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Mission of Hope

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Saturday, August 9th, 2008

By Bonnie Black
We woke this morning to a plentiful breakfast prepared by our Kitchen crew for the day: Brenda Flynn, Beverly Gogola, Bill Calmbacher and Sister Stephanie.

As always, we had our BBB crew on duty, too: Anthony Garami, David LaTulipe, Meg Ryan and Andrea Maynard. All was complete before heading on to other tasks.

Our morning meeting began and ended with prayer: Marty Mannix initiated it while Monica Smith concluded it. This is our last group meeting until Monday morning due to our schedule for tonight and tomorrow (Sunday). It was mostly logistics about today and tomorrow in order to assure that all are "on the same page."

By Bonnie Black
We woke this morning to a plentiful breakfast prepared by our Kitchen crew for the day: Brenda Flynn, Beverly Gogola, Bill Calmbacher and Sister Stephanie.

As always, we had our BBB crew on duty, too: Anthony Garami, David LaTulipe, Meg Ryan and Andrea Maynard. All was complete before heading on to other tasks.

Our morning meeting began and ended with prayer: Marty Mannix initiated it while Monica Smith concluded it. This is our last group meeting until Monday morning due to our schedule for tonight and tomorrow (Sunday). It was mostly logistics about today and tomorrow in order to assure that all are "on the same page."

We had been asked by the owner, Hilda, of the lumber yard where we purchase our wood for home building, to assist her teaching at the Alternative English School this morning. The hands-on experience for her students was provided by Darcie Black, Abby Fordham, Betsy Sullivan and Meg Ryan who spent close to 2 hours enjoying the experience.

Our last rice & beans went out this morning led by Andrea Maynard. Her crew consisted of Lynn-Marie Veverka, Liz Dukette, Heather Frenette, Gerald Marks, Laura DiGrigoli and Catlin Furnia.

Our Home Crew was sparse: Marty Mannix and Kasey Garrand joined the locals in building 2 homes this morning. Kasey handled the task of planting a moringa at each of their homes while Marty supervised the construction.

All others were schedule to prepare the health fair and anticipated going to Mass as we will not be around in the morning for the 9am service. But, Father Jalder called to let us know that he was summoned to the Cathedral for a 10am service and would not be able to make it. So, we are hoping that we will be able to have one around 4:30 when we all return tomorrow.

So what did they all do? Most jumped right into the final move for many, many cartons from the shelter of the clinic portico over to our storage house on the Leon Road. Anthony directed where the boxes needed to be allocated while a team wrote the location on the boxes. It took two trips in the truck, but with the brigade-type line, it was all put into storage – in a logical manner – within a little more than an hour. Lugging the many boxes between the locations were Monica Smith, Laura DiGrigoli, Mary Fredette, Darcie Black, Gabrielle Springer, Dan Riggins, Andrea Maynard, David LaTulipe, Bill Calmbacher, Nancy LaTulipe and Bill Murray. We now have much in storage for distribution in February.

This afternoon we had another sparse Home Crew of Marty Mannix and Catlin Furnia while everyone else was involved in some aspect of our 2nd Annual Health Fair in Chiquilistagua. There is only one left to build on Monday – for the 95-year-old woman who donated land years ago so that the Mission could construct a chapel for the barrio of Monte Verde.

The Health Fair was scheduled from 1p-3p and had various stations people could visit: handwashing, blood pressure measurement, the cycle of water from rain to your faucet, respiratory/asthma information, breast self-exam model and information, personal health kits for adults, information on baby diaper changing in a sanitary manner, children’s health kits, toothbrushing demonstration with toothbrushes and toothpaste given away, and a double table of information and photographs on the ECO projects including the new community gardens and the moringa. Joining us at the table were Magaly and Augusto who are so proud and excited about their involvement in the future growth of their barrio. We had games for the children in the courtyard, but many visited the fair themselves and played in the basketball court outside of the auditorium in which the fair was held. People were still there after 3pm, but we had to close the fair by 3:30pm due to our schedule.

After a dinner of nachatamales – which most people truly enjoyed – we headed to the Ruben Dario Theatre for the Folklorico dance program. Although we got back home past our regular bedtime, everyone on the bus seemed very pleased that we were able to take advantage of being here during the Santo Domingo holiday – the only time this presentation occurs.

Tomorrow is our ‘day off’ and we become tourists with 13 people headed to Mombacho Volcano cloudforest and 18 to Granada and a boat ride among the offshore islands.

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