Of Teachers and Spring Break

For weeks we labor. With sweat and with tears. We settle arguments. We give medicine. We run raggedly in what seems like endless circles. We clean up spills. We stick on band-aids. We wipe up puke. We have a dozen pairs of eyes watching us every day. We spend our days teaching lessons, and when it seems they’re not getting it, we hope they can’t see us lose it. We wonder if they will ever grow up. We rejoice when the light seems to click. We wish for a longer weekend. And finally, when we are at our wit’s end, we hear the whispered words…”Spring break”….and all seems to right itself again. We see a light at the end of the tunnel, and can hardly contain our dancing “jibblies” (yes, I just made up a word 🙂 )

*Disclaimer: This is really not how I planned the beginning of this post, but please bear with me, I’ll get back on track.

It’s been my dream for quite a while to go to Mexico. I’m not sure why, but I’ve just been yearning to go. So when a friend is in service at a children’s home, what better reason than to go now? So plans were made and tickets were purchased, and one bright morning we flew away. Away from the land of cold and snow. Away from the daily rigors and responsibilities of teacher life.

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When it was FINALLY daylight, (many hours after our eyes were pried open) this was one of our morning sights 🙂

And even MORE hours later (can you tell it was a long day?) We arrived in San Diego, where the sun shone brightly and breezes blew freely, we were all smiles. They were tired smiles, but smiles none-the-less.

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Traveling was done (for now), no more sitting in the airport waiting to board, and no more sitting in the plane waiting for air movement to flow. Our ride picked us up, and we headed off to Mexico, after a couple other stops to pick up a few “American” things for the mission. We headed across the border, and soon we were there. (I could tell because I could no longer understand anything I was trying to read) Let me tell you though, we were tourists to a T. Gawking at all the sights, as we sat and reveled in the comfortable seats of a car with the windows open to let in the fresh air.

The next day, we headed to Tecate, Tijuana, the beach, the border, the fabric stores (of course) and all things touristy. 🙂 Here are a few highlights of the day.

*If you click on the pictures, it should give you a short description*

We went to a cool little bakery that had a little bit of everything.. Rows and rows or baked goods, and even some chocolates! 🙂

The next few days were spent helping out at the home, relaxing, playing with the kids, and just doing odds and ends. Seriously, these kids wormed their way into our hearts so quickly. It was a little difficult with the language barrier, but smiles, love, gestures and laughter are the same in every language.

Yes these pictures explain themselves pretty well 🙂

 

Give a boy a glow stick, and he’ll be your friend for life. (It wasn’t these boys, but another group that also got glow sticks, then took them to their room, broke them open, and flung it ALL ACROSS their room…..ceiling, walls, clothes…EVERYWHERE!! The kid in me thought this was super cool….*It really was* and the small adult part in me thought about all the anger I would have if these were my kids 🙂 )

This little girl was my precious shadow the last couple days. She stuck with me Wed. night after church and came running to me Thurs. when we took snack down to school. Talk about melting your heart with preciousness! She was the type that was content to just sit and not have to be bouncing around all the time, which suits me just fine!

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This little girl was one of the younger ones there..She’s  eating a chili powdered orange. For some reason that I cannot understand, these kids go crazy over chili powdered fruit, juice, anything chili! I sit there, my tongue burning, just from watching them gulp it down.!

This little guy had it in for me… 🙂 The first night we got there, he and some other little guys were blocking the door, giggling, and wrapped in blankets. The other girls started just stepping over them, so I just simply followed them. He grabbed onto my flip-flop, and me, stubborn lass that I am, was determined not to let him have it. I jerked my foot up, and caught him in the face with my foot. For several days after that, he would give me a sheepish, mischievous glare whenever he’d see me. He was super mischievous and reminded me a lot of my students at home 😉 Toward the end of our stay, he seemed to have partially forgiven me, and didn’t seem to be scared of me anymore 🙂

The children’s home was about a 30 min. walk to the US border. This section of the border was not well-patrolled so we walked back one day, and crossed for a minute or 2 just to say we did. 🙂

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Look Mom, I’m back in the US!

 

 

The night before we left to go home, we went to a rock look-out and had a picnic and campfire, followed by rabbit hunting. That was an experience in itself! On the back of a truck, up and down hills, sudden stopping and starting, dead rabbits inching toward you with the inertia of the moment….Yeah, I watched them closely to make sure they didn’t inch too close!

These little guys loved fires. They had 3..or was it 4? fires going at once. It kept us warm so why complain?

The day before we flew out, we spent the day in San Diego…coffee shop, beach, chick-fil-a, the bays around San Diego, driving around trying to find places we wanted, and then before we knew it, it was time to say good-bye. Time to go through security and face the real world again. Time to face jet-lag (yes, it IS real) time to fly back to our homeland, where people speak a language we understand, where we eat things that don’t burn our tastebuds 🙂 and where life has continued on without us, but is waiting for us to jump back in the driver’s seat, ready or not.

Mexico, you have treated us well, and I’m so glad you allowed us to be a part of your country for a short little while. My dream come true, and to top it off, we had sunshine and warmth. Made new friends, cooked new foods,( and also tried new foods.), survived rabbit hunting, and communicated without many words. I was reminded that in another language, a smile goes so far. Laughter goes even farther, and before you know it, you have broken down the stranger barrier without even speaking a dozen words!

*I know it’s lengthy, but this is really about half as wordy as I could have made it. So many memories packed into so few days. Ohio, it’s good to be back!*

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