No point lying – this week was difficult, with more bad situations than good. Or at least that is how I felt at first. Bad things always take more of our attention, more of our energy, more of our focus. If we’re not careful they will settle in our hearts and become larger than they need to be. That was my test this week. Was it a crappy week or was it a great week with a couple of crappy moments? I mostly failed the test, but when I sit here and think about how to recap our week, I remember we had a lot of great experiences too. So for the sake of being real I will share some of the bad stuff – but no need to dwell on the details:
- We had some stuff stolen and lost some stuff – the golf cart keys, Grant’s phone, a watch, a big tub of bungee cords from the back of the truck. Aargh…..
- I didn’t feel so great. I had an ear infection and pink eye – painful, plugged ears and red, goopy eyes.
- We had to take baby Alison to the hospital twice – she had a bad flu and seems to have an allergy to milk. The pediatrician tried to convince her 15-year-old mama that she needs to nurse the baby but she’s embarrassed to discuss that. She’s 15.
- We first began the process of importing Grant’s trailer full of tools in September. We have hit roadblock after roadblock. Months of bureaucracy. Come back in 3 months. Bring more papers. Bring different papers. Pay more pesos. We finally made it to the final stage of getting the actual plates but needed one last inspection. We took all the papers – stamped by every imaginable Mexican department – to the inspection place. And then….. No. The serial number on our Saskatchewan registration form does not match the serial number on the paperwork done at the border in Nogales. WHAAAT??
In all these steps no one had noticed that the trailer manufacturer had placed 2 VIN stickers on the trailer. Saskatchewan had recorded one of them. Mexican had recorded the other. And they don’t match. “Okay but senor, you can see both stickers are there. It is clearly the same trailer.” No sorry – you will have to take the trailer back to the border and start over. Have you ever seen 2 gringos stand and just stare blankly at a Mexican official – no language, no emotion. Just unbelief. Our only hope is that he said to come talk to his supervisor on Tuesday – maybe he will have a solution?
BUT, we had some fun too. Yesterday we went roller blading AND boogie boarding. One afternoon we took the golf cart and the Bucerias map and drove up and down a whole bunch of streets and neighborhoods we had never experienced before. Everywhere we went people waved at us and children ran alongside our cart. We found new restaurants, new tiendas (stores), new potholes and speed bumps and dirt piles.
Friday we bought a piñata for little Kevin. Last week when we picked up Jose, his little 2-year-old nephew Kevin kept saying he wanted a piñata. I have no idea where he got that idea from but he was very serious in his request. So I told him I would bring a piñata on Friday when we came back. Of course, I promptly forgot my promise and on Friday morning Grant reminded me. My first thought was “Oh, he won’t remember I said that”, but after Grant gave me the look of incredulous shock, I remembered how important it is for these children to be able to trust our word and to be able to depend on us. So we went piñata and candy shopping in a little shop in San Vicente. The only piñatas they had were far bigger than Kevin but I filled that giant Spiderman with a pile of candy and we delivered it to Kevin. He was so excited – I expect Kevin has never had anything given just to him. In a few weeks his 16 year old mama will give him a brother and he will have even less for himself. We couldn’t stick around to play with him as we had to take baby Alison to the hospital but before we drove away I saw a whole bunch of 2 year olds – most with few clothes, no shoes, droopy diapers – gathering to have their own piñata party in the dirt.
Last night we had good friends over. I grumbled about our week. I think I whined. But as we sat in our candlelit garden sipping coffee and eating cake, I remembered that I really love living here and believe I am placed here for a purpose. I don’t love everything that happened this week, but I know that every good thing comes with opposition. I believe in spiritual battles. And I believe in being bold in spite of it all. I believe that this week Kevin needed a piñata and that Alison needed to get to a doctor. I believe that 12 children will have better lives because they learned a couple new English words and were kissed on the forehead by Maestra. I believe in the Good Shepherd who leads me through the valley and to the still waters on the other side. So I just step out in faith and say “This was a good week”.