Archive | January, 2016

Top 9 (plus 1) Questions

7 Jan

After announcing the kick-off meeting, I’ve been getting some questions. These are also topics we discuss at the meeting. I thought I’d just share the questions and answers in case you are considering.

  1. Who can join the trip? Girls 15 – 18 with their parent or a chaperon as well as women 18 and up. You do not have to be a Saint Ed’s parishioner or Catholic. Catholic Sisters run the home. We study Bible stories. We go to Mass at least once during the week. You are welcome! You can be from any part of the country, although we’re based in Minnesota, we have had travelers from Massachusetts, Florida, Iowa, California, and Oregon.
  2. Exactly how much does it cost? The flight is the largest cost at around $800 (from MSP to SDQ). New, replacement or renewal of a passport book: $110 if age 16 and older;$80 if under the age of 16. The last major expense is a visit to the travel clinic. That is about $100-200 and is sometimes covered by insurance. Travel health insurance is about $15. Tipping the driver, other small expenses and shopping can range from $40 to $200. There are no overhead or administration fees. The total is close to $1,200. When you compare that to other mission trips (or Spanish immersion camps), you’ll find this to be a bargain. That is because everyone makes the trip happen. No one is a mere passenger, you’ll help plan and create the camp experience.
  3. How are you going to raise that money? Travelers pay their own way.
  4. How many people will we take? 8 is the ideal number of travelers per week, with 6 the minimum and 10 the maximum. We’re hoping for two weeks of travelers, so the range is from 6 to 20 travelers.
  5. What is the mix of return travelers to first-time travelers? It’s usually about half of each. Many travelers return at least once.
  6. Can youth participate? Yes, 14 and older, but they need to come with a chaperon. Several mother/daughter teams have told me that it was a wonderful experience to share.
  7. What are the sleeping arrangements? We sleep in the girls’ dorm. They clear out rooms for us, so we have beds, mosquito nets, towels, and closets. We use our own (travelers’) floor bath.
  8. What is a traveler gets sick or injured during the trip? We require travelers’ health insurance for this situation. We recommend for travel insurance.
  9. What other resources will we need? How will they be paid for? The Sisters provide transportation, room, and food. We really don’t go out on our own typically. Sometimes at the end of the trip we’ll go to a  restaurant in the capital.
  10. Other questions? See other posts here or contact me.



2016 Mission Trip Kick-Off Meeting Monday, January 25, 7-9 PM

6 Jan

Pope F Mercy 2Celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy by joining our Mission this year. Support a social justice organization – the Teresa Toda Home, a home for very poor girls in Azua, Dominican Republic with a summer camp in July 2016. This trip is for women over 18 and mother-daughter pairs for daughters over 15. We have openings from July 9 through July 17, and July 16 through July 24 for travelers interested in sharing a spiritual experience with young women and girls from another country. In a Vacation Bible School format, learn bible stories, play and dance to music, make crafts, perform skits, and other activities. We pray, exchange stories, share love, and spend time with the girls. Through the activities they learn English, enjoy crafts, and build self-esteem. Each trip is deeply touching and spiritual. Special gifts you may share are Spanish skills, crafting and beading talents, or your professional experience (esp. healthcare, tourism, retail, scientists, government, education, and other industries). If you want to follow the Pope’s lead on social justice, charity, adventure, spiritual experiences, fellowship, growth, and fun answer the call to travel with us this summer or help out from Minnesota. Look around this blog and please contact me with questions or to RSVP.  Here are the Top 8 (plus 1) Questions from this year so far. Please share!!