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Ten Bishop Dunne students and their teacher-chaperons pause to take a group photo at DFW airport early this morning. The group is headed to Nicaragua for a week of service.

Over a Decade of Mission Trips Teaches “Life Lessons”

Bishop Dunne students leave for Nicaragua for a week of Service.

Ten Bishop Dunne students and their five faculty chaperons are headed to a week of service in Nicaragua. Bishop Dunne Catholic School began the Mission trips over a decade ago, and the other Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Dallas send ten students each to join them, for a total of 40 students and 16 adult chaperons working together. Including travel, the group will be gone for a total of 10 days. Each student is responsible for raising the funds necessary to make the trip.

This is the third year the group will work in Nicaragua, opting to skip their traditional site, Honduras, due to the ongoing unrest in that country.

Chef Cameron Burkhardt went on the first trip to Nicaragua three years ago, and said it was his first time for an international mission trip and his first one with Bishop Dunne. “It was an amazing experience. It was awesome to be welcomed into the lives of the local people and to be working alongside them towards a common goal.”

Burkhardt added that, “Our students were great; they never complained. They continually strived to make the most out of their day in any way they could, whether it was interacting with the children, or swinging a pickaxe.”

Burkhardt also swung a pickaxe, used a shovel and on Day Four, Saturday, ended up back working in his natural habitat as a Chef. “Two job sites were combined, so we took extra plaintains, beans and rice to that site with the additional people so the locals wouldn’t have to provide for all of us. Ms. Torres explained that I was the chef at Bishop Dunne and I was happy to help cook and serve the food.” He worked alongside Gertrudys, the lady at Santa Clara who was in charge of feeding the workers at her site. “She was in her 70’s – and had a lot of energy. She was like everyone’s grandmother, very lovey-dovey.  I hope to be like her one day.”

Calculus teacher Kevin Braun was returning for his third mission trip that first year in Nicaragua. He admitted, “Our group left Dallas to bring a message of God’s love and our Church’s unity to the people of Nicaragua. Instead, through their cheerful attitude to work, overflowing love and acceptance of us, and an optimistic outlook towards the future, our hosts were missionaries to us.”

The Mission trip is one of many different trips Bishop Dunne Catholic School offers to its students. A trip to London is already in the works for Spring Break 2016.

Thirty Bishop Dunne students will be joining theater teacher Nicholas Brandt, along with Ms. Christine Voigt and Ms. Robbie Zeske, on a trip to London during spring break next March, 2016.
 
The group will leave DFW airport on March 5, 2016, and arrive at Heathrow airport on March 6, 2016 after a nine hour flight. They will stay at a hotel in London and then tour the many visual arts, music, and performing arts venues in London, in addition to seeing the major sites of London including: Big Ben, the Globe Theater, and Windsor Castle.
 
Mr. Brandt studied for a semester in London in 2011, and stayed there to work for a summer, so says, “I lived there for half a year and grew to love the place. It became my second home. In my six months there I saw 44 different plays. It was possible to do because I had a ‘young person’s’ (student) discount so I could see West End and National theater plays on discount.”
 
He also went to ten different museums. “Most of them are free. And I saw between ten to twelve music performances.  I’m excited to share my knowledge and experience of London with a group of students and expand their cultural horizons. I hope this trip will help to broaden their minds, and experience some wonder, and “aha” moments. Maybe some of them will say, ‘Hey, this theater thing is something I want to pursue.’ Or at least keep appreciating the arts,” he says with a smile.
 
The trip is open to all Bishop Dunne students in grades 9th through 12. Just ten spots are open, and the trip will be capped at 30. The group returns on March 12, 2016, so it’s a week-long, Saturday-to-Saturday trip.
 
Mr. Brandt will begin his second year of teaching theater classes this fall, along with his duties as Co-Campus Minister. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Theater and Program of Liberal Studies from Notre Dame, and obtained a Master’s degree in Education in the ACE (Alliance for Catholic Education) program.

For information on the London trip, contact Mr. Brandt at nbrandt@bdcs.org. To learn more about the other exciting events at Bishop Dunne, including the school's numerous summer programs and camps see the school's website: www.bdcs.org or sports site: www.Dunnesports.com.  For admission information, contact Charleen Doan at cdoan@bdcs.org. 

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