Mexico Missions 3

A Week in Review

Hola amigos!

I got back from my trip to Mexico a few short days ago and already people are asking the question: “Well, how WAS it?”

Fantastic, is the short answer. Here’s a bit of a longer one:

Our team was comprised of couples in their 50s, myself and a 22 year old guy. Half of us were from Ontario and the other half from British Columbia. I’ve been on trips with most of these people before, so it felt like a reunion of sorts. We all bonded quickly and had an amazing week. We worked hard all day in the Mexican heat, and collapsed with exhaustion every evening. Every night before bed, we gathered as a team to pray and to share our testimonies. These are the times that really glue a team together. My life has been drastically changed just from hearing the stories of other people in previous years. I’m so thankful for our team and our supporters back home. If you prayed for us – thank you. We prayed for you, too. Thank you for partnering with us on this adventure!

If you’re interested in the nitty gritty of my itinerary details, here are some. I could basically ramble on for hours about each day, but I’ll give you a quick recap:

Woke up feeling wretched (my mother as well) and almost both didn’t go. It was that bad. Prayers got us through the day, there’s no doubt about that.
Met up with the British Columbia half of our team in Houston.
Arrived in Querétaro. Watched a Norwegian kid barf in the customs line.
Drove to Carl’s Jr for late night food.


We got a tour of Pan de Vida, the orphanage where we stayed and worked for the majority of the week.
A highlight was the new dorm for the boys. Only the concrete floor slab was poured last summer. Now the boys are living there and very happy with their new space!
Started sealing the roof of the boys’ dorm. Jeff and I discovered that we were really good at this task, and it sealed our fate for the rest of the week. We were roof dwellers.
Spent a half hour scrubbing paint off my skin.
Went to Pollo Feliz for dinner and revisted the teeny tiny toilet from years past. It’s still teeny and tiny.


Went downtown Querétaro. It was BUSY and overwhelming (even though I’ve been there numerous times before).

Church with the kids.
Watched the World Cup with the kids.
Overall, it was a really relaxing and lovely day.


Work day! Sealed a roof.
Wore my dad’s bucket hat to avoid extreme sunburn (I feel like that explanation is necessary before you see the picture).
Spent a half hour scrubbing paint off my skin.
Wheelbarrow campfire night – we roasted hot dogs and heard from the director of the orphanage and listened to a few testimonies from the kids.


Work day! Sealed another roof.
Spent a half hour scrubbing paint off my skin.
Prayer meeting night. We went to the dorms with the kids and were led in devotions and prayer time. Always one of my favourite nights of the week because you get to hear first hand what God is doing in the lives of these kids.

Went to a sister orphanage (Esperanza Parati) just down the road for the day.
Work day! Sealed another roof.
Spent a half hour scrubbing paint off my skin. It burns a little, at this point.
Had the BEST taco dinner. Always the best meal of the week.
Played games with the kids.


Work day! Finished painting the outside of the school.
Spent a half hour scrubbing paint off my skin. Gave up after awhile because it hurt too much at this point.
Church service.


Made 140 sandwiches.
Took 39 of the boys to the water park! This day was great fun, but even more tiring than the work days!
Rode a Mexican roller coaster. Yes, I’m still alive.
Went down a bunch of water slides. Significantly more terrifying than the roller coaster.
Went out for dinner at a delicious buffet.
Went to Walmart (always fascinating to visit a familiar store in an unfamiliar place).
Collapsed with exhaustion.


Drove up to a community centre in the mountains, Casa Otomi.
Fed kids breakfast and played games.


This place and these people rip your heart to pieces. I’ve talked about it before.
Saw a waterfall and a neat market in a very small town on our way home.
Got stared at for being a large group of white people in a very non-touristy place.
TACOS TACOS TACOS at my favourite taco place.


Church with the kids.
Hung out with the kids all afternoon in the hot sun.
Threw a farewell pizza party for the kids.


Said goodbye.


Packed our things.
Shed a few tears.
Had some terrible airport experiences that resulted in us all getting separated and unable to properly say goodbye to the other half of our team. I’m still for real upset about this. It feels unfinished somehow.
Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Whew. What a whirlwind. More posts to come…

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  • Eric L. Peterson says: July 25, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    This brings me back to when I went to Reynosa with my church to build churches. Such unique and sobering times compared to our normal days in North America. Always a shock coming back. I grew up in Aurora “little mexico” Illinois, and the tacos were always to die for. They also always came with a lime. I see your taco came with a lime. It could only have gone up from there.

    • Mandie Marie says: July 28, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      I can’t even eat a taco without a lime anymore.

      • Eric L. Peterson says: July 28, 2014 at 10:21 pm

        Sometimes I settle for lime juice just to make it halfway authentic. Still…something about eating it while sweating in 104 degree heat, in the shade, in a cantina, while a truck passes by blaring the same mariachi band on a bullhorn strapped to the roof of his car that just makes it so much better.


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