Since Monday, February 4, I have been in the Dominican Republic
working on details about our 2019 mission trip, and I'm pleased to report that all has gone extremely well. Julia was to have made this trip with me, but she came down with a stubborn case of bronchitis that was slow to respond to treatment so she stayed at home to take things a little easier and concentrate on her recovery. I'm pleased to report that as of tonight she is feeling much better, although still not completely well.
Right now I'm writing this to you from a hotel in Santo Domingo close to the Episcopal cathedral and diocesan office. Starting on Friday, February 8, and going through Monday, February 11, I'll be working to photograph the DR diocesan convention and meeting with representatives of the other Episcopal dioceses that support mission teams in the Dominican Republic. I'm scheduled to come home on the 12th. But from the afternoon of February 4 through the morning of February 7, I was at the Episcopal conference center in El Pedregal, our mission field. All of the meetings with Padre Ramón Canela, the priest in charge of the Campamento, and with his wife, Ivelisse Espinal de Canela, went very smoothly. I also had the opportunity to meet with villagers who will be involved in our projects and even toured two facilities in Jarabacoa that we hope to incorporate into our activities -- first, a local eco-tourism resort, Rancho Baiguate; and second, a coffee factory that processes the Monte Alto coffee beans grown organically in the Jarabacoa area (thus, the illustration on this message). I can also report that Leidy, our translator and solver-of-problems; and her husband, Jesús, the master tailor, are doing well, as are their two children, Emanuel and Brithany.
Next Thursday a weekly set of highly detailed messages
will start going to the 14 missioners on the 2019 team about these projects, and these general information messages will drop back into a monthly pattern. The mission trip planning page (linked below) will have updated information on our projects soon after I get home on the 12th.
And Continue to Save The Date of May 3
-- our annual DR dinner and auction to raise funds for scholarships at the K-8 school we support and for a portion of our project costs is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 3, at the Cotton Corner in downtown Valdosta. We'll have lots more information out about this in the next month or so, but for now we wanted to let you know that the date has been set. And the coffee you see in the photograph above -- several bags of this special Jarabacoa coffee variety will be available for sale at that event.
I apologize for the lateness of this message, which usually goes out on Thursday mornings between 8 a.m. and 12 noon. I just did not have enough Internet connectivity in El Pedregal to get this together and send it, so had to wait until I was back in Santo Domingo with hotel wifi.
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The planning webpage for the 2019 mission trip
is online here
All information about the trip will be added to this page just as soon as it is available.
For information about Christ Church's mission work in the Dominican Republic, including a summary report and photographs from the 2018 trip,