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December Event – Christmas Card Making and Signing

15 Nov

Don’t miss the first-ever Christmas Card Making and Signing Event at St. Ed’s for the Hogar.

We will make about 50 cards for the girls, Sisters, and staff at the hogar. We’ll all sign all of them. Next, we’ll send them to the home so they (si Dios quiere) make it there by the Feast of Kings January 6, which is what they celebrate with presents and a party at the hogar.

It will be Monday, December 9, 7-9 PM at St. Ed’s. Let me know if you you’re coming or have questions or ideas.

In the meantime, I just discovered another blog, seemingly unrelated to our mission here, but it is! You can read about her mission and how it’s impacted her way of thinking. I’m inspired to write how Campamento has changed my ways of thinking, my beliefs as well. In the meantime, check out https://wanderingpine.com/2019/11/10/why-i-pick-up-trash-and-things-i-learned-as-a-groundskeeper/ 🙂

Peace,

Ann

2020 Kickoff Meeting Information

7 Nov

Just a head’s up. We haven’t chosen the date yet, but are looking at an early February kickoff meeting.

I’ll post it here, in St. Ed’s bulletins, and other local parishes.

In the meantime, take a look at this site for all kinds of information, especially the pieces listed on the campamento.blog (first page) let me know if you’re considering joining this year.

Let’s Twist(er) again!

And, if you want to join DuoLingo use this link and we can be ‘friends’ and learn Spanish together.

What’s your Sycamore Tree?

4 Nov

The Gospel today, Luke 19:1-10, was the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector. He was a sinner, like all of us. When Jesus came to Jericho, he wanted to get closer to Jesus, to see him. But Zacchaeus was short and the crowds were large, so he climbed a sycamore tree. You know the story… Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus’ for dinner – which shocked the townspeople. But no one should have been surprised – Jesus was being consistent. And the meal made a big impact on Zacchaeus’ life!

Jericho was famous for their trees. Zacchaeus did what he could – climbed a sycamore tree – to get closer to Jesus. Click here for more about the poetry and meaning of the Middle East sycamore tree.

Photo of the actual Sycamore fig tree in Jericho today
Some believe Zacchaeus
climbed this sycamore tree

What is your sycamore tree, your way to get closer to God? I’ll invite you to consider joining Campamento 2020 to spend some time with God’s children. It’s your opportunity to get away from your normal routine and get closer to God.

December 9, 7-9 PM in the auditorium at Church of Saint Edward is a chance to meet past travelers, learn more about Campamento, and make Christmas cards for the girls, Sisters, and staff at the home. We’ll have the materials and design ideas. Bring a pair of good paper scissors. RSVP by commenting below.

Hope to see you there!

Breathing

24 Sep

“Mindful Breathing” and “Proper Breathing” information has been coming at me from many sources lately. I am practicing this to be more calm and also to reduce stage-fright (or more accurately Webinar-fright for a webinar 9/26). I am feeling some of the benefits, but need more practice.

Breathing techniques are free and available to the everyone who is, well, breathing. Breathing techniques help you live in the present moment, but of course, I’m thinking future – we should schedule time for this at Camp, for the girls (part of circle time?) and for us (mornings and/or kick off daily meetings) next year. Take a look at this Scientific America article for more information and let me know your thoughts. Proper Breathing Brings Better Health

Speaking of next year, we have some exciting plans underway. I’ll keep you up to date when the plans are firmed. Keep an eye in your mailbox for a question about if you’re planning to join in 2020 and the week would work for you. This year, July 4th is on a Saturday, so, should the first week by the 4th, 5th, 6th or the 11th? Rank your choices below. Hopefully we have enough travelers for two weeks in 2020!

Let me know!

Breathe (5 seconds in, 5 seconds out) back to the present . This year we’re requesting monthly “Prayers of the Faithful” for the Sisters, girls, or community as it makes sense. Last month we prayed that the girls has a successful start to their new school year! If you have ideas for October, let me know.

Thank you for reading! Don’t forget to breathe!

Campamento 2019 Trip Report

17 Jul

Teresa Toda Home and Church of Saint Edward, 17th Camp, Our 22nd Year Together

“The girls look forward to campamento all year long.

Sister Fifi, Director of the Home, to the travelers

Dates June 18-25, 2019

Travelers

Abby Rinowski, Jeane Peters, Jane Konkoly, Ann McGuire, Emma Nelson, Desiree Green, Michele Cowling

All the girls wearing their Campamento 2019 T-shirts

Zumba and the Holy Spirit

This year, Debbie Gibbs, first-time 2018 traveler, offered to lead a Zumba party to benefit Campamento in two ways: promoting Campamento in general and providing the opportunity to support the home through gym shoe donations. Wow, parishioners, neighbors, and friends filled half the social hall. They saw a presentation about camp, then got to sample the spirit of Campamento by doing on of our favorite activities there: dance!

Zumba 2019 – a new Campamento tradition?

About 50 people came – some had never danced Zumba before. Others were excited to dance with this instructor visiting us from Washington DC.

Check out these dancers!
The not-camera shy Zumba Dancers
Visit to Paisley Park before heading back to Washington DC – five stars

The Holy Spirit was working with us this year again in mysterious ways. This was the first year we provided the opportunity to help purchase shoes through donations in January (no mystery yet, except that Debbie offered to fly to Minnesota in January ❄️). Then in February our source for the gym shoes, Payless Shoes, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy (not a mystery – many retailers have been closing lately). Payless announced they would be discounting their shoes to liquidate their inventory. In the past, this would have been a crisis, but this year, we had the money to purchase the shoes!

White Tennis Shoes

Michelle Padua, past traveler and on-going supporter, and I each chose four stores to scour for the shoe sizes we needed. In the past, this would have been a crisis, but this year, for the first time, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we already had the money to purchase the shoes! Our Parish Administrator, Beth Schorle managed the finances for Campamento, including supporting our last-minute shopping spree.

When things fall into place like this, I believe that’s the Holy Spirit affirming our work by assisting us. We call these events “camp miracles”. Through Campamento, I’ve seen more of these then I ever thought possible.

Cutting and Kitting Night

Cutting and Kitting night was a huge success again this year. It’s so fun to see past travelers, future travelers, and volunteers committed to coming back each year to help how they can. Cutting and Kitting Night makes our craft time at camp a lot more efficient and organized. Thank you to the 35 volunteers!

Donations

Unique Donation = Unique Packing Challenges

Thank you to parishioners and friends for the donations. The Sisters and girls appreciate them so much. A friend offered a thoughtful gift this year – these boxes with sections for organizing things. They were used for a lab and were about to be discarded and this friend thought girls at the home would like to use them. To pack them and the other generous donations of medicines, socks, underwear, jewelry making supplies, and other things into our suitcases, we took everything out of packages and packed them in the boxes. It was slick; all donated items fit into our suitcases.

As well as the shoes from Zumba, Parishioners and friends donated OTC medicines, vitamins, Spanish books, and other requested donations.

Overview of Campamento

We structure Campamento like a Vacation Bible School, customized to the girls’ needs. Our theme was and will continue to be “Women of Faith”. We chose this theme because the Sisters who run the home are women of faith. The travelers and girls continue to grow in faith. Studying women of faith from the Bible, the Saints, or other faithful women provide relatable lessons for the girls.

Each day we study one (or sometimes two) women of faith. At opening ritual, one of the girls reads a Bible passage or a passage related to the woman of faith. We then discuss what happened in the story.

Next, we break into age based groups, who then rotate through stations. At one station, the girls reflect on the characters they share with the woman, and what they’d like to develop and explore other lessons related to the Bible story. The other two stations are English and math. When the stations are done, we all get together again to do a craft that relates to the woman we studied.

Reflection Station with Desiree
English with Michelle
Math with Abby

Instead of stations, the oldest girls work on life skills that can help them now and in the future. This year, the program was based on “Getting to Yes” a classic business book by Harvard negotiation professors. We have three curricula we rotate based on “Getting to Yes”, “The Power of a Positive No”, and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens”. The girls benefit from getting the material more than once.

Negotiation with Jeane

Formal camp activities are about half the day. The other half of the day, we take an excursion to girls’ home neighborhoods, go to the beach or pool, or do other unstructured fun activities.

Family visit

Background

The Church of Saint Edward has had a relationship with Hogar Teresa Toda, a girls’ home run by Carmelite nuns, since 1998.

The relationship began when Bloomington Rotarians dug a well for the home. The Rotarians had only planned to dig another well in the region, but the Sisters convinced them to dig a well for the new home. After digging and digging, the crew was not hitting water. The prospects were looking grim until the Sisters gathered the girls in a circle around the hole. In the limited Rotarian Spanish and Carmelite English, the Rotarians asked “What’s going on?” The Sister and director of the home said, “You dig, we pray.” Within minutes, the crew hit water, enough water for years and years to come. After that success, the Sisters expressed interest in maintaining a relationship with an American organization. This was not in the scope of the Bloomington Rotary, but someone there knew a Saint Edward’s parishioner.

Sue Kellett and Vi Lee headed down on cheap ($98 each!) tickets the following winter to see the place first hand. They saw the good work that the sisters and girls were doing at the home. They asked what the Sisters would want from a relationship with the Church of Saint Edward – money, supplies, clothing? No, they wanted to build a personal and spiritual relationship with parishioners through a summer camp, or “Campamento.”

The girls live in the home because their families don’t have the resources to support them to thrive. Many mothers have died in childbirth or due to malnutrition or other poverty related complications. Other mothers work long hours for very little pay and cannot supervise the girls while they are working. Many of the girls do have extended family. They are not “up for adoption”. The girls are healthy, well behaved girls with capacity to succeed in school.

The girls live in the home during the school year. They attend the Catholic school in Azua. Two times per month the girls return to their families. In this way the girls maintain a connection to their roots and the girls provide a positive influence in the community. Many of the girls return from these home visits hungry and dirty, but they are maintaining these important bonds. In the summer, the girls return to their families except for two weeks when they go back to the home for Campamento. Before our relationship the Sisters ran a camp. In 2002, we started by running one week or two weeks. This year, we had enough travelers to lead a one week camp.

Goals

These are the five top goals we have for the Church of St. Edward/Hogar Teresa Toda relationship.

Goal #1 Enjoy a balanced relationship where we all benefit.

For Campamento this year, we gave our time, our talents, and treasure, and we received much more in return.  The Sisters’ hospitality is very generous. They make sure we are well fed (delicious mangoes!), hydrated, and safe. They run a generator to make sure we have electricity. The girls make sure we eat first at the family style meals. This is embarrassing to some of us, but we respect the honor. We received a spiritual lift, a cultural exchange, their love, mind and heart expanding experiences. After a break from our normal lives, we returned energized and excited to be back home. We appreciate the material wealth we take for granted every day.

We get to witness the goodness in the simple life that they live. The kids make up their own games, know what fruit to pick and eat off the trees, and share with each other. These girls do chores with minimal complaints. Compared to some children here, they are very resourceful and responsible. I (Ann) came home with a renewed idea of what kids 6-18 years old are capable of (to the chagrin of my 15 and 18-year-old sons).

The girls and the Sisters benefit from the Campamento experience, although we are a lot of work! The girls get a lot of attention from us. They get the comfort that we return each year to be with them. The girls get English practice and math tutoring. The Sisters get a break in their routine. We hope that camp helps the program that the Sisters have developed by providing a small incentive for the girls to work hard, follow the rules, and stay at the home for another year. Sister Fifi enjoyed her fourth camp this year. Each year, she tells us that the girls talk about camp all year long. That is high praise which inspires us to return year after year.

It’s also a privilege to be able to witness the Holy Spirit through the Sisters’ lives. As Carmelite Sisters of San Jose, they turn over their lives to serve the children. Like San Jose (Saint Joseph) took care of Jesus even though He was not his biological child, the Sisters take care of these girls and other children who are not their biological children through medicine, education, and pastoral outreach. Carmelite Sisters wear a wedding ring – signifying that they are “married to Jesus”. I admire their commitment. They are role models in faith as well as in their actions.

Goal #2 Make many connections with Saint Edward’s parishioners and the Hogar Teresa Toda so that more benefit from the relationship.

Each year we make many connections between the Saint Edwards community and the Hogar Teresa Toda. This year was no different.

  • The entire Parish contributes through the Social Justice budget. The parish donated $2,000 to offset camp costs. In this way, every parishioner is a part of the trip, even if they cannot travel themselves or help out in other ways.
  • Some parishioners, past travelers, and friends made cash donations as well. This went toward new beds, school uniforms and other items needed for the girls.
  • More than 35 parishioners, travelers, and past travelers help at the annual “Cutting and Kitting Night” where we prepare the crafts. Doing this helps make the craft part of camp run smoothly. Michelle Berndt designed, purchased the materials, and prepared the crafts for cutting and kitting night for this year.
Three of the new beds from donations from St. Ed’s parishioners and friends.
Girls led us on a tour of their rooms – the matching sheets, blankets, and curtains were donated by a local community member.
  • Our spouses, families, and friends all help out when needed, driving up to and from the airport and keeping our families running smoothly when we prepare for the trip and are away on the trip.
  • The Church provides storage for supplies and donations throughout the year.
  • We use the Parish copier for Travelers’ guides and Girls’ journals.
  • Many pray for us, especially when we are mentioned in the Prayers of the Faithful at the Masses.

The Sisters, the girls, and everyone involved with Campamento very much appreciate all these ways that Saint Edwards Parishioners and friends support Campamento. We hope everyone feels they contributed and enjoyed doing it.

Goal #3 Organize so that the Campamento does not rely on one parishioner

We get closer to this goal each year. The good news is that we have many travelers who want to return. Also, many travelers know of others who are good candidates for the future. We always have to work to find Spanish speakers who could travel. We rely heavily on the few who can speak well. This year Desiree joined us from Washington DC. She was a dream traveler – a Spanish speaking accomplished singer and dancer. We hope to see her again in the future.

We are getting return travelers and also are finding Spanish students. This is a win-win for everyone involved because the students get to practice what they learn at school.

We used the “Travelers’ Preparation Guide” on the blog campamento.blog again this year. It’s a compilation of wisdom from past travelers and other sources. This was useful for this trip and will be useful into the future. We continue to update it with new insights from recent travelers.

For the curriculum, Michele Cowling, a physician in Obstetrics & Gynecology prepared a health class. Abby Rinowski planned the math station. Michelle Berndt planned the crafts. Heidi Busse helped choose the “Women of Faith” and the lessons to learn from them.

2019 Travelers with Sister Sandra, former Director of the Home

Many parishioners have personally come to the Campamento or visited the Hogar. This helps to maintain momentum. Over the course of our 15 years of camp we have had 64 Saint Edwards parishioners visit the Hogar. They are: Michelle Brooks, Kim Brunner, Samantha Brunner, Michele Cowling, Katelynne Delfs, Kristine Delfs, Jana Duggan, Sue Griffin, Lizanne Ham, Hannah Heitzman, Sue Kellett, Mike Kellett, Pam Kennedy, Kelly Kennedy, Maureen Kent, Kathleen Kent, Karen Kinsella, Stacey Kinsella , Michelle Koster, Lindsey Kreye, Mary Kurth, Vi Lee, Ella Marzolf, Moe McCullough, Kate McCullough, Kris McCullough, Ann McGuire, John McGuire, Jack McGuire, Michael McGuire, Emma Nelson, Stacia Nelson, Ann Nusbaum, Carolyn O’Donnell, Corinne O’Donnell, Laura O’Donnell, Chris Ohotto, Deborah Paone, Jackie Peters, Jeane Peters, Marilyn Peterson, Shelly Pomonis, Mary Pat Potts, Michaela Potts, Abby Rinowski, Diane Ross, Mia Ah Sani, Alexa Schirber, Carly Schirber, Carol Schirber, Haley Schirber,  Jill Schreiber-Smith,  Jackie Sias, Stephanie Sias, Anna Smith, Mary Snydle, Kate Soderlund, Hannah Szfraniec, Katrina Viegas, Diana Villella, Annie Weatherhead, Joni Weatherhead, Liz Weatherhead, and Jenny Webster.

Additionally, we’ve had 43 friends and family travel who are not parishioners. They are: Lindsey Allais, Ashley Andres, Amanda Berndt, Michelle Berndt, Samantha Black, Abby Burgason, Emily Carr, Julie Carr, Laura Dallmann,  Marilyn Fox, Charlotte Freschi, Sarah Freschi, Debbie Gibbs, Victoria Gregus, Deb Hohenstein,  Desiree Green, Meghan Hohenstein,  Susan Hulbert, Sydney Hulbert, Abby Konkoly, Jane Konkoly, Karen Konkoly, Michelle Koster, Sharon Marini, Isabel Mendoza, Jean Nightingale, Leah Nightingale, Cheryl Noyes, Barbara Owens, Joan Pare, Emily Peters, Fatima Pimento, Heather Rowe, Georgina Santos, Amber Scaletta, Julie Seguin, Mary Beth Schleif, Forrest Schrader, Susie Schrader,  Claire Skach, Cheryl Tombarge, Melissa Trujillo, and Haley Wayt.

This totals 107 travelers, just 35 more than the 72 missionaries mentioned in Luke 10:1-9.

Goal #4 Continue running a two week Campamento each year at the home

With the schedule changed to June, this year was a one week camp. We’re so happy we got any travelers this year and look forward to a second week next year. The girls really benefit from that second week. We have recruiting plans to be able to continue with a two-week Campamento again next year. Each traveler is encouraged to share their experiences with friends and invite good candidates to consider joining us.

Goal #5 Adhere to the Principles of all our Sister Parish Relationships

1. Emphasize relationship over resources

2. Practice mutuality and equality

First time traveler and parishioner Stacia enjoying the Zoo with everyone

3. Seek to give and receive, learn and teach

4. Work to change unjust systems and structures

Sister Fifi, Director of the Home, and Sister Stephanie who lives and works there.

The First Group to Church

When we support the home, we are supporting a just program

5. Deepen our faith by experiencing the universal, Catholic Church

Mass at Buen Pastor (The Good Shepard) Church

Ready for Mass

Because camp was in June, we got to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi Mass, which was Thursday, June 20 this year.

More about Camp Activities

We held one week with two programs and activities each day. One program was for the girls ages 5-12, and another new program, a “retreat” for the girls ages 13-18. This is consistent with VBS in the US where the regular VBS becomes somewhat juvenile for the older girls. We developed the VBS curriculum this year “Women of Faith”. This worked so well at Camp. We will use this theme for years to come.

Woman of BibleDaily ThemeDaily Craft
EveWe have choices.Snakes
Mary Mother of God
(wedding at Cana)
Do what Jesus tells us.Craft boxes
Poor Widow of SapphiraTrust in God.Coin purses
Mother LangeTeach OthersVision Boards

Each day we opened with a ceremony where we sang the theme song Look up Child by Lauren Daigle, read a Bible passage, and read a psalm. Then, we lead a discussion on what happened, then how the woman and her story relate to the girls’ lives.

Then the older girls went to retreat, and the younger girls did Camp activities.

The younger girls broke into their age-based groups. The three groups were: the youngest (5-6), middle-younger (7-9), and middle and oldest(10-14). The groups rotated through three “stations”:  Math Games, English, and Journal. After that, we all do the craft together. Then we conclude for lunch.

Crafts

Sharpie Tie Dye t-shirts
Tie-Dye T-shirt
Craft Boxes – an upcycle from a laboratory
Giant Coloring Page – Sea Turtles
Frames
A Collage of Finished Frames
Snake Craft by one of the two new girls (from Eve day)
Ready for Church and sporting the purse she made (Widow of Sapphira day craft)
Vision Board (from Mother Lange day)

Skits

Each evening a different group performed a skit of the story we read in the morning. Desiree was the director of the skits this year. The kids really are good performers. We had some new costumes and props this year, which was fun. Each younger group had a skit to perform based on the Bible passage of the day. The oldest group performed two skits illustrating what they learned in negotiation class.

The Cast for Eve (the youngest group)
Cast of Mary Mother of God – Wedding at Cana (the young-middle group, some missing)
The Cast of Widow of Sapphira (the middle group)
Cast of the Negotiation Skits (the oldest group)

The Retreat

The oldest girls (14-18 years) begin and end each day with all of us. While the younger girls do Campamento “stations”, they learned to negotate using the model in “Getting to Yes”. Negotiation is a tool to solve problems. You can solve problems with win-win results. The model is:

  • Me (know and articulate what you want, interests – not just positions)
  • You (understand what they want, interests – not just positions)
  • Together (work together to find a win-win solution)
  • Build (realize the win-win solution together)

This is the model in “Getting to Yes”, a business classic, presented originally for teenage girls in Zambia. The model is universal and it resonates with hte girls. We call this a “retreat” where they worked on skills they can use now and in their future.

Notice the board: Like last year’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” had important definitions and models. In this program, we learned what a negotiation is “Speaking and working together with others to solve a problem”. We also defined Positions vs. Interests, and Win Win Solutions.

Home Visits

We visited homes this year as well. Many of us have heard the statistic that 1.2 billion people live on less than $1/day, 1 billion are illiterate, and 1 billion do not have access to water. We witnessed how hard it is for people facing this kind of life. It really makes us thankful we happened to be born where we did.

One visit (pictured earlier) was to “A”. “A” is to Sister Fifi’s left with her family. We met her last year. She did extremely well in school, but got homesick. She is welcome back when school starts in late August. Pray she does decide to return – she is truly gifted!

Another visit was to a family we’ve visited before. The stepmother is mentally ill. The father doesn’t know what to do. It’s a very sad. Sister Fifi is looking into options for the girl there. We did not take pictures at this home.

Excursion

Each year the girls go on an excursion with the travelers. This year, Sister Fifi had to scramble, because she was hoping (as we were) that there would be two weeks of camp and she planned something for August. So, we went to the Carmelite school and had a good time there.

Riding in the GuaGua (minivan)
Playground
Refreshing Pool Time
Sister Fifi and Desiree Dancing the Bachata
Playhouse

More Pictures and Stories of the Girls and Travelers

Here are four daily blogs from Campamento.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Betania – a former camper and high school grad, is now helping at the home and going to college. She’s studying early childhood education.
Why did it take 17 years to bring Twister to camp? It was a hit.
Jeane dancing with “H” – fun!
Evelina made this sign as part of the 25th Anniversary of the home.
One of the two “new” girls this year
Dancing with Desiree to “Look Up Child”
Dancing with Abby to “Waka Waka (This time for Africa)” by Shakira
Touring the Bedrooms and Neat Closets! She displays the bead craft from last year!
Coloring
Abby and Michelle with two girls
The girls do each others’ braids.
Emma and girls reading the lyrics to Look Up Child
Jeane cooking Mac and Cheese (a rare treat!) for the girls
New two weeks ago, this girl was a little overwhelmed by camp. She can really jump rope, though! From this day on, she really opened up and had fun with everyone.
The home is filled with gardens. These are papaya trees.
Three jump ropes tied together!
Jane is holding a giant mango from the driver’s farm. The local fruit is delicious! Sister Grace in the middle has lived in worked in New York and Wisconsin. She speaks English very well!
Dominoes – a Dominican favorite game
Party Buffet
Party Smiles
Friends in the playground
Ann (me) with some of the kids on the final night.
“G” in her beautiful new Quinceañera dress – a gift from a Bloomington friend. If you are Kondo-ing your prom and homecoming dresses, consider passing them along to the girls at the Hogar.
Check out this video by Jane and her daughter Michelle. Thank you Jane!!!

Thank you Saint Edwards Parishioners, Staff, all travelers this year, all past travelers, volunteers, and supporters!

Pray that each girl decides to stay at the home through high school graduation, like Evelina this year. She graduated with distinction.

Please consider joining us next year. It will be in July and we’d love to have two weeks of Campamento! You can help make it happen!

Peace,

Ann McGuire

Campamento 2019 Video!!

2 Jul

For the first time, we have a video of campamento. Thank you Jane and Michele Konkoly for creating this! You can’t sum up the entire week in 3 minutes, 22 seconds, but this gives you a flavor of camp. Please like and share this!!

We’re hoping for two weeks worth of travelers next year, 2020. Please consider it.

Campamento 2019 Video

Campamento Day 4

24 Jun

Woman of Faith is Mother Lange. The theme is “Teach Others”

Mary Lange lived a rich life teaching children of freed slaves. She also started the first Catholoc Order for African American women. You can read more about her at http://www.motherlange.org/

We were going to make vision boards today, but a slight change to our first day led to not enough magazines. I brought some down, packing to buy more at the supermarket by El Carmelo, the Sisters’ home in Santo Domingo. But we went to Azua from the airport without stopping.

So we decorated the boxes that a friend donated. She saw her company was throwing these away. She knew about this Ministry. She thought the girls would like them. She was right! Please keep us in mind all year long 🙂

Ready for church, wearing a new dress and a matching purse – the “poor widow” craft.

Sister Fifi made two travel groups, because the guagua (minivan) can only hold half of us. So we go to the beach, pool, and church in two groups. This is group one at the park in front of the parish.

Campamento Day 3

24 Jun

The Poor Widow Mark 12:41-44 and “Trust in God” Matthew 6:24-34

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring trouble of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. ”

The t-shirts are coming along. They look so good! It’s not as messy as tie-dying and ther kids can do most of it themselves.

New decorations at the home

The girls made signs like ths for the 25th anniversary of the Hogar (home)

Jesus is my friend

Amigas

The littlest girls (las peceñas) eat at a peceña (small) table

Her first year and can really jump. Is been fun seeing her relax and reveal her personality

Campamento Day 2

21 Jun

“In preparing for campamento <well, he said “battle”> I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

Today fit this description, and it all worked out. we started with a trip to the beach. To past travelers – it was cleaner! And one of the Sisters really swims! She knew about a sand bar out a little and it was nice. The kids are very well behaved.

When we got back, we started on our craft (yes, its backward,we thought it was the best way to get everything done). A group of Collegio San Jose alum (the high school the Sisters run) came. They toured the Hogar, we ate, and gathered where two women from the group sang, the girls sang, then, by request, Desiree sang “Sometimes I fell like a motherless child.” Just beautiful!

The craft was sharpie tie dye shirts. Pictures to follow. It’ll take about three days. Most of the girls were into it. Those who weren’t todaywill be tomorrow when they see the others. It’s a three day process.

The Wedding at Cana was the story of the day. A theologian friend told me one reason this might have been the first miracle is that it describes the difference between life with Jesus and without; with water. You can live. With wine, with the holy spirit, life is more rich and full.

Negotiation with the oldest girls is going well. We’re using the “Girls Arise” program based on “Getting to Yes” that we used three years ago. The girls are engaged. We are reviewing a role-play in this pic.

Sister Fifi creatively keeps the kids engaged and feeling part of the home. The girls made these signs hanging around the property.

We ended the night with a 1:45 hour Corpus Christi mass. We were all tired and hot, but its was fun to see a new chapel.

Campamento Day 1

20 Jun

The trip to Azua yesterday was uneventful. The only difference is we didn’t stop at El Carmelo; we went straight to the home. The girls have been there since school ended last week. They were so excited to see us and greeted the new and old travelers like family. Betania and Katy made the towels into flowers, boats, and hearts “like at a hotel”. Pretty cute!

Today the woman of faith was Eve. She was given a choice and made a bad one. We’ve all made bad choices or decisions, but we are forgiven through Jesus. The kids were really well-behaved; we’re guessing they are still in “school mode”. But, one 10 year old just joined on Saturday and she jumped right in! The craft was a cute snake (photo coming). The smallest group (peceñas) performed the drama. They were terrific. They even narrated themselves!

After camp we went to a pool at a hotel. We all cooled off and the girls entertained themselves all afternoon.

A great first day!!