Quick Mexico Recap

So I promised a trip recap and then proceeded not to deliver on that promise for a considerable amount of time. Well, here it is then!

First I flew to San Diego arriving at the same time as Steve, we picked up baggage and then got directions by bus downtown where we ate at a Persian restaurant. There was a lot of food, but it was good to eat something substantial and relatively healthy before the Mexico portion of the trip began. We then met up with Ken and Tom at the airport and went to Old Town for Mexican food (I ate deep fried ice cream) and some explorations of the historic area including visiting a print shop, some stores, and a Zoltar machine before heading back to the airport to pick up Onslow and Aubrey.

Then we met up with the rest of the group, transfered stuff to the vans and made our trek across the border to the same ranch where we stayed last year — although in quite different accommodations (this year we were all in the same large room).

The first day of building was rather fun — we went VERY QUICKLY from a slab of concrete and some pre-assembled (WOW!) wood frame pieces to a fully assembled house. I spent the afternoon on the roof roofing — at times I don't know how effective I was, but I did have fun and managed to be useful (I would be more useful on the second roof but whatever).

That night I went with Minda, Tom and Zack to La Nina restaurant to pick up food and order the follwing night's dinner. Quite an experience an we were very thankful that we had Paul as our guide. This was followed by a very entertaining discussion on the difference between Canada and the USA back at our room at the ranch.

Day two was a lot of mudding, painting, hammering, tiling and otherwise making the school house look beautiful for all of the over 1000 kids attending the fenced school we were at. It was the kids' last day of classes and a day to celebrate so they were all in street clothes, there was EXCELLENT Latin music (I wanted to dance all day, tool belt and all) and great food (we were fed steak, spaghetti and tortillas at one point by the students). Some people even challenged the junior high kids to basketball.

That night was the kids' carnival. We had a blast with all of our games. The kids apparently listened to me and my crazy noises/bad-Spanish and hand signals when it came to who got to hit the pinata first. Great fun overall! At the end of the night, we celebrated with a campfire and s'mores. I ate my s'mores sans chocolate because I didn't want to deal with the overly intense sweetness (yes I'm kind of crazy backwards at times) but it was good fun).

The last day of building meant that we worked on the church that we'd had our carnival in — indeed it wasn't finished being constructed. I worked on the roof — helping with stapling the tar paper and hammering (by hand — not with a nail gun as on the school roof) the shingles down mostly. Others transported supplies to the very high roof while others still did painting and other tasks. By noon we were done our role here and went to dedicate the school (no one was there) and visited a locals market (not the touristy kind but eye opening just the same). Finally we visited two orphanages in Tijuana. The first was the same as last year, but the second was a different one. At both we gave supplies and each kid got a toy of their choice. We played with the kids for a while at each location too.

A quick border crossing (and the purchases of Churros, a poncho, a cock (aka. a rooster-piggy bank) and a guitar)) and we were back at the church we stayed at last year… which meant eventual food and showers and sleep on the pews. We left the next morning after brunch at The Gathering Place (yum!) and I had a good chat with Ken in the airport about Kiwanis stuff (strange how I'm somehow able to provide some apparently useful info for his Kiwanis club).

Highlights of the trip (lowlights?) included:
-someone fell off the school house roof (and landed feet first with no injuries or anything!)
-someone dropped a hammer off the roof grazing someone else's head (but no injuries!)
-someone nailgunned his middle finger requiring my first aid *sighs*
-someone stole the cock (rooster!)
-someone got hit in the head with the stick while supervising the Pinata game
-someone wore a pinata on his head.
-someone's plane was delayed
-someone used the word for penis instead of the word for pineapple in Spanish
-someone accidentally told a kid 'I love you' instead of 'I want you to'
-we build a great school
-we ate great food
-we had fun
and of course helped out 🙂