It’s Saturday morning, June 18, and the hotel is a hive of activity as we prepare to leave the town of Bonao for Santo Domingo. Our Team Leader, Karen Eddy woke us up at 6:30 a.m., an hour later than usual…wow…one whole hour. Sounds like a lot but that depends on what time we went to bed.

Our transportation arrived at 7:15 a.m. Father Vicente, his wife, Nancy, their family, and other members of the church were at the hotel to wish us “Goodbye for now.” When Father Vicente arrived, we conversed in my room and I gave him some personal items. He gave me two sets of vestments in green and white and a cross. He wants me to always remember him when I wear them.  He and I have bonded very well and we share a lot in common. We have the makings of becoming true and lasting friends.

I did not have the opportunity to have breakfast this morning although it was available. We were not expected to gather together as a team and so persons had breakfast at their own convenience.

After loading our baggage on the coach, Father Vicente prayed for us and gave us God’s blessing. We said our “goodbyes, hugged and kissed each other and away we went.

On our way to the airport, we stopped at “Barra Payan,” a place that sells sandwiches for breakfast. Then we stopped at the home of the aunt of our Team Leader, Karen, who is a Dominican Republic native. Karen is spending an extra week with her aunt. We met her aunt, a lovely lady of 89 years of age. On meeting me, she asked for a blessing, which I did. She was very interested and delighted to see Beverly Monteith, who she knew from past mission trips.

Then, it was off to the airport, traveling along the south coast and seeing the ocean – beautiful indeed. Our check in went well and we are all traveling on the plane as I write – AA Flight 778. I am sitting next to my friend and parishioner, Brian McClain, and he is on his best behavior – sleeping – quite different from when I was traveling to the Dominican Republic. I guess God did not want me to behave badly and having as much fun as I did with Bibi and Carol on our way to the DR so he gave me Brian, who incidentally can be very talkative but I guess he is too exhausted from the mission trip. Originally, he was to be my roommate but, since there was a change in hotel accommodations, he ended up bunking with two other roommates in an extremely large room, and I ended up in a room alone. Brian translated for me on several occasions during this mission. I am grateful to him, Karen, Jordan, Matthew, members of our mission team, and Yamilex, a young person in the Dominican Republic, for their assistance in translating.

We are expected to arrive in Miami at 6:00 p.m., in half of an hour from now and my day will be a long one with two parties tonight – one of which is a 75th Birthday Bash, and the other is a ‘Bajan’ (Barbadian) party – my first since coming to South Florida. And I still have to write a sermon for tomorrow, Sunday, June 19, being Trinity Sunday and Father’s Day. I guess there won’t be much sleep for me tonight. Oh, well!

I hope you have enjoyed following my blog of the Mission trip. I enjoyed sharing our time with you. Do check my blog from time to time to see what exciting things I have to say on it. Our Jamaican team should have been back by now.

To all fathers, father-figures, Godfathers, and mothers who have been both mothers and fathers to their children, do have a Happy and Blessed Father’s Day tomorrow.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Our plane touched down at Miami Airport at 6:05 p.m. He went through immigration, baggage and customs and everything went fine. After collecting our baggage before going through customs, we prayed together as a team thanking God for all His wonderful mercies. The Jamaican Team arrived safely earlier in the day at 12:30 p.m.