h1

Archive for March, 2006

h1

Mar 31

Homeward Bound

Category: Journal

This morining was a very sad morning. We woke up early and packed everything up and drove the road from rosartia to TJ one last time. We got to the base only to find that breakfast time had been changed  to 6:00 by the team so we were a little frustrated but what can you do. So we quickly strunged up a few things to eat, then started our good byes. We are sad not to be going home but that we are leaving so many good friends behind. They are all like family to us now and we will miss them soo much. Hopefully we will be able to return sooner than later. We really want to. After our good byes it was off to San Diego with a quick border crossing. The rest of the trip was pretty much un-eventfull. The roads were good but not good for pictures today as it was grey and rainy. Oh well. The really cool thing was the really green hills which looked neon through the grey mist. We are in Red Bluff again as we were too tired to press on and we know the Hotel here was good. So now for some rest and more driving tommorow.

 

(2) comments »
h1 h1

Mar 30

Almost the end

Category: Journal

Rain rain and lots of rain. On tuesday night we had a big storm roll through the coast here. The wind was pretty crazy and the rain was really heavy. Was nice to hear the sound of it on the roof. At about 10:30 the lights went our from a blown transformer. We had come home a little earlier at about 9:00 as we have Kathy a lady from Costa Rica staying in the house with us. She is here to check things out and see if she would like to help with the homes for hope full time. So with the power going out it forced us to get to bed early, which is a good thing as we need our sleep. I was awoken later that night with power coming back on a all the lights being on in the house. So i got up and just as i finished shutting them off there was a loud elecrical buzzing sound and then a huge blinding flash of light and another transformer had gone out. Oh well we were sleeping anyways.

The next morning we woke up to really cold weather and water everywhere. With all the rain we couldn’t head out to the colonia to dedicate the house as it was tooo muddy and we would get stuck for sure. So instead it was decided to take the kids to a local rehab centre. The rehab centre was actually really cool and was a tough love kinda place where everybody had to pitch in a help out so everything was very clean and there was a real feeling of comradery there. It was cool as it was a on the top of a hill and soo we had a long drive through the playas to get there and was met with an amazing view. We headed back to the base for a quick lunch then it was off to Ensenada for some shopping and a big rally with the team down there on base in Ensenada. I love the drive down to Ensenada there is are parts that are along a cliff with an amazing view of the ocean.

We drove right past the Fox studios on the south of rosarito. You could still see the set for master and commander there very cool.

Ensenada is a neat town and a little slower pace compaired to TJ, although it is still a tourist town so it isn’t perfectly true mexican. We tried to do some shopping on the main strip but it is all super commercialized and everything is sold in stores. So it is hard to bargain. Naomi and i couldn’t even find a good taco stand. So we went and sat in the port and looked at the boats and just talked. We saw soo many awesome sail boats that i would just love to take on a sail around the world. 100 footers with 2 masts perfect for a family of sailers. lol.

 

 

The big rally was good cept a little cold as it was outside. Then it was again time to round up all the kids again. Oh vey!! It took 2.5 hrs to get them from Ensenda to TJ which is usually a 1 hour trip. Once we were on the highway it was hard to get the Canadians to drive the actual speed limit. They kept driving the limits posted by each exit not knowing that Salida in Spanish means Exit so we were driving 60k in a 110k zone. So finally really fed up i passed them all and got my van home more than a half hour earlier just by driving the speed limit.

 

(6) comments »
h1 h1

Mar 28

House is Built

Category: Journal

Wow! We finished our house in 2 days, and boy what a house. It all started monday morning with a frantic trying of organizing all the kids and getting them into the vans. Then with a long drive south east of the base we ended up in the hills looking up a valley with a small view of the ocean far away. Here we met of the Gorostieta Rayo Family. Salvador and his Wife Maria, and their three kids Edgar, Mayra (jacylyn) and Eduardo. They currently live in a trailer lent to them but the trailer is now being asked back. Their weekly salary is 70 dollars. They own the small peice of dirt they live on but still owe 8000 out of the 9500 it cost them so the monthly payments are 150. Now in Mexico things are cheaper but not that much cheaper a 4 liter jug of milk is still 3.50. So clearly this family needs a little help.

 

So getting to the site we quickly unloaded and got to work. I would basically call myself the supervisor on the site as i am the host so i was busy all day helping where needed and making sure everyone remained busy. We have 3 builders that basically guide the construction of the house which is about the size of a large shed back home at 16’X20′. But to this family it is a big house. Naomi pretty much did the same as me and helped wherever she could of course most people wouldn’t let her work on the account of her being pregnant. I think she likes the attention though. So with the close of the day we had all for walls up and the trusses up. Here is a picture of naomi showing them how to build trusses. With the close of that day we started the long drive home. I love driving in mexico although you really have to watch everybody else. We got home in good time and quickly ate before the nights meeting. Naomi unfortunatly didn’t get much to eat and was really tired.

We woke up the next day to nice sunny skies and a not so feeling good Naomi. So we decided it would be best that naomi stayed behind and helped out on the base and got some rest. She also got to eat lots of papaya YUM!! The Papaya is sooooo good here something that will be missed back home for sure. The cool thing was the dolphins were swimming by the beach today so i tired to get a good picture this is the best i got.

So off we went again today to the site to complete the house. I was rally proud of my team as they all really worked hard and had just as much enthusiasm as yesterday. We had a lot of fun and a played with the kids a bit. They are all so cute and sweet. Jacklyn just loved piggyback rides.

We got the house finished just in time for the end of the day and the rain. Perfect. Now tommorow morning we are going to dedicate the house to the family and give them the keys. The kids all brought stuff to give to the family for their new home and have all pitched in a lot of money to buy them a bed and other things. Should be lots of fun.

 

Well i am tired to it is off to bed again to get ready for another day. 

(4) comments »
h1 h1

Mar 26

Long Day!!

Category: Journal

Well as i said before the teams are finally here, and as this day ends we are really tired. As soon as we are finished this update it is off to rest and a something to eat so we can be ready for tommorows frenzied house building.

Lets see looks like i havn’t updated since thurs night. So friday…. well we got more of the base here ready for the kids. I spent most of the day in the main hall cleaning and setting more stuff up. With a little break for Gerson to show me his Motorbike, which he is going to let me take for a spin if i get a chance. I hope so as i miss my bike soo much. For the afternoon i decided i should brush up my drumming skills so i practiced away in hopes that i don’t sound too bad when we play for the kids although we havn’t yet practiced as a band yet – yikes! Naomi spent the day with all the girls and some of the new staff cleaning the girlsw dorm and getting things ready over there. Then we all went as a group for some more tacos before practicing our play into the evenging. After that is was home to enjoy my first corona in Mexico on our little patio under the stars. Naomi enjoyed a kinder bar.

 

 

Saturday was the day all the kids arrived and all the chaos started. We started the day with a long meeting then it was off to San Diego to pick up the team. I left early as i needed to buy some more black lights for the hall. Black lights seem to be hard to find in San Diego. Then it was a long wait as the team’s bus broke down and the arrived much later than anticipated. So we loaded them all up and headed across the border luckly we got a green light as my group had brought some fruit with them. Yippee Mexcian smuggling. The kids were all pretty excited to finally be in TJ after 3 days of driving. Although they all seem to think that TJ is more like Puerta Vallarata and they can swim and the like here. So we quickly gave them food had a meeting to lay down the rules and introduce the staff and the like. It was a lot of fun and yep even some break dancing and crowd surfing broke out.

 

Today we had to be up much earlier as we are having breakfast on the base now with the kids. It was nice to have a real breakfast for a change and not cereal. Then we all loaded up and we took our group to a church on the otherside of TJ. This church was small but totally awesome. I figure if we had churches like this in Canada everybody would go. I played with the kids during the service telling stories and making crafts. It was really cute after the service as  many of the little girls (some orphans) all had to give Naomi a big Hug. When the took all the kids to the base property after a super long drive across TJ. Then it was off to get tacos or so we thought in Rosarito which didn’t make any sense and was a bit frustrating as that is what the team leader wanted to do. The kids all ended up having ice cream as we had only just had a really late lunch. By the time we got back it was 7 and the team is now having there own meeting. So we get to relax a bit. Good thing too as we are really tired.

 

 

 

 

(3) comments »
h1 h1

Mar 26

Small Update

Category: Journal

Wow the teams have finally arrived after their bus had broken down, so they didn’t get in till late. I am just quickly writing a small post (sorry no pictures) to let you all know that now we are in the thick of it. Things are really crazy here now with kids running around everywhere. But the have a lot of energy still after driving here from Lacombe, Alberta. There is about a hundred of them and well trying to keep that many all together is a challenge let alone keeping the staff together. Somehow the some of the staff disappears when they are needed leaving Naomi and I taking up the slack. So we are going to try and keep you updated as much as we can. Hopefully i will get some time late tonight so till then hold tight and have a great sunday!

(3) comments »
h1 h1

Mar 23

Sunsets, Tacos and Movies

Category: Journal

Another 2 days have passed and a lot more stuff has happend. Although at a much slower pace than the week before. It has been nice though as we have felt like we are getting some rest in. I have been sick with a cold for the last few days probably from being soo cold but i am starting to feel better now. Hopefully with some extra sleep tonight i will feel back to 100% tommorow. Especially with the students coming down on Saturday, things will get a little crazy around here.

Let’s see yesterday we basically did some more cleanup and prep around the base here. I fixed up the drums a little more and eagerly await the plexiglass sound barrier tommorow. That will help keep the volume down in the tiny little room which should look really cool as it has neon paint all over so when the black lights come on everything should glow. I love glowing stuff! The mornings have been fun for me as i have gone downtown with Gerson to pick up music supplies and sound equipment. We get to buy all sorts of fun stuff and i get to see a little more of the city. Although i keep forgetting to take my camera with me to show you all what TJ looks like. I will try to remember next time.

Last evenging we made a point of going down to the beach and watching the sunset. I can never get enough of sunsets on the ocean. It is going to be hard to leave the ocean again next week but for now i am trying to enjoy ever bit of it. Too bad i couldn’t go swimming but being so cold and toxic water and all, best leave that for another vacation.

 

After the sunset the whole group of us went to enjoy some more taco’s you can never have enough! This time it was pollos, which had just as good tacos as Frances but Frances atmosphere is a little better. Naomi hopes to try some fish tacos tommorow everyone has been telling us how good they are here. I will probably pass and go for adabado(pork) tacos, my favourite. After having 3 tacos everyone encouraged me to have one more so i did and man was i glad they served me one that had soo much meat on it i had to eat it with a fork.

Having had our fill of Taco’s we headed over to the local cinema for a movie. We went and saw "V for Vendetta". I totally loved the movie, it had a really great story and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I highly recommend it, although it does have some harsh imagery so it might not be for everyone. The cinema was really awesome as it was just built a year ago and had the stadium seating, and was the first cinema i have been in where the arm rest pull up so Naomi and i could cuddle.emoticon After such great evenging Naomi and i just had to finish the night with some more strawberries and cream. Yum! yep all we do is eat

Today we did more of the same, with more prep. But this afternoon we went on down to Rosarito and did some shopping. We spent a little more money than we had planned (this trip is getting expensive), but when we saw these really cool pots we just had to buy them for our house. Hopefully we didn’t get ripped off. I got a really good deal on a thumb ring which i am happy i bought. So we then left the market and dropped off our loot at home just in time to get a great picture of the sunset, something we where hoping to get. 

 

Now we are sitting here with really full bellies once again! Some of the girls decided to make us all a big lasagna dinner mmmm yum. So of course i stuffed my self silly again. Tonight we are just going to get to bed early as tommorow is a full day, and i really want to shake my cold. Speaking of cold today was great as well as it was the first day in TJ that i wasn’t freezing cold. The weather is starting to turn better and the warm breeze is blowing. Today it actually hit 24 and the normal 10 it has been. Anyways good night all.

 

(8) comments »
h1 h1

Mar 21

Ministry Begins

Category: Journal

The last 2 weeks we’ve begun to prepare for the teams coming down next week.  Troy’s been helping out getting with the music room – getting the drums in good working order and helping out with the sound and televisions in there.  I’ve been doing things like getting gear together for games with the kids in the colonials, washing out water coolers and packing up bags for the teams.

Last night we went out for my first tacos with Gerson and Amada.  We went to a typical mexican place called Frances, and it was great.  I learned a few more words in Spanish and ordered my tacos myself.  I know, not a huge deal, but I’m starting to get over my shyness a bit with Spanish so it’s a step in the right direction for me.  Everyone here seems to want to take Troy and I under their wing, and wants to take care of me.  Every morning the base director asks me if I’ve eaten breakfast and makes sure I’m taking care of little Mack.  I think tomorrow I will tell him that I am fasting to see what he says. 

This afternoon, Troy and I went on an excursion across the border – we had to pick up some supplies from San Diego.  It was nice to get away for a while.  They told us we could go and do whatever we needed to while we were there, so we went shopping to Old Navy and Target.  The border is always crazy getting into the US (all 24 lanes of it) and it took us about an hour to get across.  What we didn’t expect was for it to take us half an hour to get back into Mexico tonight.  Apparently it was a holiday here in Mexico, so a lot of people were across the border for the day.  Going into the US is always an experience.  People sell absolutely anything you can imagine. That doesn’t bother me so much as seeing the young kids walking between the cars as they try to sell things. 

(5) comments »
h1 h1

Mar 19

Day in LA

Category: Journal

Well today’s the first day this trip that Troy and I split up a bit during the day.  Once it was obvious that Debbie and I wanted to do "girl stuff" the guys opted to be taken home and hang out on their own.  We had a lot of fun shoe shopping and going for a pedicure.  It was my first pedicure ever, and I sure enjoyed it! 

Late afternoon, we headed to The Block with a stop by the Crystal Cathedral.  The Crystal Cathedral was pretty incredible – certainly didn’t fit in my usual vision of what a church looks like.  Once at The Block, we did a little shopping before heading to Dave and Busters for Debbie’s staff Christmas party in March. Her staff welcomed us as Debbie’s Canadian guests and we were given a great meal and even coffee mugs and treats.  We had a really good time losing at a scavenger hunt of the establishment.  I now know way more about Dave and Busters’ than I ever cared to!  Afterwards, we played a bunch of the games – and yes, pregnant women CAN surf!   

(7) comments »
h1 h1

Mar 18

Back in LA

Category: Journal

This morning was a great morning as we woke up to the ocean view. We had a great night sleep in our little house what a great way to stay in Tijuana, so much better than what i had when i was here 6 years ago. Here are some pictures of the ocean view although i am going to try and get some better ones when it is clearer out.

 

Here is also a picture of the house itself. Cute huh?

 

We had a quick breakfast and then went off to the base for the moring meeting. We were then put to work to start cleaning out one of the main rooms. Well it was more of a drag everything out of the bathrooms and then wait till monday for them to decide what to through out and what to keep. This brought us to lunch in which they ordered some pizza. The pizza were the largest i have ever since about 3 feet across and the funny thing is they were delivered by a guy on a moped. After lunch we cleaned out the water jugs and then decided we would head up to LA for the weekend. It seems that next week we are just preparing the base for the arrival of all the kids for the following week. So this weekend is time off for the staff, so there would be nothing for us to do and little staff around the base. With this in mind we thought it would be great to spend some more time with Debbie and Shane and really actually get to spend some time with Shane as it is the weekend.

So we packed up all our stuff and tried to give Debbie a call to see if it was ok for us to come up. With several unsuccessfull tries at phoning we decided to head up anyways hoping that it would be ok, and if not we would travel to some other place we havn’t been yet. So we spent an hour getting across the border which was smoother than the canadian border just way more busier. I guess that is within reason as it is the busiest border crossing in the world. Then we gave Debbie a call in San Diego and success we got through and she was super excited we were coming. So it was on the road again hitting rush hour and being slowed down to 20mph. It took us 2.5 hours to get to LA instead of the just over an hour drive the other day but oh well there is was no hurry as we they weren’t home from work yet so we arrived in good timing.

We had a nice quiet night with them just talking and having dinner. Then Shane set up his giant screen so we could watch a movie, and enjoy some icecream (naomi had a craving). We watched Just Friends, it was really funny and Ginny i think you would like it as you can watch ryan reynolds for 2 hours. lol. Well now we have been on our trip for 1 week and still have 2 more to go! Wow we can’t wait to see what else is going to happen over the next little bit.  

 The big screen minus the middle panel

No comments »
h1 h1

Mar 17

Tijuana or Bust

Category: Journal

Another day and another Border. This morning we woke slept in after a late night on the town. It was our first sleep in day since we started this trip and it was nice to catch up on some sleep. We took our time getting ready this morning and then headed off to buy some Mexican Insurance so we could drive into TJ. The insurance cost us less than what we had thought it would so we are very happy about that. Then it was off to TJ. We got the green light as we crossed but then missed our turn and ended up lost downtown. After many more wrong turns and several crazy traffic circles later we finally found the right road and reached the base safe and sound.

Now we have finally reached Mexico where we will be staying for the next 2 weeks. While at the base i showed Naomi around my old DTS stomping grounds, a lot has changed around here and it has gotten a little more runned down and dirty. It is kinda sad as it was much nicer before. Naomi was amazed as it was a lot different then she had imagined it. We tried then to grab some tacos at a local shop that has the best but unfortunatly they were closed. So tommorow we will be sure to get some. So instead we opted for corn dogs by the base just to tie us over. Soon more of the staff streamed in as they finished a meeting from in San Diego, and we got to meet them all. It was really cool as it was nice to see some people that i knew from 6 years ago. Andy (the base director who incidently looks like a mexican Danny Divito) then took us in and showed us to where we were going to stay.

The place we are staying in is absolutly awesome. We had to drive a little ways down to Rosarito to get here but it is only a short 12 min drive from the base. Basically we are staying in a 3 bedroom house all to ourselves! They had just rented it and we are the first people to stay in it. This is totally awesome as we thought we would have to bunk seperatly in the dorms. When we got here we were greeted with a little gift basket of stuff (laundry soap, scented candle, candy, chocolate bars etc.) it really made us feel welcome and sooooo blessed. This house is really cool with an amazing view of the ocean. I will have to grab picture of it for you all tommorow.

After quickly setting in we were off to a farewell dinner for some of the staff here. We went to a brazillian buffet called Pampas in dowtown TJ with everyone. Oh my goodness! the food was totally awesome. It had a great salad bar with lots of great salads and gucamole. I finally got to try cactus which, turns out to be really good now i wish we could make it at home.The highlight of it all though is the meat they served. The server would come by each table with a big skewer of meat, either fillet mingon, chicken wraped in bacon, lamb, pork, turkey, or sausage and cut it off onto your plate. MMMM it was soo good. So we stuffed ourselves silly.

So now we are back in our little house, full and satisfied. Ready for whatever tommorow may bring us.  

(2) comments »
h1
h1