Press-Republican

Local News

February 26, 2013

Hope continues to grow

PLATTSBURGH — Kathy Hall showed students at Chiquilistagua Public School how to dig a garden bed and sow seeds earlier this week.

Friday morning, as she and the rest of the North Country Mission of Hope volunteers in Nicaragua wrapped up their efforts there, she took the time to check on their progress.

“They had watered (the garden) well, and the greens are already sprouting,” the New Russia woman said with delight by phone.

A master gardener with Essex County Cooperative Extension, Hall saw signs of even greater growth on her first mission with the Plattsburgh-based humanitarian-aid group.

She and her husband, Kevin, have sponsored the education of a Nicaraguan girl for 13 years now, and Kathy met her face to face for the first time on Sunday.

“She is in university now for bank and finance,” she said. “She is just the sweetest and loveliest girl.”

TWO HOUSES

Just as the greens in the Chiquilistagua School garden will grow faster than the tomatoes and watermelon planted there, some mission efforts are completed more quickly than others.

“We built two houses in one day,” said Chazy Central Rural School senior Alexis Guay.

The home shelters measure just 10 by 10 feet, but all the same, she was more than impressed by the Nicaraguans who took on most of the labor, smacking in nail after nail with just two blows each.

“We tried helping, but it took us, like, 10 minutes to hammer one nail.”

Donations to Mission of Hope paid for the dozen or so home shelters completed this trip.

SLEPT ON CEMENT FLOOR

About 95 percent of the projects planned for the February mission would be complete upon the group’s departure today, said mission Executive Director Sister Debbie Blow.

Except for a coat of paint, the work at a school in San Luis was finished, including a kitchen.

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