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.