We are now two weeks into the new formation year in Nairobi.
On Sunday 23rd August, 2020, we opened the 2020/2021 formation year even amidst the on-going corona virus pandemic restrictions. Reflecting on the current reality of the world, that is, the ecological crisis, the effects of the pandemic, and the ongoing conversion to which every Christian is called, we chose the theme “Renew the face of the earth” (Ps. 104:30) for this year of formation.
Almost all the students present for the opening of the new year were continuing students most of whom have been stuck at the Formation Centre since the beginning of the health crisis in March. Because of the international travel restrictions, most of the first year students and MEP returnees were not able to physically participate in the recollection day and opening Eucharist. However, thanks to the hard work of some students who are technologically savvy, they were able to participate in both events virtually. This was an exciting experience that was appreciated both by the formation house members and the students who joined us from different corners of the globe. Bruno and Elvis joined us virtually from South Africa; Fredrick, Jude and Landus from Uganda; Clement from the Philippines; and Bapuji from India.
The disruptions caused by the global health crisis have touched every sphere of life. This means for us that everything in the program this year has to be adjusted taking into consideration all the recommended precautions expected at this time. So far we are coping well. The students are having online lessons from Tangaza University College while all pastoral activities are still suspended. And we are looking forward to welcoming the other students into the program as travel restrictions are hopefully lifted soon.
The challenge of every moment like this lies in the ability for the human person graced by God, to change such challenges into opportunities. This is precisely what our community in 2nd Cycle Nairobi is striving at during the time of lockdown. The result of this has been the blossoming of various previously hidden talents in the areas of singing, painting, gardening, sports, and the like. One of such hidden talents least talked about is in the area of writing. The opening of the formation year was made more special as the community officially launched a book, Rambled in the Volcano, written and completed by one of the students, José Belengu Litako, during the time of lockdown. This novel, a fascinating socio-cultural and political satire, captures the real life experience of the author set in his native DRC.
Damien Fuh mhm