And We’re Back!

Hola amigos!

The JCray and I are back from Mexico and after almost a full week, we’re starting to feel rested and recovered. Since a lot of you have asked how our trip was, and what we did, I’ll provide you with a play-by-play to fill you in.

Friday
-Got up stupidly early. My Dad drove us to the airport. It was very weird to say goodbye to him at the airport since I’ve only been on trips to Mexico with him.
-Flew to Mexico City.
-Took a three hour bus ride headed north to Querétaro, Querétaro.
-Stood in line for an hour to catch a taxi headed for the orphanage, Pan de Vida. Our taxi driver’s name was Miguel Angel, and he was a terrifying man who didn’t smile or say one word to us.
-Arrived at Pan de Vida later than we were expecting, and our welcoming committee had already left to pick up the rest of our team. The people at the orphanage weren’t expecting us and didn’t know who we were, and didn’t speak much English. Lots of confusion.
-Lights on the girls side of our dorms didn’t work. I had to get ready for bed in the pitch black. The rest of the team showed up around midnight, thinking that we hadn’t arrived yet. More confusion. Met the team in the dark. Had an introductory meeting after midnight, while being really tired and incoherent.

Saturday
-Woke up stupidly early. Re-met the team in the daylight.
-Drove an hour and a half to a community in the mountains.
-Spent the day at Casa Otimi, a community center that serves one of the indigenous people groups (the Otimi) in Mexico. The place itself has a really amazing history and story that gives you chills. I wrote about it here.
-Played with kids, served them breakfast and handed out donations. Lots of smiles and fun amidst the heartbreak of a community stricken with poverty.
-Drove to a small town and wandered around a market (saw lots of pig heads)
-TACOS FOR DINNER! (always a highlight for me)
-Our lights came back on! Also a highlight.

Sunday
-Sunday school and church
-Played with the kiddos all afternoon.
-CRAZY INSANE rainstorm kept us at the orphanage this evening.

Monday
-Worked at Pan de Vida – I painted and JCray chiseled a hole in some concrete (and then helped us paint)
-We can’t remember what we did this night. No photo evidence of anything. (What happens in Mexico stays in Mexico?)

Tuesday
-Worked at Pan de Vida – more painting!
-Helped run an outreach program in the small neighbouring community of Los Angeles. Lots of kids showed up to hear the Gospel story and to see some clowns. I learned that I’m good at balloon animals.
-Prayer meeting in the evening – I spent it in the littlest girls dorm. We sang a bunch of songs, one little girl prayed, and then we played hide and seek and giggled a lot.

Wednesday
-Worked at another orphanage, Esperanza Para Ti (a spin-off of Pan de Vida, you could say) 10 minutes up the road – We poured a concrete curb and I practiced a wee bit of English with the girls.
-Went downtown Querétaro for the evening to do some shopping.

Thursday
-Worked at Esperanza again
-Held a piglet
-Hung out with the kids in the evening
-Played the most intense game of Jenga ever

Friday
-Drove a couple of hours to Guanajuato were we spent the afternoon and evening shopping, then stayed the night in a hotel.
-It rained. We got wet.
-The view was incredible.
-I found a hair on my pillow.
-Our toilet was plugged.
-Someone farted mid-prayer. It was a highlight of our trip.

Saturday
-Someone found a bug in her mashed potatoes at breakfast. I found a piece of ham in mine.
-Drove 2 hours to Aguascaliente (hot water!) to another orphanage, Dulce Refugio, to take part in a grand opening ceremony of their brand new boys dorm.
-Drove back towards “home”, stopping in Leon, a city famous for its leather market.
-Spent a couple of hours wandering around the very crowded and slightly scary town.
-Ate dinner at Applebee’s.
-Drove back to Pan de Vida

Sunday
-Sunday school and church
-Went to the grocery store in the afternoon to stock up on pop and chips for a PARTY! PIZZA PARTY!
-Packed to go home :(
-Went to a flag football game that the kids were playing in, and took our pizza party on the road
-Stayed up late (technically, it’s Monday now)
-Boarded a bus headed for Mexico City at 1am, completely and deliriously tired
-I have this vague memory of eating hashbrowns at 4am in the airport. Too tired to know if it was reality.
-Boarded a plane headed for Houston, still deliriously tired
-Waited in the customs line for an hour and a half until we missed our boarding time for our connecting flight. Deliriously tired and almost in tears. Once Joseph and I met up again, he informed me that our flight was delayed approximately a half hour, so if we hurried to recheck our luggage, we could make it.
-Nearly running through the airport, we made it to our gate and were able to sit for approximately 6 minutes before our flight began boarding. Still deliriously tired. Now hungry and out of breath, too.
-Joseph’s parents picked us up in Jackson and took us straight to Chik-Fil-A. I think I may have fallen asleep mid-meal.

Phew.

That’s the bare bones of our trip. More to come in the future!

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