saw the water distribution system that previous University of Minnesota students designed. We were inspired by the solar powered system that could provide over 3,000 liters per hour during sunlight. Equally inspiring was Catie’s will and determination to hand-pump water from the ground, even though it was entirely unnecessary as a functioning distribution point was close by.

We learned a song “Asante Sana Yesu,” which translates to "thank you, Jesus," to sing in the local churches this coming Sunday. We returned to the Lutheran Center, with full hearts and hungry stomaches. Luckily Harrison greeted us with a delicious meal which included traditional East African cuisine Ugali and a chocolate birthday cake to celebrate the birthdays of Will and Catie.

The celebration continued across the street at the local beer garden, where professors Strykowski and Anderson joined the students to ensure that safe and responsible decisions were made. Bia nyingi zilifurahishwa (many beers were enjoyed)!

Mia C.


  1. Thanks for great updates and the most of all the pictures! It is great to be able to follow along virtually!! Go UM CSE! Go Gophers!

    1. Meant to write. Thanks for the great updates and most of all the pictures! Never was that great at English. Maybe I'll try Swahili.

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