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Monday, July 27, 2009: A Team Back on Schedule!

By Bonnie Black
We may have gotten off to a rough start but, as of tonight, we are back on the schedule we had originally planned out. As most of you know, our original flight scheduled to connect between Logan in Boston and Ft. Lauderdale had been delayed long enough for us to miss the connection to Managua. Spirit only flies on alternate days, so we were ‘grounded’ in Ft. Lauderdale unexpectedly on Friday and Saturday.

We may have gotten off to a rough start but, as of tonight, we are back on the schedule we had originally planned out. As most of you know, our original flight scheduled to connect between Logan in Boston and Ft. Lauderdale had been delayed long enough for us to miss the connection to Managua. Spirit only flies on alternate days, so we were ‘grounded’ in Ft. Lauderdale unexpectedly on Friday and Saturday.

We worked for 8 hours on Friday doing what we would have done tomorrow, so it wasn’t a wasted day. But, Saturday we had to check out of the hotel by 11am and we didn’t have to be at the airport until 8pm. So, we spent the day as an A Team ‘day off’ before we had all of the work done!

Yesterday, our A Team of Emily Bean, Bill Calmbacher, Bev Gogola, Brenda Flynn and I were functioning on only 3 hours of sleep. We landed around midnight on Sunday morning – a bit of turbulence near the end – but didn’t get to Nicasa until almost 2:30am. Walking in we found all of the bunk beds there, but only 6 in the men’s room with the extra 4 crowded into the women’s large room. We managed to get our 5 bunks ready and hit the sack as soon as we could find some sheets.

After Mass, we returned to Nicasa and sorted all of the wood for the 9 casasitas and bagged the sand – do you know that it takes 25 shovelsful to fill a rice bag?!? It is always so interesting to meet and speak with the families receiving the materials. They are grateful and gracious. As a matter of fact, two of the young men receiving supplies came over after the meeting and assisted us in the sorting of the wood.

Around 9pm, as most of us were getting ready to turn in, Bill Murray joined us. We went from ‘Bonnie & the 4 Lefties’ to ‘Bonnie and the 5 Lefties’ – what are the odds of that kind of ratio?! He had had a long layover in Atlanta, so was quite ready for bed, too.

This morning, we were up at 5:30am in the kitchen having our breakfast. We are still on NY time and haven’t totally acclimated to Nica time yet (2 hours behind). Perhaps we will be so by tomorrow night ;-)

The bulk of the cleaning and disinfecting occurred this afternoon as we got the bedrooms totally completed along with the bathrooms and the kitchen. Bill M. and Emily Bean took care of getting the internet functioning by climbing onto the roof and aligning the equipment up with its source at the Flores’ home. I was so excited to get access so quickly!

We received the delivery of the tin for the homes late this afternoon, so all families will return sometime tomorrow to get theirs. We will have to sort it in the morning as the delivery people would only put them in two piles (long and short). Oh, well, another A Team task still to be done!

This afternoon we also received the wood which will be used to build the bunkbeds at Carlos’ house making the facility amenable to a short-term focused mission. One of the tasks in the next 2-3 days will be to treat the lumber with a sealant precluding termites from damaging the wood before cutting it into the specific lengths we need. Our hope is that we can have these focused missions at Carlos’ house once or twice a year to work on small projects determined by our Leadership Team. We already have a focused mission scheduled for January of 2010 working on expanding the ECO Community Garden project. Depending on the needs ascertained during this mission trip, the Leadership Team (guided by our mission statement) will approve other proposed short-term teams.

Perhaps you haven’t visited our website recently: www.ncmissionofhope.org. You will see the Mission Statement that our Leadership Team developed last winter as we reflected on the first 10 years of MOH as well as photos of past missions.

Mel Landers arrived just before dinner tonight – he had gotten his days confused! Original plans were for him to come here tomorrow afternoon in preparation for work on Wednesday and Thursday with our group and locals from various barrios creating the community gardens. We had confirmed the 28th via email on Friday and had agreed I would call that morning to arrange the exact location for picking him up. He thought today was the 28th and wondered why I hadn’t called, but made it here via bus to the end of the road as he came from Managua tonight. We welcomed him in for dinner with us and as I type this, stories continue to be shared with all in the kitchen as they clean up after dinner, organize tomorrow’s food shopping list and I sit here at the computer.

In the morning we have a few tasks left as well as making sure the last three families (who come from Nejapa) pick up their ‘casasita’ supplies. The other six came yesterday afternoon after the meeting by oxen cart, truck and horse-drawn cart. A couple of the families had to make two trips for supplies and one returned this morning for the rest of theirs.

Arrangements for most of our week’s projects are also completed after meeting with Magaly Velasquez this afternoon. She told us that Sister Rosa is in El Salvador at a Carmelite conference and will be returning in a few days.

Many small tasks are left for tomorrow, but we will be totally prepared to welcome the other 35 tomorrow evening. More to come throughout the week!

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Comments

WE LOVE BONNIE BLACK ALTHOUGH WE HAVE NEVER MET HER. SHE MAKES US FEEL AS IF WE WERE RIGHT WITH SISTER DEBBIE AND THE REST OF THE GROUP AS THEY GO THROUGH THEIR DAILY CHORES. SHE IS A BLESSING INDEED.
PALM COAST, FLORIDA

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