The obligatory post-trip post or post number 201

Friday, February 29, 2008 - Posted by Amanda Bast
I've been home from Mexico since Monday night and I haven't had a chance to blog because of homework issues. But now I have a spare minute.

I'm sure you'll hear stories here and from me, and if you like we can get together and I'll show you all of my pictures. All 593 of them. It seems a little excessive now, but at the time it was completely necessary. I didn't journal at all this trip, so I'll give you a run-down of the week just so you have an idea of what we did:

Friday, February 15
-Our day of travel. These days always seem very very long, and I'm usually quite hungry the whole time. McDonald's in Mexico is just as gross as McDonald's in Canada. When we arrived in Queretaro, we went for authentic tacos at an amazing restaurant.

Saturday, February 16
-Did some light work in the morning. A few of us girls drove into a little town to help paint Bobbi and Ira's (a missionary couple from Pan de Vida) house. It is actually Brian and Bety's old place, if any of you have ever been there. We then played with the kids all afternoon, and went to Centro (downtown Queretaro) in the evening.

Sunday, February 17
-Church in the morning, kids in the afternoon. Sundays are my favourite day because they are very relaxing and fun. It feels like summertime.

Monday, February 18
-First day of work: interlock brick. I am a pro, and I have the bruises (or "purples") on my legs to prove it. It was HOT outside. Juan and I rekindled our romance from last year, which consists of saying "hola" and him staring at me and me saying something dumb in English and him not understanding me.

Tuesday, February 19
-another day of work. I can't remember exactly what we did each day, but I know it was either concrete, interlock or painting. So...pick one. Tuesday night was the prayer meetings with the kids in their dorms. We were supposed to have a translator in our room, but apparently our girls didn't get the memo, so I had to translate for Heather. They lost me after "hello, welcome" but then they did say something about Canada. One of my favourite lovely girls, Anabella prayed for me...really neat experience...hard to describe...but humbling. Then we had a dance party with the girls, and we got in trouble because we were late getting back for our team devotions. :o)

Wednesday, February 20
-more work. I think it was painting this time. Wednesday night we went downtown Queretaro again. I love it can be 10 o'clock at night and there are little kids running around. It's always bustling and feels very safe.

Thursday, February 21
-full day of work again. Painting and interlock, I think. In the evening they have a church service, which I absolutely love. Dinner after church, and then we met Eli, one of the volunteers at the orphanage. We played guitar and sang with him...very cool.

Friday, February 22
-another day of work. It was soooo so hot, and we were supposed to finish up the interlock, but I painted instead. In the late morning, we were invited into the classrooms, which was VERY awesome. I got to spend some quality time with my girl Monse. We finished work a little early in the afternoon, so we could eat dinner and go to the Aqueduct in the daylight. We went downtown again, and this time instead of throwing around Juan jokes, we sang the Eli song ("Prince Ali, gorgeous is he, Ali Ababwa" know, the one from Aladdin). Once we got back home, someone (I still haven't found out who) thought it would be a marvelous idea to go out for hamburgers after team time (soo about 10:30pm). We left for Los Angeles, and the hamburger place had no hamburgers. Then we went to the pizza place, and waited quite a while for pizza. Then a transformer blew, so the team ate the pizza in the near dark. I watched them, grumpy the whole time. We didn't get home until midnight, and I was exhausted.

Saturday, February 23
-We drove an hour and a half up to the mountains to Amealco, and spent some time at Otomi House, a community centre for the indigenous people of Mexico. I don't know what to say about it other than it was an extremely intense morning, and I still haven't fully processed it. There is a ton of abuse, poverty, and incest in that community of people, and you can literally feel the oppression when you walk into the community centre. The kids couldn't look us in the eye....really hard morning. There was a youth group from Queretaro visiting as well, and we held hands and sang a song about unity. Then they hugged and kissed us all. It was again, a pretty overwhelming experience. Plus, I was sick that day and...just yeah. That afternoon we wandered around a little town in Amealco (sort of felt like Elmira...not too much happening) and then went out for tacos, and for MAGNUMS (ice cream bars with a really cool name). Then finally, back to the orphanage. We all remarked at how it was nice to be "home", and that we couldn't wait to spend the whole day at the orphanage on Sunday. I watched youtube videos with Eli. This is our favourite. I don't know what he's saying. I caught "por favor" (please). If anyone could translate, that would be peachy. This version is also pretty great, but I think this version is the best (those are cookies).

Sunday, February 24
-Church in the morning, and a relaxing afternoon hanging with the kids. It was very very hot, so most of the kids were inside, and not too keen on running around with us. I rode the horse. We had a pinata for the little boys, which was pretty great. I spent a great deal of time on the swings. In the evening, we tried the hamburgers in LA thing again, this time with success. I had one without a bun, and it was the best hamburger I have ever tasted.

Monday, February 25
-opening ceremonies for school, then our goodbyes. This is the part of the trip that I want forget, yet it's the part that I don't think I ever will. I didn't take pictures on purpose. It was really tough to say goodbye to so many wonderful people. Then we came home to the cold.

I have loads of stories and reflections, but I think that's all for now...