Mexico Memories ~ stuffed in

All of this………..( and believe me… this picture doesn’t give you a clear view of how much stuff it really was)

Needs to fit in here…………………..

oh………… and don’t forget the people….. we have 20 of them too……

At least they are smiling……..

I we left off with Pastor Nelson trying to be seen by a sea of people in blue…..  We exit the frosted glass sliding doors of the Customs section of the airport…… breathing a sigh of relief, and giving thanks to God that we made it through with all our medicine, and all our luggage.

We give out hugs of hello to Pastor Nelson and are quickly introduced to a man standing beside him.  He jokes with us that this man is born a Baptist, ( we are from Grace Baptist church…… well, it was funnier after being awake since 4 am….)  ….and we gladly say hello to Chris Bautista, a quiet humble man who has left his own church and ministries to help us for a week.  Along with Pastor and Chris, there are two anxious looking men….. they are counting…. you can see them mouthing the numbers silently…..and they look worried.

We dutifully follow everyone to the parking garage….. grateful to be able to stretch our legs after the long flights and also grateful to no longer be waiting in an hour long customs line………… trying to keep all the luggage we have from falling off those airport carts….  it is piled so high on some of them you can hardly push the thing….

…….. and then we wait.  There is a flurry of conversation….. in Spanish……. there are tickets, arms and pesos flying….. I am catching about every 20th word…. but I can follow the pantomime pretty well, and I understand it is: “wait here… we are getting the cars”.  My relief is short lived, as I see our transportation approach……….. I think to myself………  you are going to get all this in THERE????????

Up drives these two vans.  They look like the one at the beginning of the post…. they look like they will scrape the ground if you try to carry just the PEOPLE let alone the STUFF!!!  Undaunted, and with a smile, the two, once worried looking gentlemen, our drivers, begin to stack the luggage in the back two seats.  Now for a lesson in Math…….  these are 8 passenger vans…… we are 20 people, 22 with drivers, we are 40 pieces of luggage, 60 if you count the carry on items we all had….. the Math is not good.  Now, for a lesson in Mexican math.  8 passenger vans will fit what you tell them to fit.  Sit down, shut thine mouth and enjoy the ride.  It was like the loaves and fishes……  I don’t have any idea how it happened but we all fit.  Now, some luggage went floor to ceiling in Nelson’s sedan, and Chris held someones suitcase on his lap……… there were people sitting on people….. and people sitting on bags…. but, we fit.  I tried to take pictures of it…. I was able to snap the one above…. of the boys van……. and then the Federales…. yelled something about no pictures, and something about handing over my camera………..  Mrs. D….. profusely apologized for me in Spanish…. and I escaped confiscation.  *phew*

The first thing I learned in Mexico…… was that seat belts….. like traffic laws are a mere suggestion.  I realize that we could have never worn them the way we were squished in there….. and that the chances of us actually being injured in a van stuffed with luggage was slim…. but I really, REALLY would have felt a bit more safer with one on. 

We pull out of the garage into a torrential downpour, and an equally ominous sea of cars.  Eddy…… our driver guns it and merges onto a flooded street, three lanes wide full of 5 lanes worth of cars, better than any cabby I have ever seen in L.A. or NYC.  He keeps us about 6 inches from the car in front of us, for the next hour……. ** confession moment:  I am a horrible passenger ( or was till this trip )  I frequently look for the brake pedal on the passenger side to assist the driver in stopping their vehicle.  I also, gasp…. and mini squeak ( scream if you ask my husband) when something gets to close to our car.  I flinch, and generally freak out on all windy roads…. or if someone drives too near us, I tense up expecting a crash**  if anyone else has this same disease…….  I recommend a trip to Mexico City as a “exposure” therapy.  There was far too much coming at this van…. from every side, to have time to react.  So I just sat there…. relaxed, and took in the vast difference in economies, housing, climate….everything was new, and needed to be seen.

Just in case you were wondering, I also learned that Mexico Math…. isn’t reserved for cars…….. it is a way of life……  it happens in their buses……..

in their houses

everything is crammed next to something else……..

On one occasion… later in the week, when there were 12 of us crammed into a mini-van…..  I heard the story of what one persons father used to say…….” If we are all going to fit into heaven together….. we can fit in here!” 
The next stop was a three bedroom home, being used for a church……. I would say it was close to 1100 square feet…. but it could have been smaller and just felt larger for the lack of furniture…………and 16 of us were going to sleep there……  Really, they tried to lay out the people in an orderly fashion…..  equally distributing us amongst the rooms…. BUT……  they thought that Megan and Brandon were brothers, and put them in the same room.  They also thought that Evan and Tayler were brothers and gave them a utility room downstairs to share…….  Megan and Tayler being SISTERS to the aforementioned boys…… we now without assigned rooms.  So we piled them in the “girl” room.  The boys slept 4 and 5 to their rooms, and we girls were 7.    It is by God’s grace that the girls were the ones that had to sleep 7 to a room.  Girls are much more easy going when it comes to sharing personal space.  Girls have lots of sleep overs…….. at these sleep overs, they share beds… sometimes 4 in one queen bed……  girl will sit on another girls lap to ride in a car ( this came in handy nearly every day!) ………  Boys are NOT this way.  So the girls just pile on into one room…..  they sleep sideways on two sets of two single mattresses……..  and put three on a bed…..  they were very gracious to their surrogate mommy…. and let her have her own mattress.
We knew we were going to be stretched on our trip…….  we knew we would be learning new things….. but I don’t think anyone was prepared for the way such togetherness was going to touch our lives.  We would become close, not just proximally to each other, but close spiritually, and emotionally…….. both with GOD and our fellow trip mates.  It was a great first day…. on a trip that was to be filled with love, laughter, tears, and triumph.
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One thought on “Mexico Memories ~ stuffed in

  1. Oh man! I just got motion sickness just from READING about this! HAHA! Not only am I a horrible passenger- I tend to puke if I'm not sleeping! And claustrophobic to boot! Can't wait for the next installment….

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