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Mission of Hope

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

By Bonnie Black


We took our 'official' group photo this morning in front of the church here at Colegio promptly at 7am - not too sunny and the rain had stopped even though we had a torrential downpour overnight.

Allen took his painting crew for the morning right over to our new location before the meeting so they could beat the possible rain: Betsy, Dale, Chris G., Mary and Megan.

Sister told us at the morning meeting that we would not be holding one tonight as we are all scheduled to go into the city to see the annual Ballet Folkorico Nicaraguense in the Teatro Ruben Dario. She also had the Point Persons give a few reminders regarding housekeeping and hygiene issues.

Our morning prayer was a reflection on a song performed by Susan Boyle, "Who I Was Born To Be." Sister asked us to think of our growth and awareness as missioners this week as we listened to the lyrics that speak to a journey from youth to adulthood. We are coming to a realization that who we are is who we were born to be, maximizing our potentials in a myriad of ways that we had not thought of before coming here.

At the end of the meeting, we dispersed to our assignments for the morning. Our Rice & Beans trek was taken by Sarah, Rodd, Chris H., Stephen, Demi and Sam. The last 2 home shelters donated by Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Schroon Lake had the team of Brenda, Bill C., Anne, Kyle and Adrianne. The first home was built for Lusia Solis of Cedro Galan who has 3 children, so the 4 of them now have their own home. The second home shelter was for Amanda Tellez, neighbor of the first woman. Amanda and her husband have 4 children, so the 6 of them will be living in the 8 x 10 home shelter now.

Joining the bulk of travelers at the new facility were Connie and Cathy putting the final touches on the pharmacy and setting up the 2 clinic exam rooms; assisting with the wash down of the donated equipment that arrived on the last container shipment were Liz, Dave, John and, as an hiatus from painting, Mary and Meg.

Everyone who wanted to got their hands on Allen's sprayer and worked on the first coat of paint for the facility. It will need a second coat, but we will need to look at the forecast as to whether we do it tomorrow or on Monday or Tuesday.

There was a meeting at the new facility to review the balance left to do on Phase I of the project and to walk out what we hope to have as Phase II. Sister, Oscar, Bill M., Mauricio, Ilona, Allen, Chico (our general contractor) and I spent over an hour processing the plans and looking at what should occur in which order. We will have Jeremy Dumont back home adjust the printout and then, via email, provide one to Chico and also to our administrator, Mauricio, along with our New Facility Development Committee.

Bill M. then went into the city with Chico to look at the electrical issues he uncovered at Casa de Vida yesterday. After he returned at lunchtime, he realized that with the Theatre trip tonight, it would not be an efficient use of time for his afternoon assigned painting crew to go there. Instead, he had Megan, Rinsha, Dale, Brenda and Chris H., prepare the shelves we will be able to put up at Parajito Azul in their toy room. The installation will occur either Monday or Tuesday.

This morning's 'mystery ride' got off to a later than expected start for Ali and Rinsha.

And I certainly cannot forget that our Kitchen Crew for the day was Joan, Colleen, Patty and Izzy while our BBB were Ali, Rinsha, Ross and Bill C.

In the afternoon the last two homes, each donated by the Pellerin family and by the Slater family, were built by Allen, Demi, Ali and Dave, Chris G., and Liz. The first home of the afternoon was donated by the Slaters and it went to Concepcion Martinez and her young child in Monte Verde. The Pellerin home was built in memory of William and Norma Colvard, the in-laws/grandparents of those here on Mission and it went to Mayling Lacayo of Chiquilistagua and her husband along with their 6 children here in Chiquilistagua.

Back at the new clinic were Betsy, Sarah, John, Bill C., Mary, Kyle, Adrianne, Anne and Stephen who completed a second coat of paint on all but 2 rear walls of the clinic and got the sealant on most of the guard shelter. We are quite optimistic that if the weather is in our favor, the exterior of the buildings will be completed tomorrow while also adding deadbolt locks to the facility and painting the trim and the doors.

This afternoon's 'mystery ride' with Sister was taken by Ross and Sam. But, what stuck in Ross' mind was something that happened to him on Rice & Beans earlier in the day. He saw a young boy sitting off to the side by himself when they were at one family's home and Ross approached him. The boy had received something small as a token, but when Ross took the hat off of his head and offered it to the boy, his face lit up! Ross told us that was his 'mission moment' and told us he realized, "What's little to us is so much to them."

Allen followed that with noting that we learn here the true difference between 'wants' and 'needs.'

Sister Stephanie said that each Mission group, throughout its week, learns that people have hidden gifts and talents unknown to others before working so closely together. Izzy, who was on Kitchen Crew, saw the broken wooden chair in the kitchen and took it upon himself to get out the appropriate tools and repair it. Thanks, for sharing that talent!

Bill M. told us that when he was speaking with one of the parents at our Second Meeting she said that she thought her son would come back a changed person and not the naïve child he would leave as. Bill confirmed that changes do occur as after his first Mission he began to realize that when others state, "I have to have…" it makes him reflect on Nicaragua. At other times, when people say, "I could never do that" or "You really pay to go there and do that?" he realizes that those who choose to come on Mission, especially more than once, are a special people blessed with the commitment of sharing and serving others.

While others were off doing their tasks, Karla stopped by to bring a sample of her ham and pineapple topped pizza. She is sponsored to take culinary classes in Managua by Marty Mannix and she brought to us two slices of the best pizza a few of us have tasted in a while. The crust was a bit sweet, but went very well with the selected toppings. She is definitely getting the most of her education!

Tonight we all went to see the Ballet Folklorico Nicaraguense at the Teatro Ruben Dario in Managua. This troupe performs just one day a year: the Saturday or Sunday during Santo Domingo Festival (August first through the 10th). For those of us who have seen this before, I have to say that the choreography was enhanced and the costumes were vibrant and new. Although this has been quite enjoyable in the past, it looked fresh and new! We invited a few of our friends to join us, too: Alvaro & Carmen Lieva, Rene Silva and his wife (it was Rene's birthday), Gabriella Flores, and Jeremy & Indira Eppler. A good time was had by all!

We returned to Nicasa just before 10am and lights went out quite quickly - must be all of this fresh air and heat ;~)

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