Monday, March 19, 2012

Mission Trip to Mexico & Photos

A group of students, their fathers, and faculty are currently spending spring break on a mission trip near Vera Cruz' Mexico.  Photos sent from Mexico More pictures are added occasionally.

The group is in Mexico, on the bus and heading to the mountains. They have the same bus driver as last year and Fr Michael met them in Mexico City. Paola called this morning to say the village is anxiously awaiting their arrival.

We loaded the truck with some roofing supplies and about 2/3  hiked down to the next 2 villages. One group stayed and roofed a house in Rancho Nueve. We completed 3 roofing projects in all and some very hard work preparing the 2 housing sights. Plenty of energy and bodies to throw at the projects. Then we hiked back up the mountain and even the old guys made it. The group split into 3 groups for lunch at 3 different homes. The people are always so excited to prepare and serve the boys food. Pretty big appetites. Has been foggy all day with one very brief partial lifting. No complaints, no illness and no sickness to report. Doesn't get much better than that. Just going to evening prayer

Lots of activity all over the village this afternoon. We were split into 6 groups. The house sites this year are requiring a lot more site prep.  We are going to have some catch up to do. Had another very good lunch. All prepared on homemade charcoal. Even some grilled jalapeno peppers.  Finished three roofs and started another. Found a little sawmill so was nice to have extra boards to support the heavier tar like roof panel (in place of tin). The boys had a chance to share candy and little toys with so many kids today. Before mass had a little skit about David and Goliath. Then played games. Probably 50 to 60 kids. Filled the blue church (was pink last year) for mass.

Just finished up evening prayers. There was great progress today on the houses. The frame is up on one and all the concrete work is done on the other. Everyone pushing hard so they have a chance to climb the mountain on Thursday. Think some of the roofing crews learned a thing or two about donkey paths. Couple of the houses only had access by path. One of the houses only had a tarp on it. Most everyone seems to be doing very well.  Might offer a few prayers for Father Dan. He was not feeling to well today but was still able to pull off Mass. Had Mass going in 3 villages this evening.

Another morning hike down the mountain to start the work day. Finished a few more roofs today. Good thing we can buy a little lumber in town (cut to order - sort of). Not sure what holds up some of the houses. Also recycled more nails than I ever thought possible. Made some very big progress on the 2 houses. One is nearly complete. The other is going to take some time tomorrow (which is a good excuse for some of us who don't do well above 12,000 ft). Not easy when you get some wrong parts and no Menards or Lowes around the corner. We were told to be @ mass @ 6:30 pm and don't be late. We forgot that means 7:30 in Mexico. Could have finished a project. After mass handed out all the donation items. So many thankful people from kids, mom's, dad's and grandparents. The boys really enjoyed giving those gifts. About 2/3 of the group headed up the mountain tomorrow. The rest of us staying closer to 8000 ft.

Leaving Rancho Nuevo by about 9:00am and will drive to Mexico City and visit the pyramids. Lots of hard work this week, now time for some relaxation.

Friday AM - Had a late dinner after mass last night. Girls wanted to take a lot of pictures (and again this morning after breakfast). Had mass this morning and loaded the bus. Currently about 3 to 4 hours to the pyramids. After pyramids will have some dinner and for some a very missed shower and bed. Tomorrow morning will go to Our Lady of Guadeloupe then catch the afternoon flight.

Friday PM - We are at the Riazor Hotel and all I heard was what the order was going to be for showers. It is very new and quit a change from sleeping bags. Lot of laughs about not being able to sleep with out all the animal noises. We had a good visit to the pyramids. The boys really enjoy climbing to the top of the Sun pyramid and negotiating purchasing souvenirs. We hope to celebrate mass at the Basilica tomorrow morning. Then get to the airport for our afternoon flight.