DDG Companion News | August 31, 2018

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The DDG has an email contact list that is used to send out announcements about the publication of a monthly newsletter and a quarterly magazine, along with other occasional items of interest to missioners and other supporters of the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic. To join that contact list, text DDG to 228-28 or click here for an online form. You can leave the email list at any time by clicking on the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every message. For more information, send an email message to < communications@domininicandevelopmentgroup.org>.

Editor's note: Dr. Tom McGowan, our educational missionary, is back in the Dominican Republic and is in fine form, as you can see from this blog post. To read more about Tom's consultant mission, check his blog here: https://mcgowandr.wordpress.com

Missionary Tom McGowan
The Return of the 
Increasingly Native
Once again, my missionary work takes me to Santo Domingo, this time for 3 weeks working with the Junta de Educacion (the Diocesan school board), participating in planning meetings for upcoming events and visiting schools whenever possible. It's the start of  el ano escolar in the Dominican Republic - they follow roughly the same academic schedule as many school districts in the USA. So, what better time for me to come here and join my colleagues as they launch programs and develop curriculum for their students.
My route here wasn't the smoothest, but all turned out fine in the end. My flight itinerary was  "all around Robin Hood's barn" anyway - from Omaha Tuesday morning to the DR via Detroit and New York Kennedy. Somewhere during my Detroit lunch (a Greek pizza - a multicultural meal if I've ever eaten one) I got a text that there were storms over NYC and an Air Traffic "hold" of about an hour. Still, I was advised to fly and did. 
I dashed across terminals and boarded; we rolled out to the runway; then we sat. And sat. And sat - long enough for me to watch an entire movie. And, long enough for the copilot to exceed his allotted time in the cockpit (he "timed out" as the Delta people told us). We returned to the gate and were told by an extremely harried young gate agent (believe me, folks, you don't ever want to get THAT harried) that we'd leave the next morning at 10:00am. Heck hath no fury (I'd say "Hell" but this is a family newsletter) like 200 Dominicans delayed; I said a brief prayer of thanksgiving that I was not a Delta employee. Some "keeping calm", quiet negotiating and waiting my turn (the 3 Cardinal rules when a flight is disrupted) got me an overnight hotel room despite airline policy to the contrary. My aventura de Nueva Yorkcould have been much worse.
Wednesday morning, I returned to the airport. Our flight was (you guessed it) late taking off, but I got here in good shape, cleared a much more vigilant Customs (passengers are no longer waved through automatically), met Charlie Nakash and have reported for duty. One other development to report for anyone anticipating a mission trip here: the Tourist Card has been discontinued; the government now collects a fee from the airline and no longer charges each visitor $10; you walk off the airplane and right to passport control.
I am now in the Diocesan Missions Office, renewing relationships with colleagues and writing this article and a blog post. This afternoon brings the first meeting with the Junta Presidenta Melvina Dinzey and Bishop Moisés Quezada. Planning meetings, strategy sessions, school visits, writing tasks and the "grand opening" of the school year on August 21st await me this trip. As always, I very much appreciate DDG support. Check-out my progress on my blog at the link below. My thanks and best wishes - Gracias y bendiciones. 

Students Return For the 2018/19 Academic Year 

Students returned on August 21 to the 26 Episcopal schools in the Diocese of the Dominican Republic for the start of the 2018-2019 academic year. A comprehensive census of student enrollment is currently underway, and the final total is expected to show a significant increase over previous years. Check the September issue of this newsletter for that final enrollment figure and another report from educational missionary Tom McGowan (see article above).

These "before and after" photographs taken on August 20 and August 21 by Liliana Conception Trinidad, a teacher in Colegio Episcopal Monte de la Transfiguración in Jarabacoa, show students enrolled in this school, many of whom are supported by scholarship funds donated by generous benefactors through the Dominican Development Group. For more information on the DDG's scholarship program, click here

Links to online copies of recent issues of the DDG Companion News:
For earlier issues archived on the DDG website, click here.

Contact the DDG:
Office: (813) 400-2722 | Fax: (813) 983-5082
Executive Director: Bill Kunkle | bkunkle@dominicandevelopmentgroup.org
PO Box 272261 | Tampa Florida 33688-2261

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