Mexico Missions 2009


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May 8, 2009

Mexico Missions 2009






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World travelin’, sustainability guru, humanitarian, foster and adoptive mommin’, photographer, photobooth-er, educator, multiple hat wearing entrepreneur. This girl’s love language is hugs and her tank is filled by serving others. You can find her under a palm tree, on a mountain, renovating a vintage trailer/house or running through the sprinklers with her husband, two boys and three fur babies.

More pictures can also be found on Flickr.

My incredible journey, once again, to Mexico for our yearly missions trip. These pictures and stories are a must see.. This was my fourth year and there is always a new adventure and new stories to tell. There are a ton of pics, but they are worth it. So catch up on the news.. here’s how it went down:

Day 1 Saturday April 25

Flew to San Diego.. my second favorite place in the world
Met new leaders Kathy and Mike. Mike is to Don McLaughin as milk is to cookies. Scary
Drove to our new base in Tijuana.
Re-united with Chimbu the worlds greatest dog.
Took a walk around the neighborhood. More upscale than the past. Big homes. Lots of landscaping.
Enjoyed the fresh water jugs throughout the house.
Plopped on bed with provided bedding. It was great for packing.
We CAN flush the TP this year-yesss
Gave Patty, our super fluent English to Spanish to English translator, a running bear hug when I saw her.
Set goal to 100 pics this yr. Did pretty good for the first day. Lost me on the second.

Day 2 Sunday April 26
Went to our first church service in Mexico in 10 yrs. Clapped for 45 minutes straight.
Shared testimony with my stubborn rock.
Met some sweet people who spoke English really well.
Keyboard player invited us back. Super nice. Went to college in America.
Visited building site.. prayed on slab.. I Love God!.. good start to a good week.
Met the most amazing family we’ve ever built for. LOVE them.
Angelita-mom 29
Juan Carlos-dad
Aaron-son 5
Johnny-son 2
Juan Carlos bought this lot 3 yrs ago waiting for this opportunity.
Lots of room to build.
Perfect weather. 70’s and sunny
Had my first Mexican ice cream cone. Yumm like homemade.

Johnny. Rarely awake.

Day 3 Monday April 27

Heard about Flu virus scare from America today.
Angelita and Aaron helped paint and build all day. Did I say how much I LOVE them?
Met their neighbors Manuel and Daniella who were super helpers also.
LOVE them too!
Became a Mexican kid magnet again and loved every minute of it.
Played “Oops, crap, Farkle.” Lost to Lisa White in the last round with a straight.
Kids are out of school until May 15th due to flu scare.
Patty fell 5 times today. Took me with her once. Battle wound.
Forced to refresh Spanish speaking skills.
Saw starving horses. Cried.
Saw dog burn to death. Cried.
Smelled dog burning to death. Cried again.
Saw a house burning down the mountain. Pretty normal in Mexico I guess.
Bought fresh doughnut from neighborhood walker.
Four walls up. No rafters yet.
Had spaghetti for dinner.
Best cookies ever for dessert.
Compared white girl fro to Mexican girl fro with Patty.

Day 4 Tuesday April 28
Day 1 to VBS. Since schools were closed, a lady named Conchita, who is getting a house next week, let us do it on her slab. Very kind woman. Her family helped us cook hot dogs too.
Printed 45 photos for their popsicle stick frames.
Gave kids a memory verse to memorize for 1 of our 380 donated beanie babies.
Fed VBS kids and families hot dogs for lunch.
Johnny got his toy truck stolen. Tammy and I are getting him a monster truck. Meanie!
I love to mud. Did the attic.
A day ahead of schedule.
Fed a starving dog my lunch.
Ate a pork molita which I learned was a flour tortilla with meat.
Landscaped this year with some of the girls. Rock stairsteps and rock wall around house. Bonita!
Played soccer with Manuel.
Met Marciels sons Fernando-12 (BFF for the week), Ocitis-16 (called me Hippi) and nephew Octavio-26 (who shaved for my photos)
Decided I want to live here.
Fed dog my dinner.
Lost to Mr. Beel at Farkle.. again.
Patty and I told horror stories before bed.
Patty woke up to me “staring at the wall” which was in reality.. a window.
Lost iPod. Looked for 20 minutes in the dark.

One of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever seen. “Photo, photo.” She waited for 45 minutes by my leg, tapping me for her photo. Poor girl was the second to last one.


Day 5 Wednesday April 29
Finished rock wall and steps. Wow.
Shopped all day for interior decorating (first time)
Bought bunk beds, mattresses, picture frames, shelves, lamp, rug, blinds, and toys
VBS was GREAT! Awnry boys.
Made Jesus bracelets.
Kids recited verses. IMPRESSIVE. Passed out Beanie Babies. It was like Christmas to them.
60 kids today.
Since Conchita and daughters let us do VBS at their place, they so sweetly made us big delicious lunch. Tuna, chicken and rice. SPICEY, but delicious.
Prayed over her old house to become prosperous diner. Cried even more.
God is powerful!
Amalia (our cook and housekeeper) made us chocolate cake with Birchwood in hersheys.
Went to second church. Was greeted by
6 yr old girl. Stuck her cheek out for 25 kisses. 🙂
Got kissed from Octavio and Fernando on the cheek.
Everyone kisses you on the cheek. LOVE that about the Mexican culture.
Introduced Patty to the credit card (not the plastic kind).
Played Uno with boys. Won.
Another perk to the Mexican culture.. the boys (Octavio) wouldn’t let me carry heavy things from the car to the house. Wow. Where’s that in America?

Chimbu is lovin this. He’s so relaxed, he almost looks sad.

All the girls are so naturally beautiful!

Day 6 Thursday April 30
7 am..Last one to breakfast again.
Spray painted chairs and kitchen rack with Fernando.
Finished up La Casa. Built bunk beds.
Brought donated materials to school. No VBS due to flu.
Reveiled house.. Renee presented.
Priceless faces when they saw the pictures in their first frame.
Aaron loved remote control MONSTER trucks. VROOM VROOM
Repeatedly thanked us for the toys and Bible. (aww)
Carne Asada party cooked by Marciel and wife Martha, Octavio, Fernando and Ocitis. Muy Bien!
Met Aaron.. Kathy and Mikes son. Scouted him to Graceland next yr.
Cried during goodbyes with Angelita and family.
Patty and I had a massive wrestling match.
Tried throwing me in my underwear to the group. I won.
Came back for more. Locked myself in bathroom. Hid under sink.
Farkle and popcorn.
Had heart to hearts with Lisa and Patty.
Girl talk in room about pee stories echoed through the house. Whoops. haha.

How many Americans does it take to put in a close line in Mexico?

Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis. It takes 6.

This girl is so sad because Patty is taking her dog today. Their family is moving to Southern Mexico and can’t afford to fly the dog where they are going. So Patty is going to fatten him up.

My “hippi” boys.

Day 7 Friday May 1
Visited past families. Couldn’t get to Joseline. 🙁
Debbie super sick. Back to the base.
No Rosarita?
Mexicans use walkie talkies.. a lot.
Went shopping a little.
Bought a dress.
Drove down America/Mexico border to Rosarita.
New and improved stone wall with camera and lights and police with guns. Eek.
Saw richies with mansions.
10 minutes at the beach.. 100 ft from America.. our vans got broke into. Hear alarms.. Roger and Larry chased after them. Got away. Police came in a mob of 8 cars. Took their posts with their bazookas. Just like the movies. Stole 4 bags. Unlucky with the jackpot. Dumb guys!
Mexican roofs are utilized for extra space. Especially for dogs. Thrifty. I like it.
“Jesus Christ is Lord” written huge on mountain.
Won at “Oops, crap, Farkle.” … twice… finally.

The border.. how easy.. just swim around.

But think again…

This was about the time of the robbery.

Day 8 Saturday May 2
Don’t want to go home.
Fernando won at Uno. 7-6.
Border line miles long.. walked through. New to me. I liked it too.
In America 8:15 am.
Roger is on my bad list.
Spent the whole day in the airport.
Home by 11:30pm. Pooped.

The End!

More pictures can also be found on Flickr.

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  1. Whitney Louise says:

    Jana, I’d be cheesy, but it’s so hard to be cheesy when all I have to say is WOW! God has definitely blessed you girl. You capture pictures so well that I have emotions to follow each shot! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Heather says:

    Looks like you had an amazing trip! Beautiful photos, especially the kids- it made me miss World Service Corps.

  3. laremy says:

    that's pretty awesome. i'm envious…

  4. Jana says:

    Laremy.. you should TOTALLY go next year. It's like Moja times 100. (which =flat out incredible-ness)

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