Because I truly haven't done a comprehensive post (still won't) on some of the recent fun times…

I'll type a bit of nonsense about what's been happening as of late… at least I'll type stuff I'm willing to put online (I'm like that. Really.)

Anywho… I never did actually describe the Texas/Mexico trip in detail. Let's put it in a few words: It was absolutely eye opening, filled with adventures, funtimes, and of course some darn good experiences! I arrived to go house hunting in Houston (oooh! Alliteration! 😉 ) with Sam… followed by good greek food with Sam and Daniel, and then of course got to stay in the guest suite in Rocky's building (yes, I met Rocky too!). The next morning was filled with relaxing in Rocky's place (my breakfast consisted of some chocolate, juice and an apple… very odd breakfast although not bad considering it wasn't planned for). I read a lot of Calvin & Hobbes comics (Rocky's brother's) until he returned home so that we could go out and help Marie move into her new place before going out to Lemongrass (a Thai restaurant) for supper. The next day included an excellent drive over Texas (VERY FLAT and dry… like Saskatchewan only desert like) to El Paso… where we found a Home Depot (and self checkouts), had supper, and then proceeded to get tickets for improper parking (while standing by the vehicles!) at the airport.

Then we crossed over into Juarez, Mexico: a winding mess of dirt and paved roads, poverty and prosperity and many many people. Would you believe that there's Christmas lights here too? Anywho… we finally drove around the hilly terrain to the church we would be staying at and all got some shut-eye (once we sorted out our stuff that is). The next morning being the start of our construction adventures. I was on site 3, and got to build over the course of three days a white three room house with blue trim. What did little ol' me do? I got to work on the ensuring that the form was level (where we poured the concrete), hammered some nails into the frame for the walls, helped put together (and fix) the trusses for the roof, assembled and painted trim, put up the blue trim around the house, ran electrical (our house was the ONLY house where the electrical worked on first try!!!), held things in place, used various tools (very fun!), helped ensure that the door was put on correctly, assembled the outside lightfixture, put up the plaque on the outside of the house (and chose where to put it!), and handed the bible and keys over to the family. A lot of stuff now that I think of it… whew! It was a true blast, really! And that family will truly appreciate it (they really did at the time!).

Anywho… outside of the actual building houses thing, we also got to do some other stuff in our time in Mexico:
1. Eat some amazingly good food! The families cooked us an excellent meal while we were there (which I couldn't help but overeat at… it was delicious!)… we had food from the local vendors for supper while were were there, and also bought fruit from a fruit vendor while on the worksite.
2. Run a great carnival for the kids! I somehow became one of the people sort of helping be in charge (VERY unofficially mind you!) because I was one of the few people to help brainstorm all of the games. It was a true blast though… and the kids loved it. I even learned a few words in spanish (which I'm quickly forgetting… *sighs*).
3. Wander the streets in Juarez in a big group: essentially this meant that we wandered to a few convenience stores… and made our way to a bakery. Lots of fun, and I came home with pesos in change.
4. Go to the market! Here was one of the funnest parts of our stay… we nearly got completely and totally lost on route to the market, but found it eventually (I was in a crazy-driver's vehicle… but had a fun ride in the process!). There, I explored the first floor (so many souvenir-like things… meh. I wanted something that wasn't just some cheap souvenir type thing)… finding a wonderful Christmas present for Jeff (a poncho which was reversible) encountering the fun of negotiating better pricing… apparently being and I quote Christian, American, and here to help gets me a better deal… which I wasn't arguing with, as much as that description certainly is inaccurate (well at least in part!). I ventured to the second floor (which many didn't even know about) and found myself a serape (like a poncho but different, and more my style I think… SO utterly warm a garment for the plane ride home!!) and a purple dress (one size fits all but it certainly does fit well!). Needless to say, I was pleased with my purchases… as much as they would later go missing (ack!) causing much stress before I was reunited with them in El Paso (and no, I haven't figured out what precisely happened there).
5. Cross the border back into the USA (boy did that ever take a LOOONNNG long time!!).
6. Meet some rather fabulous people, play board games, demonstrate how good I am at getting massacred at Chess (I've always been like that though I lose), and so on.

Back in El Paso after the trip meant REALLY REALLY cold showers at the church there, loads of pizza… and another 12hr drive to Houston. That trip was filled with long conversations with Rocky and Kelly (just as the trip from Houston to El Paso was). It was dark long before we got to Rocky's, picked up my suitcase and went to Kelly's home in Spring. There, I spent the night before heading with Kelly out to see Rent, do some shopping (we found her fiance's Christmas present), and eat some real Texas BBQ to describe most of the day, before taking me to the airport for my 9pm flight home.

As I said before… (or typed, rather) I was met at the airport after a long long wait in customs line ups. Wonderfully (yeah right!) the passengers from our plane were last in line after a bunch of other full flights got in. So it wasn't until LONG LONG after my flight landed that I was actually home.

And home's been entertaining… what with the gift wrapping, social events and whatnot, Ali's been a busy busy girl. But it's a good balance of work, relaxing and whatnot. Homework still needs to get done (thanks for the reminders people!)… but it's been a good time overall… New Years was a nice quiet affair at Brad's place… wonderfully good food, good company and of course good times to ring in the new year.

Another interesting occurence: I've been sampling different types of alcoholic beverages this holiday season. Unusual for me, I would surmise… but I'm learning at least what I dislike the least… a good thing overall.

Today was an interesting one… plans shattered by Sherwood Park Transit glitches, I spent a goodly time on the phone catching up with people throughout the day and finally brought a bunch 'o items to consignment before going out and spending a bit of time going through the entire store to find a few tops and a skirt that I enjoyed. I like trying on a ton of clothing in their three-way mirror before choosing a small number of items to actually purchase. A lot less annoying than going somewhere where they limit the number of items I can try on at a time… or where I'm bugged by sales people constantly. London Drugs was not nearly so nice when I went in search of a lens cleaner for my CD player. Not only had they JUST sold their last one, but I had to stand around waiting for AGES before getting ANY type of service whatsoever. Not very good for customer satisfaction. I did finally pick up one of those call display thingys… not that I've any proof that it works yet or anything… but I do have one now… inexpensive and hopefully it works… *shrugs*.

Now… that I'm no longer all giggly and bouncy… bedtime for me. I really really need to realize that I'm working the early shift on Friday morning again… and that I ought to keep semi-regular waking/sleeping hours… not that it'll happen (I know myself well enough to know that at least) but just the same!

Tomorrow morning I WILL do that homework before heading to campus to work on Antifreeze stuff. So it's imperative that I actually get some sleep I would imagine… silly goose I am sometimes…