Saturday, September 18, 2010

Back in the United States.......

We are back in the United States and waiting at the airport to catch our flight back Seattle.

Many things happened this week.......the most important are the changes that each of us have gone through to make this world a better place.

Congratulations St. Louise Adult Trekkers!!!! Everyone worked really hard and it was a blessing to be part of a group that had so much to share and give of themselves.

We look forward to share our stories and experiences when we are back home in Seattle.

Thank you to all who have supported us along the way!!!!

- Mona.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 5.....we built walls for the new home, poured cement into them and poured a roof.

What a day today!!!!! We started out at the work site (that has both houses on it) building walls for one of the homes. It was very successful although precision was needed, an excellent job was done. After the walls were up, we poured cement into the walls and made sure that all the finishing touches were made to it. In the meantime, Eduardo was still waiting for the cement truck to arrive. If it did, we would pour the floor. We were tired but ready to pour the floor.....low and behold, the cement truck came and we started to pour the floor. It was another moment to be proud of as the group held up very well and we got the job done. All in all......a fantastic way to end the work week!!!!

We learnt a lot from the community this week. The community really came together and helped us with every part of the process. It nice to see that LOVE REALLY HAS NO BORDERS!!!! We were welcomed and we welcomed them into our hearts and lives.

I learnt a lot this week which I will take back with me and keep it in my heart. Esperanza is doing so much good for the families of Tijuana. They teach them to build community and to look out for each other. Many good lessons will be carried with us back home to the US and shared with family, friends....etc....

The challenge is to live out our faith by doing the best that we can for the good of step at a time......that way, we will all be able to help the world!

- Mona.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Yesterday was a busy day at Santa Margarita, where we poured the foundation for one of the houses. Unfortunately, I got a bunch of the dry cement mix in one of my eyes and was very uncomfortable. I had to throw out my contacts because the cement was fused to it. Luckily, I brought a couple of extra sets. The eye feels much better today, but still feels irritated. The big Mexican Independence Day celebration we went to was very crowded, but still interesting. I think I prefer the local celebration like we went to last year in La Gloria, because it has a more small town feel to the festivities.

After work today we got to visit the families that we worked with during the Tijuana Teen trek I helped with this summer with our St. Louise group. It was wonderful to see Marta and her children Uriel, Roberto, and Lupita again. Unfortunately her husband was working. we weren't able to visit with him as well. I must admit, it was an emotional reunion for me, especially talking with Uriel, who is just a bit younger than the students I teach. I encouraged him to study hard in school, since he is missing some schoolwork in his classes. When he hugged me goodbye it was all I could do not to start crying.

Tomorrow is our last day, and I'm looking forward to taking the experiences I had this week and sharing them with my family, friends, and especially my students. I'll be anticipating my return here next year to continue building my global connections with our friends in Mexico.

Day 4.....we poured a floor.

We started off the morning at a different community as they needed the help to pour the floor. It was an addition to their home and boy were they happy to have us over to help with the floor. We poured twelve and a half bags of cement in about 50 minutes and it was a very joyus feeling. We had a wonderful lunch with the family, thanked them for their hospitality and then went to La Morita to visit the families that the St. Louise Teen Trek worked with this past July into August.

Eric and the group that he came down with dug the foundation. Our St. Louise Teen Trek group dug some more of the foundation and got the floor ready for the next group to pour the floor. We were amazed when we saw the home this afternoon!!! The home was still in the finishing stages (the walls needed to be finished, painted.....etc....etc...) but Marta and her family are so happy to have their new space and they are equally if not more excited to paint and decorate their new home. We then left to see Rossio and her new home. It was wonderful to see the finished product, clean and ready to move in. From there we went to visit the very first home that St. Louise help build and that is Isabella and her family. It was wonderful meeting with her and seeing how her family and her home has grown. We then proceeded to the border.

The border is always a very moving experience and we are looking forward to hearing Eduardo talk to us about it tomorrow morning. It will be very interesting to see what the group thinks about the border and what they think about immigration.

Looking forward to a wonderful day tomorrow and hoping that we can do more than our best to have a family live their "american dream," of having a beautiful home.

- Mona.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 3.......we put in foundation blocks and poured cement in them

Another good day for the St. Louise Adult Trekkers! We got to the work site, eager and ready to work (as always) and we accomplished a lot. We laid in the foundation blocks and had a lot of rebar to tie. We wired the joint :) After building up to about 7 high, we poured cement into the foundation. It was a job well done but most of us were covered in A LOT of cement.

The work today required a lot of patience especially since a lot of precision work needed to be done. People were very patient and they kept switching in on jobs with others who were in the line for a long time.

Today is the Mexican Independence Day and about 11 Adults are going to be going to somewhere near La Morita to enjoy the evening. Some of us are staying back since we really worked hard :)