Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Some of The Highlights of Last Week

Ok, well this is the fourth time I have tried to write this blog entry, but I guess you'll never know if I don't post it. This week has been a very interesting one. As you all know, Monday was quite traumatic. Luckily Tuesday and Wednesday were fairly relaxing which was nice after our stressful start of the week. On Thursday Jason, Nicole, Sed, Jasmine, and I went to Mexico City to renew Sed and Jasmine's passports. We rose before the sun, 3:30, and hit the road by 4. Jason wanted to get am early start so that we could avoid rush hour traffic. I must say I have never in my life experienced anything like Mexico City's traffic. It was completely incredible, but at the same time slightly terrifying. When we arrived in Mexico City it was 6:30, if that wasn't rush hour traffic I pray to God that I never have to experience the real thing. In order to understand what it was like you have to understand that driving in Mexico is very, very different from in America. So keeping that in mind I am going to try to explain this to you. First of all you never really could tell how many lanes there were suppose to be at times there were three other times there were five sometime four. It was pretty much determined by if the driver of one car thought they could fit through the two cars in front of it, so that was pretty crazy. Second in order not to wreck you really had to be kind of a crazy driver. I think Jason did a pretty good job, he scared us all several times. After we finally got to the American Embassy everything went pretty well. The people in the passport office weren't very nice, but it all worked out. On our way home we dropped Jason off at the bus station in Huachi, so he could go to the border to pick up the group coming from RCV. After that we did some grocery shopping and then came home. So all in all Thursday wasn't too bad.

Friday started out great and continued to be great until we got home from Huachi, but I'll start form the beginning. Because Julia had a tingling feeling in her lower stomach and the doctors said the she would go early, we took Julia to get a ultrasound. I got to go in the room with her. It was my first time seeing a ultrasound done, and I really enjoyed it. Julia's baby, a girl, moved around a lot, she was hiding behind her hands the whole time. It was really cute. The doctor said that everything was ok Julia wasn't dilated or anything so that was good. Oh yeah, it is also Karla's cinsinera today, her fifteenth birthday. Here in Mexico that is like the most important day of a girl's life, besides her wedding day. They were all teasing Karla because on your cinsinera you become a women, and Karla is already married and has two kids. Anyways on the way home we stopped and bought a cake for Karla. Before Nicole left that morning she told the girls to move into their new dorm and also move the grandma into the girls dorm, and Manuel, the crazy one, into the boys dorm. Well, Manuel didn't like that idea very much, as we found out when we got home. He had broken all the glass in the window in his room and was threatening to go back to Huachi when we got home. Of course he didn't leave, but while we were finishing getting the girls in there room he went and got some rope. He then threatened to hang himself. Because he couldn't get the rope over the lowest branch on the tree he picked to hang himself in and no one was freaking out, he soon gave up. Unfortunately he continued to be a pain in the butt the rest of the day. That evening we had a "party for Karla", we had cake. During dinner the lawyer who is working on their school came and brought three small tables for desks.They were hoping that they could have it done before the end of the year, but we will see. While we were eating the cake and everyone was paying attention to Karla, Manuel felt a little deprived of attention so he decided to drink some diesel. He drank like a cup and a half, and then left the kitchen, so Nicole and the lawyer went to find him. They found him in the bathroom talking to himself. Here's how the conversation went:

Manuel in his squeaky retarded voice," I don't want to do bad things anymore. I want to be good. I want to change."

Manuel in a deep gruff voice," You'll never do good, your a bad boy, and you will never change." Well anyways it went something like that and he continued to talk like that for a while, until he realized someone was outside the door. Nicole wasn't too happy with him at that point. Luckily after that everything started to wind down, and it wasn't to late when we finally got to bed.

Saturday was rather stressful as well. We went into town to get some blood tests done and a new battery for the red truck. The people who were changing the battery did something wrong and blew some of the fuses. They then had to put the old battery back in because the new one was the wrong size. After that the truck wouldn't start, so we had to wait until Nicole's mechanic friend came and fixed it. We didn't end up getting back to the village until about 11:30 or 12, so children's church got started late. So that was rather stressful, but in the afternoon almost everyone left to go to church so it was much quieter and Nicole, Jasmine, and I got some cleaning done. We all got warm showers; then Nicole, Jasmine, and I played a game of go fish and told stories and had some good laughs before we went to bed.

Well I must say that this week just about everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. This morning Nicole, Jasmine, Sofia, and I went into Veracruz to get the red truck washed and to get some shopping done. Because the bodega in Veracruz didn't have the trash cans we needed, Nicole needed to get some internet done, and run some errands, on our way home we stopped in Las Colonies. After running the errands, doing internet, and getting some trash cans we got in the truck to head home. It wouldn't start, again. So we got Nicole's friend Arthur from the hardware store to come push start it for us. We had hardly gone 50 feet when it sputtered and died again. Arthur came and tried to start it again, but had no luck. Arthur let Nicole borrow one of his very nice trucks and said he would take the truck to a electric place in the morning. He was very nice. That night Manuel got a crazy again. He busted open Brother Erasmo's head with a table and was threatening to kill everyone. Nicole called the police and they came, but they didn't take Manuel because the grandmother wouldn't let them. They did succeed in scaring him in to being good, but we still locked him in his room that night. Along with that and all the stress of the RCV travelers not being able to get across the border with the van and trailer, it was yet another stressful day.

That got a little long sorry. I'm so happy that the RCV travelers are here now it has been wonderful. That's all for now. Dios le bendiga!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My First Day without Das :(

Well, today started like any other day before it, except for the fact that Das is no longer with me. She abandon me Sunday afternoon; I think it had to be the worst day of my trip so far. Anyways back to today, we got up at the normal time, about 6:30. After some prayer, coffee, and cookies Jasmine and I returned to her room to start some school. It wasn't long after that that Nicole left to the hospital in Veracruz to comfort a mother who had lost her unborn child the night before, and to help organize the funeral. That was a crazy ordeal in itself. After working all morning to figure out how to get the death certificate, a coffin, and money of a lot, the doctor told them that they could't have the babies body because her in Mexico it has to weigh 600 mg to be recognized as a child and it had only weighed 490 mg. So even thought it saved them time and money it was sad because the mother wanted to have a funeral and bury her baby.

Our morning her at the village was a slow one consisting of school, school, and more school, so much fun. It wasn't until after lunch that things started to get crazy. It all started at about 2 or 3 when Sed, Rojo, and Javier, Daya's husband, left for Las Colonies for some bread with Sed at the wheel. Not long after they left, Manuel came knocking at the door yelling that Javier, the little one, had hurt himself with a machete. While chopping wood for the boiler, he had some how cut through his shoe and into the side of his foot. There was blood all over his foot it looked awful, but Jason couldn't take him into the Doctor because Sed had the truck.

It was at about at that moment when Javier came running up the road to tell us that Sed had totaled the white truck. As Sed was coming around a turn there another truck was driving in his lane toward him, he slammed on the brakes, but because of the rain he slide and hit the truck and then the side of the mountain. Luckily on one was hurt. Well Sed has some cuts from the glass, but thank God that was all. So Jason went in a taxi to get find someone to tow the truck back to the village. Because of the corrupted government here in Mexico, whenever anyone gets in a wreck whether its their fault or not they just run. It would cost them tons of money to get the police involved because Sed is only 15 and it is against the law for him to be driving. Jason worked something out with the other driver before the police got there and then hid the truck in the woods until the police had gone by. The truck looked terrible, it was like falling apart as they towed it in the driveway.

Its was at that point that Nicole got home. By now they had washed off Javier's foot and wrapped it up. It wasn't long before we were on the road headed for the Doctor with Javier and Sed. Javier got four stitches on his foot, and Sed had to get one stitch behind his ear. It was a very eventful and traumatic afternoon. Thankfully we had a bit of a relaxing evening. Well, nothing else terrible happened. I guess that's all for now. Sorry if it's confusing :) Dios le bendiga!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Today we had a very unique and unexpected experience. We helped butcher some chickens! Of course we didn't actually help with the chopping of the heads, but we did help pull out all the feathers. It was revolting. The way that Brother Erasmo, Julia's husband, killed the chickens wasn't very humane. He stuck his machete into the ground and then sawed the chicken's head off. Not really enjoyable to watch. We then dunked the beheaded chickens into boiling water and pulled out all their feathers. Das was slightly traumatized by the whole thing. Even though it was disgusting, it was fun watching Dassi. Everyone found her reactions to be quite humorous and they are still laughing about it.

This morning we were busy butchering chickens and preparing a big meal for after the weddings. Finally after being postponed several times, Erasmo and Julia and Luis and Elia got married.The afternoon was pretty quite. At 4 o'clock we left for the courthouse for the weddings. I don't know if you can really call it a wedding all they did was sign some papers in the courthouse library. It only took about 30 minutes. While they were doing that Jason took Dassi, Jasmine, and I to see the lake behind the courthouse. It was a truly picturesque view with the mountains in the background and the sun shining on the water. It was so beautiful.

After they finished the "weddings" we went to church about 10 minutes away. Because it was a newer church and we were in a small room, Nicole couldn't translate what Jason was teaching about. I think it was about taking care of each other and such, but I'm not positive. I really hate not knowing the language. Anyways after Jason was done teaching they always serve coffee and sweet bread or whatever. Tonight they served coffee and tamales. Tamales are extremely filling! They served us each 3, and we had to eat all of them because it would be rude not to. I am normally full after one tamale and stuffed by the second, so that third one really was a bit too much for my poor stomach. I was so full! On the ride home Das and I rode standing in the back of the truck. It was so cold, but because we had eaten so much we didn't feel like sitting down. When we got home we were suppose to have a big meal in honor of the weddings, but Nicole graciously allowed us to skip out. Well, its been a busy day and I'm tired, so adios!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Every Friday Sed, Angel, and about four other men go out and preach in some of the unreached villages and in some of the established churches that are a couple hours away from the village. They leave Friday at about four and don't come home until Monday morning. Because like six of the men are gone, it was a lot quieter than normal this morning. There were only seven of us at "breakfast" this morning, Nichole let the younger girls sleep in because its Saturday. After we did the little bit of clean up that was there, Dassi and I did our laundry. Poor Dassi did all the scrubbing. It was cold and there is only cold water so I'm sure her hands were freezing. We finished our laundry just after the first kids showed up for children's church.

Saturday is the day we have children's church. The kids from the churches closer to the village all come out and spend about half of the day here. They started showing up at around 10:30 or 11, so we didn't get started until 11:30. First we sang some songs. I actually remembered some of them from the last time I was here. When they were finished singing Dassi and I attempted to teach them Cast your Burdens. It was very unique. Nichole then read them a story from the Bible and they colored some pictures. Aldo, Dassi's godson, came to children's church this morning and Dassi was glad to finally get to see him, but for half the morning he acted like he was scared of her and he wouldn't talk to her. It wasn't until after lunch before they served the cake that he warmed up to her. He is so cute. All of the kids didn't end up leaving until about 3:15.

I can't believe that I have been here for almost a week already! In a sense it seems like I never left like I've been here for forever, but then it seems like I just got here. Well, I guess that's all for now. Dios le bendiga!

Friday, October 29, 2010

It rained all night last night and this morning when we got up it was still raining. Normally we get up at around 6:15 to listen to the Bible on tape, in spanish, and drink coffee, but because it was storming this morning no one got up until about 8. Poor Das didn't get the info so she got up at 6. I didn't get up until about 7 we then sat in the kitchen drinking hot coffee and trying to stay warm. When we were coming out of the kitchen with Nichole we saw a dead scorpion on the walkway. Nichole said that after it hasn't rained in awhile and then it rains really hard like it did last night that that's normally when the scorpions and turantilas come out. That totally creeped me out, but so far we haven't seen any more.

Last night Julia fell on the stairs to her room, and this morning she was having contractions so we had to take an unexpected trip to the clinic. When we were waiting for Julia to get done Dassi and I sat in the waiting room with Malissa. We had to wait for awhile so I entertained Malissa with my phone and helped her color with my pen. She isn't scared of me anymore; she loves me. The doctor said that Julia would be fine, but they thought that her placenta might be starting to detach. Because they couldn't give Julia a sonogram at the government clinic, we had to go to a hospital in one of the bigger towns. In the end everything ended up being ok. Julia and the baby are fine she just has to take it easy for a couple days.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Well, I must say the shots weren't half as bad as I expected, and though I have been getting tired a little more than more lately, I managed to survive. Everything has been pretty relaxed. The weather has been nice and dry until today, the day we decided to do laundry of course.

Today Nichole and Dassi went into town to run some errands and take one of Nichole's patients, sister Banita, to get a tomografia. I stayed home and did school with Jasmine and Sed. Luckily Jasmine and I finished our school by lunch time, unlike the other day when we didn't finish until around 3 in the afternoon. After lunch and clean up we shucked some dried corn for making tortillas. While we were shucking corn, Rojo, a fourteen year old boy who lives in the village, professed his love for me to Jasmine and Sofia, one of the sisters, it was very humorous. When Sofia told him that Jasmine had told me he got embarrassed even though he was joking. Jasmine told him he could go work for my dad for seven years, like Joseph in the bible, he changed his mind real fast. Even though it was a complete joke, they teased him about it all afternoon. It was really funny. When Jasmine left to play, Sofia and another one of the sisters attempted to help us with spanish and Dassi and I attempted to teach them some English words. They also tried to teach us some of their native indian language. Even though I'm sure I sounded like a complete idiot and they were all laughing at me, I had fun.

Tonight we went to a church service for the first time since we have been here. We rode to the church service in the back of the blue truck with about ten other people, not as crowded as it usually is. It was a very bumpy ride. Melissa, a little girl who lives in the village, actually managed to fall asleep. Because I was holding her when she fell asleep and I kept her from falling of the seat, she wanted to hold my hand on the way home, it was really sweet. It was pouring rain when we got home. After eating a nice hot dinner and getting a shower, I am heading to bed. Buenas noches!

Monday, October 25, 2010

We Made It!!

Although Dassi didn't get to come with me on the second half of the flight, our trip went incredibly well. I had a few problems filling out the visa form on the second flight, they gave me one in spanish, after about 30 minutes of sitting there looking like a complete idiot the man sitting next to me translated it for me. Because my flight came in 2 hours before Dassis, I had time to just relax and get caught up with Nichole before our bumpy ride back to the village. On our way home we stopped at a road side restaurant for a delicious dinner of real Mexican tacos. I was really tired so on the way home I fell asleep for awhile leaving Dassi to answer all of Jason's questions. Because of the bumpy roads my sleep didn't last very long so when we got to the village and unloaded all of our stuff I didn't have any trouble falling right to sleep.

So far our day has been very relaxed. Nichole wanted us to get some rest so we slept in until about 9 this morning. When we woke up it was really cold, but now it is almost hot. The weather is crazy. It's not very muddy right now which is nice. Since we were here last, they made several improvements to the village there are now two showers, a sick by the bathrooms, and several new dorms. The kitchen they were working on when we were here last time is also finished and much nicer then the old one. Everything also seems to be a lot cleaner.

They now have several goats, three adorable kittens, and Jasmine has a puppy named Bella. When we were here last December they had a dog named Soldier, but he ran away so they got Bella. This morning one of the goats followed Jasmine and Marie, a girl they took in of the streets, up to the kitchen. It was quite humorous. Marie lives in the room that we are staying in, she is 9 years old.

This evening Dassi and I are going to get our Hepatitis A and B and Influenza shots. I'm sure that getting these vaccinations is a great idea and all, but I really hate shots. It's great getting to see some of the people i know again. Unfortunately I can't talk to them yet. I'm so excited about this trip I still can't believe that its actually happening. I really am getting to live my dreams!!