Our group of five were met at the Labuan Bajo airport by two of the brothers and were driven to the monastery for a typical Indonesian welcoming ceremony.

We were amazed at the development and growth since our last visit to Labuan Bajo. The town really took advantage of the covid isolation and devoted much time to construction and enhancement to assist in the town’s vital role in tourism and hospitality.

Salvadore and Mary-Kate, who had arrived at the monastery the day before, were waiting to meet us and join with us for the next couple of days. Mary-Kate delighted in interacting with the children in the apostolate and the children were as joyful as she was in sharing time together. One of the highlights was a visit to the special school, meeting the children, the principal and staff and being entertained by Aldi playing the keyboard and singing. It brought a tear to many an eye seeing how this young man with numerous disabilities, uses his musical gifts of music to give joy to others.

Doctor Helen was able to assess the children in the apostolate and to provide valuable information towards their ongoing health care. The children were extremely cooperative and seemed to love the one-on-one attention which Dr Helen gently provided.

We were blessed to travel to the Rango Cave which is an ocean cavern with rock formations and is popular for swimming and diving. The water was a pleasant and cool relief from the intense tropical heat. A visit to the beach is always very popular with the brothers as well as the children and our visit on November 7 was no exception. This has left us with great memories of children and adults frolicking in the shallow waters and enjoying to the fullest, the freedom of their lives. Lunch of barbecued fish served with rice and followed by an abundance of fresh fruit, is now just a memory of a beautiful and God given experience. We were blessed to be able to share a meal with Brother Prisca and Brother Conrad at a beautiful restaurant at La Cecile’s overlooking the bay in Labuan Bajo before we left. The colours of the everchanging sunset captured and mesmerised  us as we watched the sun slowly fade over the water as lights appeared one by one from the marine craft on the bay below. The time with the brothers and children came to an end as we farewelled everyone with the hope and promise that we would be once again, granted another opportunity to visit the Missionaries of the Poor in Flores, Indonesia.