Friday, June 24, 2016

Tijuana, Mexico

One day I was talking to one of my old Youth Camp Leaders and she said that she was getting a group together to do humanitarian service in Tijuana,Mexico.  She asked me to invite Kyle.  So I let him know and he said that he wanted to do it.  The name of this group that helps in Mexico is Charity Anywhere.  He got his cousin to go and slowly the group grew until they had about 20.  I think there were 3 girls and the rest were boys.  They went over spring break.  The great part about it was that it was only $450.00.  They drove there and were fed, but besides that the rest of the money went to the project, which was building a house for a family. 
So they loaded up into a a big van and a suburban and off they went.  The rest of this is in Kyle's words.  
We left on a  Friday and drove to Centerville to the home of man who ran Charity Anywhere.  We spent the night on the floor and the next morning we started driving to Tijuana. We had car trouble along the way and stopped three times.  The band broke, so we had to stop and get it fixed.  Next door was an engine place and they were having a customer appreciation day, so they gave all 20 kids and adults free hotdogs.  We finally got into Tijuana pretty late.  It took a lot of hours to get there.

Sunday we went to church.   I forgot my church clothes, so I wore a white t-shirt and jeans. We didn’t understand anything they said.   
 Then we went to the site where you would be building the house. 

Monday The next day we started working at the school laying concrete.  We pulled up tile and laid concrete for a cafeteria or where people ate their lunches. They were eating on a dirt floor. We did mix a lot of concrete.  We finished about half of that the first day.   

A Job Well Done
Then we went back and played soccer with a bunch of kids.   There was a funny thing that happened when we were with the kids.  A kid got hurt and I went up to him to see if he was ok.  He said, "One dollar?  I had to laugh.

 Tuesday, we started out at the school, then half
of us when to the house and started laying concrete there.  I went to the house. 

 We finished the whole floor that day and went back to the school and helped them finish.  Then that night we went to a taco place and ate there, played games and took showers. 
Wednesday Then the next day, we started framing the house.  We made all the walls, but didn’t put them up.  

Then we went to the temple that night.  I borrowed a shirt from Tristan and wore my jeans.  It felt like a regular temple.  We got confirmed and baptized in Spanish, but we could have done it in English.  Sephra brought names for all of us I think. 
Thursday we put up all four walls and started on the roof.  There were kind of like threeish rooms.


That night we went to the market, where we bought our souvenirs.  It was weird.  We got offered drugs within three minutes of being there.  I just told them I was Not interested.  I bought myself a poncho and some other souvenirs for home.  Nathan bought a hat. 

The next day, we finished putting on the roof, then some of us went to an orphanage place and weeded and cleaned up the place.  Our car broke down when we were there.  Then everyone else came and we sat around for a little while.
This is the family that we built the house for.
Then we went and got the suburban and we all got in and we went to the beach.  We went to jump in the waves and then we collected shells, built stuff in the sand.  The water was a refreshing temperature.

Then after the beach we went back and dedicated the house.

  Saturday we left early at 5:30am and drove straight home.

The family that we built the house for was so grateful that we were building the house.  The Mom and kids helped us while we were building it.  The Dad did something that surprised us.  We had dropped off all of the stuff that we were using to mix the cement, rocks, sand, and cement powder.  We left it at the bottom of the hill.When we got there the next morning it was gone.  When the dad came home from work the night before he carried all of that stuff up to the top of the hill where the house site was.  He must have worked really late into the night. He really must have wanted to show us  how grateful he was.
Mary speaking again.  When Kyle came home, I could tell that he had had a very meaningful experience. It wasn't your regular teenage experience, but an adult experience.  He loved it.  He said that he would like to do it again before his mission.  He never mentioned how hard it was.  It's like he did something that mattered and not just for this great family.  They also helped a school.  The kids had been eating their lunches on a dirt pad.  They also cleaned up an orphanage.  I was really happy for him. 
Home sweet home with his Mexican poncho