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Mission of Hope

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Daily Journal: Monday, August 1, 2011

By Bonnie Black
Today was our ‘day off’ before returning to all of you. It began earlier than usual with Colleen, Darcy, Angie, Missy and Sam opening the kitchen by 4:45am, so that everyone leaving for Mombacho could have a full and hearty breakfast before boarding their van at 6am.

Four of our young men also got up that early to assist in completing the first coat on one of the Moore Suite rooms: Chris, Ross, Charles and Dan. Then Dan, who was on the second van out later, stayed in the room to put a second coat on it.

Our BBB crew was Cathy and Anna along with Dan in the morning for the Men and Ross in the evening.

So, off to Mombacho, the cloudforest volcano, were Jeanne, Chris, Stefanie, Alex, Sam, Mary, Ross, Bill C., Charles, Sarena, Stephen, Josh, Colleen, Brendee, and Alix. They enjoyed this excursion, lunch at Pollo Narcy (which is at the foot of El Coyotepe) and then on to the Roberto Huembes Market, named after a martyr of the Civil War.

Sister, Cathy, Sister Stephanie and Liz went to CARITAS today to meet with the Archbishop regarding various medical brigade issues and container shipments. They also dropped Barbara at the airport as she is the first of our group to return home. Her time spent with the orphans this week is on her personal blog: http://blogs.ncmissionofhope.org. This is Barbara’s individual ‘take’ on her work with our Orphans’ Hope Project which she uses to keep the OHP sponsors and supporters informed on her activities, frustrations, progress and any miracles that occur while she is here in Nica.

Around 9, the Masaya National Park group took off: Bev, Angie, Ashley, Heather, Darcy, Missy, Judy, Connie, Dan, Lou and Joan. After their visit to the active volcano, they went on to lunch at Pollo Narcy, the Catarina Lagoon and Market, and then the Masaya Market.

Bev told us that she had recently seen a program on the Masaya volcano and the legends of the indigenous peoples as well as the story of the Spanish on the History Channel. Maybe you can catch it next time it’s on!

Bill M. went up to the Pajarito Azul farm to do the assessment required by the Dorothea Haus Ross Grant. He met with Mel Landers, the staff there and learned

Our semi-annual Pizza Party in memory of Sister Steph’s nephew, Shawn Watson (the first deceases mission traveler at the age of 35) was enjoyed by all of us and our guests: Magaly & her husband, Nora and her daughter Alyson, Rosa (our other cook) and her daughter Daniela, Marta, Mauricio, Chico and his son Harvey, Fabricio, and 3 of the 4 sisters from Niño. A good – and delicious – time was had by all!

Afterward, we had a quick meeting to go over some particulars of the group shutdown assistance for this evening and at 3am. Then, the young people gathered at the table in the breezeway to share laughs and giggles and stories from this week together in an informal manner.

On a serous note, one of the women in the barrio with whom we have had a long standing relationship is in a domestic violence situation. Steps were taken to assure her safety and that of her children, so her life may be able to begin anew soon. The connection among Mission #42 led to a donation tray in the kitchen tonight and a total of $200 is now going to assure her some financial security as she begins her life anew.

It is this type of human connection, emotional tethering to our fellow human beings, that have bonded these 34 people together this week. Each has experienced Mission #42 in his or her own way; each will have their own story; yet, each will hold a memory unique to this mission – forever.

Tomorrow, as you pick up your loved one in Plattsburgh (or Newark or San Diego), don’t be surprised if you will begin to hear it all…or nothing. Everyone emerges from their time here in a different manner. Some are chatterboxes, others quieter than normal. It’s OK. Let the processing occur. In due time, you will begin to hear their story – our story – from more than my perspective.

Thank you for letting me share our week with you. Adios from Mission #42 – hasta pronto!

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