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Sunday, April 01, 2018

Road Trip #1: to Mexico





My last post, written almost 3 weeks ago, mentioned that I was heading to Mexico with a group of students and staff to construct homes for needy families. I'm back now, after sharing the driving of 4887 kilometres (3037 miles) there and back. It was a long, long drive. In the above collage are some of the sights seen along the way. We drove the I-5 from the Canadian border at Bellingham to Tijuana, Mexico, and then a few hours into Mexico. 

Such varied scenery - crossing from our Canadian island into Washington State's rainy forests to Oregon's snowy mountain passes, foggy lakes, and down onto the vast California valleys where dry river beds and irrigated fields tell of the lack of water. Then through the crazy maze of Los Angeles and San Diego traffic, over the border and into Mexico. Here, too, bridges over dry waterways told their story. 


There were 39 of us all together, and we divided into 3 teams to build 3 houses. The students were fantastic, working hard and challenging themselves to do new things, with results that they can be proud of. I loved watching them interact with the Mexican children who came around to watch. Scraps of lumber were made into simple robots. Older boys wanted to help build and were given a hammer and nails and shown what to do. The students brought balls and played soccer in the dusty streets and shared small treats and toys with the children. I did a lot of translating when needed, but the universal language of acceptance and kindness went a long way.

I have many thoughts about my experience, but I'm still mulling things over and don't quite know how to put them into words. The expression "grinding the faces of the poor" keeps coming to mind. Our global economy is so complex and so unfair. I wonder about my role in it, and how complicit I am. 
   

I arrived home late (very late) last Monday. The next day family came over and we celebrated Tim's birthday. Katie made the cake. We were going to order pizza, but I decided that I had eaten enough fast food on the trip and cooked a roast beef dinner. I confess that I woke up that morning with lots of spunk, enough to get plans rolling and the groceries purchased, but around 11 am, my energy dissolved into exhaustion and never came back. Dinner was served with help from Tim and my children, and we had a good time. 



While I was gone, spring arrived to my garden. These spots of colour are so welcome and pretty. I wandered around and said 'hello' to all my plants and welcomed the new growth. 

I was home for two nights and then Tim and I took off on another road trip. I'll tell you more about that later. I've missed my blogging friends and look forward to reading your posts and catching up soon. Happy Easter!

Linking with Mosaic Monday, hosted by Maggie of Normandy Life. 

26 comments:

  1. What an amazing road trip you all took, you must be very proud of your students to have achieved such wonderful results helping to rehouse the community in Mexico. It sounds as if you're off travelling again soon, looking forward to coming along for the ride. Happy MM.

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  2. That was such a meaningful trip for you all and especially for your young students. I am sure that this was a visit that will stick forever in their memories, and probably help them to shape and understand their world for the better.
    Lovely contrasting images from snowy skies to those of the bluest blue.

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  3. That is one very long journey and yet it sounds like you got the things accomplished that you team set out to do and you are all home safe. Mission journeys can be so rewarding as I learned on 4 myself, but they can also leave you zapped of energy for you realize that you have never worked so hard at something in a long time and spent also are your emotions, trying to take in everything that you are seeing. The Spring blossoms are a wonderful welcome home for you along with family and friends...like me ;)~

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  4. Happy Easter; Happy Mosaic Monday

    much love...

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  5. So pleased to see you back safely Lorrie. I can imagine the time in Mexico has left you with very mixed feelings, but it was so good that the students took such an active part, and they will talk about it for a long time. My grandson did a similar trip when he was in University and came back sobered by the poverty.
    It must be a treat to see your Spring flowers appearing. We are so wet here that very little is coming out.

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  6. That was a LONG trip and then to work when you got there takes a lot of stamina. I'm exhausted just thinking about it! But I've always loved to travel and would have enjoyed seeing the sights along the way. Happy Birthday to Tim! Hugs, Diane

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  7. Well you did it. You stretched yourself and then some. Poverty is sobering. A hard way to live. I think much good will come out of your experience. Welcome home!

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  8. It's hard to imagine the long road trip you took, but what a lot you saw a long the way. It sounds like a learning/stretching experience for all involved, but especially the youth who will hopefully be forever changed because of it. Plus you certainly helped a community. I can imagine the exhaustion the cumulation of the whole event would cause!

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  9. What a long, exhausting trip! But I so admire you and your students for reaching out to help people in need. Mexico is such a beautiful country but there is so much poverty that is hidden from us tourists. I'm sure you made a difference. ~Cheryl

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  10. Beautiful photo memories of your trip to Mexico and the blooms back home. I am sure you will be mulling things over for awhile!

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  11. Welcome home, Lorrie! I've been following your Mexico adventures on Instagram and Facebook. What a unique and life-altering experience.

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  12. Happy Belated Easter to you and yours. Glad you made it there and back again. Oh the many times we've driven the I-5 from Washington to Southern California. Much prefer the drive in Spring or Autumn! I'm sure the experience was a good one for all those students in giving their time and talents to those less fortunate.

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  13. What a rich experience for all of you. I am sure it will take time for it to crystallize for you and the students. The world is a global economy and we all impact each other in ways we don't fully grasp. In the end, there is no question that everyone benefits by ensuring that no one is living in poverty.

    I laughed out loud when you mentioned walking your garden and saying hello to your plants. I used to do that, even stooping down to touch them. (I think my family still thinks I am a little 'touched.') I look forward to doing that again once our garden is established.

    Belated happy birthday to Tim!

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  14. I am amazed at the number of miles that you covered in a relatively short time! The memories and ponderings of your trip will surely linger for a long while. I am also amazed at your energy . . . preparing a celebratory dinner on the day after your return, and then another road trip a couple of days later! Yes, "amazed" is the right word. :)

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  15. Amazing photos from your trip, I really enjoyed reading about it. I’m sure the experience will stay with you for a long time. I look forward to hearing more. B x

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  16. The world is a better place when people like you take time out from their ordinary to do extraordinary things for others, no wonder you were exhausted. Like others I enjoyed reading about your trip, I hope you have had an relaxing Easter.
    Wren x

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  17. What an amazing trip! You were certainly given a gift from God to be able to help others and see a way of life different from your own.

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  18. Your experience must have been amazing! I just got home yesterday and I'm at school today! Mexican children are so resourceful. We saw children playing everywhere while their parents worked in the markets. Your houses are a special gift.

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  19. I can certainly understand your burst of energy and then exhaustion, after your trip, Lorrie! You covered so many miles and many experiences along the way. I'm sure it will take awhile to let all your memories sink in and then, hopefully, share with us some more of them. Happy birthday to your dear hubby! Welcome back!

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  20. Wow... I love road trips, but that really was a lot of miles you drive. So glad to know that you arrived home safely and that your group accomplished their goals (beautifully)... I am talking about friendship and respect and learning here although I am sure the homes were beautifully built too! Such a wonderful thing to do ... for you and the kids. I understand not being able to process all those feelings, but would love to hear more when you are able. Nice to have family together and I’m glad you told us your energy gave out...otherwise I would have thought you were Superwoman for sure (I still kind of do).

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  21. What a trip, what an experience for all who went.
    So nice to see your photographs.

    Happy Birthday wishes to your husband ... well slightly belated ones!

    Your pictures and mosaics were a joy to see.

    Take care, and my good wishes for this new month of April.

    All the best Jan

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  22. You live such an interestingly adventurous life! I love hearing about it. I hope you get all the rest you need and I KNOW the people in Mexico will be enjoying their new homes.

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  23. Im so proud of you for making the trip and being a big contributor to its success. Another trip? WoW. I hope it is really fun. Love the family photos of the birthday.

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  24. Kudos to you and your students / I was looking forward to hearing how it went :) I am sure that it will impact / inspire their lives forever

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  25. Dear Lorrie this was such an enchanting post. I have enjoyed catching up with you this morning. May you have a wonderful week of lovely weather!

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  26. Goodness what a trip! So much to see along the way, what an incredible experience for you and for everyone who got to go! I can imagine the vast difference in quality of life between here and Mexico was quite difficult to see and feel. I think it puts great perspective on just how blessed we are with things that we take for granted. I thank the Lord every time I turn on hot water for that blessing. I never want to take it for granted. We are blessed beyond measure, even on our most difficult days. Glad that you got to spend some lovely time with your family after getting back from your trip. Blessings to you today :)

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