Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Clean, My Own Bed and the Aftermath

Most of us are back, with most of the cement washed off and have had a good night sleep in our own beds.   Friday and Saturday were eventful days in very different ways.

Friday morning, before we left for the work site, Eduardo, the head of volunteers rounded us up for a debriefing regarding our total experience but most especially our experience at the border.  He wanted to know what we thought of the wall (it has been up for years in Tijuana) and did we think Mexican people were dangerous.   Both Mexicans and US citizens all agreed good border security is a good thing.   The Mexican people don't want our drug dealers, our violent criminals or problematic people any more than we want theirs.  Everyone agreed border security is important, yet standing on the Mexican side made many of us wonder about the level of fear in the US at this time.   We all wondered how to fix our broken immigration system rather than build more walls.

After this very deep conversation, we headed to our final work site in the Puerto Nuevo area.  We set up the cement mixer, put about 8 people on the roof while the rest of us lined up to shovel sand or gravel.  Others formed the famous bucket line to pass cement from the ground to the roof.  Others formed a line to catch the empty buckets coming from the roof and prepare them to be refilled with cement.   For the next 4 hours, with water breaks, we made cement and passed bucket after bucket to the roof.  In total, we passed 50 tons of cement.   The final putt-putt of the cement mixer as it was shut off signaled our week of work was over.

All during this work, we could smell the great food being prepared by the family who is receiving the home.  We could smell steak, tortillas, and beans being cooked.  If we walked by the kitchen we could see juices being prepared which would quench our dry mouths after the work.   The cement mixer stopped and were invited to the feast.  There we laughed and joked with our hosts as we enjoyed the goodness of being together.  We communicated with smiles and nods.   When finished we gathered with the family.   The family, again and again, expressed their thanks through floods of tears.  The familiar "Mi Casa su Casa" (My house is your house) was heard again and again.   Our group expressed words of thanks and what an honor it was to work on their house.  Inside jokes were exchanged and then hug after hug.   We loaded up the vans and the week had ended.

We arrived back at the Posada and was treated to breakfast for dinner.  We cleaned the Posada and prepared ourselves for an early morning departure.

Saturday morning:  5 AM came quickly.  We scurried around and packed last minute items, re-checked our passports.  The vans were loaded and we headed back.   There was little traffic on the road and within an hour we were all back in the USA.  We drove another 10 minutes and stopped at Auntie Emma's pancake house and had a great final meal together.  With time to kill before people flew home, we stopped at Coronado Island. Some went swimming, others toured and still others just sat with coffee and watched the ocean, with plenty of memories to sort through.

The 2017 Pilgrimage of Hope to Mexico was completed.

We thank everyone who supported us.

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