Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas in Mexico: The Children

Our main mission in Mexico was to pack and distribute food bags as well as Christmas gifts. What I like to think of as our secondary mission was to simply spend time with the people.

During our free time Sunday night we sat around in a circle and sort of debriefed. One of the observations made by several people was how much fun it was to spend time with the children in the neighborhood.

One of our first tasks was to make breakfast for the kids Saturday morning. We woke up to no electricity in the dorm, which wasn't that big of a deal. We just had to improvise (like Todd making sausage on the grill). Somewhere around 8 a.m. the kids from the neighborhood started rolling into the dorm. The table was soon filled and they started singing songs together. Then we got to bring each of them a plate of pancakes and sausage (see Katie and Brant serving above).

Following breakfast, we had some free time to get to know the kids a little bit. We learned a lot of names and played with them out in the street and at the park.

The park was made up of a huge baseball field (that's where David is playing soccer with some girls above), a basketball court and some playground equipment. There's dirt, glass and trash everywhere but it appears the people appreciate it because the paint applied by a NMC Student Impact team two years ago is still in good shape.

Whether it was football or soccer, the kids from the neighborhood couldn't get enough of just playing with us and our kids.

The streets were the main area where we interacted with the kids. Traffic was very light and the dirt roads made for a perfect playground. In the picture above you can see David playing with Kenya (and an empty Tecate can) in a sandy area near our dorm. For them it was just like a huge sandbox.

On Monday we prepared a dinner for many of the volunteers at the churches in the area. Part of the preparation was handmade placemats that you can see the girls working on above. They were so eager to help and do whatever they could just to be with us. It was really fun.

My kids have talked a lot about the kids they met in Mexico - especially Hanah. She really wants to go back next year so she can see her friend Alondra (the one farthest to the right in the picture above).

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