Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Marching On

 I spent the early part of March in quarantine with a cough and cold and knitting as if it were my job.
But all that changed when we went to Mexico. We're back from our mission, but I wanted to share it with you, even though there was shamefully little knitting. These are stations of Faith Practices that were introduced to our youth group and the local United Churches (of Canada) by the invitation of the wonderful Doris Kizinna, minister of the B.C. Conference Youth and Young Adult Ministry (YAYA) and yours truly.
 It's Lent, and even though we are not giving up meat and the traditional sacrifices, we like to spend more time in faith practice, and my youth group (grades 5-7) prepared an evening worship.
 We sang our favourite songs, but more quietly. I led with guitar or flute and they were stunning in their readings at the microphone, and diving into the silence and reflection.
 But what about Mexico? We flew to San Diego, met up with the church from Calgary and had dinner at Rene's Tacos! D ate the most.
 Saturday morning we met with Hector (centre) at the site of the build. The concrete was poured, the boards cut and even drilled for electrical. We were 16 including Carlton Toews, of Project Help Mexico which is found on the Love Global website.
 Here is the family. They are chosen by local ministers according to need. Some of our group had met the mom 4 years ago and asked that she be considered for a house. They have waited and she has raised her family in that little blue box on the hillsides outside Tijuana.
 Here is the inside for 6 people including the wee babe.
 There were signs of hope everywhere we looked. This is in the church yard of one of the Comodores (feeding stations) that are involved with our project.
 I got to play with the baby. It took a while, but I had her beautiful wide eyes open and she giggled as I played drums on her feet (Scotland the Brave).
 At the end of the first day we had the walls, windows, doors, roof and drywall up. The finishing took two more days including painting inside, tar paper on the outside for the local men to stucco, and the bano.
 A well deserved stop at the ice cream stand. I always choose the strawberry no leche, just frozen fruit!
 There were crafts at the foster home that we have been building for 4 years. The same lovely children, some more, some moved on. They are bigger now, but so well behaved.
 Even when we took them to the zoo. Carlton had to tell us to relax and let Maria Esther watch them. They hugged us and treated us as old friends.
 We were welcomed to home cooked meals. Maria Guillermo's Guadalajara buffet is always a high light.
 Then off to the Calimax grocery to buy 60 bags of rice, beans and soup. We had such a great production line this time!
 They are bagged in sets and fill the back of the van for distribution on the hills where Pastor Juan has his ministry.
 Here's the inside of the house as we unpack the donations. We saved a lot of money by buying used furniture and appliances locally. There is enough money to donate to another house build in May, 3 doors down.
 The key ceremony. Sylvie worked very hard with translations. The boys were excited about their bunk beds!
 Then we walked up the hills to some of the poorest. We have two guides to show us the way and keep us safe.
 The houses are on the steepest slopes. The people were kind and shy.

 We are ready to roll!
 There were many mangy dogs, but this one wins the ugliest award. None of the dogs are very attached to people.
 A much appreciated break on Rosarito beach. In the last few years, we have been there on Easter Monday with wall to wall people. But this year, on a Wednesday, it was quite empty. We were also there a little earlier in the year, and it was chilly with the breeze.

 Love the candy store!
 Can you believe we ate in a Chinese Food Restaurant? It was OK. They had spaghetti on the menu.
Hope this little video shows up for you. This was a lovely group and we worked well together. The connections we made in the churches and community stay with us in our prayers throughout the year.
And now March is done. I finished my March sock just last night. I wore Emily's Matryushka shawl to Uvic when we got back to her final concert, which had Mexican composers. And I took the kids out for waffles for breakfast.
Now I'm home and stricken with the spring cleaning bug. Washing carpets, dog bed, washing machine. Next will be the tidying of the garden in the sunshine and warmer weather. Time marches on.

No comments: