Monday, November 25, 2013

A little bit of everything

Well the first answer is "no" - the kids didn't catch the fish.  They were graciously permitted to pose with the catch by a local fisherman.  I think it surprised them how heavy it was!

I was hoping to see the sunset, but was amazed at the chance to see a rainbow and a foal at the beach, too! And not pictured here was a swim in the Gulf and our fill of delicious fried fish (not the one they are holding!).

The reason for visiting the beach was a chance to hang out with the men in the rehabilitation center (they fried up the fish for us) with our visitor, Gregg, who is working with Dave to provide resources to those who want to minister to drug addicts and alcoholics in the area.

Later on, we shared a church service and a meal with the local church where the men had a chance to share about Teen Challenge and the difference it has made in the lives of many men and women.

And there's a glimpse at our afternoon in Celestún.

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Ful(filling) Afternoon

Living among the people of Yucatan is a blessing.  So is being able to "do ministry" as a family.  Dave will get invitations to participate in a service or special event, and he is often asked to bring his family. We try say "yes" to as many of those requests as we can.  This past Sunday we had the opportunity to spend time with a great family from Pixyah, Yucatan.  They pastor a church there, but also have a "mission" in a nearby town called Ochil.  There, they were celebrating one year as a congregation, since the start of their mission.  So, after teaching Sunday School in our own "home" church in Mérida, we headed out to the "pueblos" to catch part of their service and join them for lunch afterwards.  So we were able to hear the encouraging words of the pastor who also invited Dave to share with the group, and then we had the rare treat of eating venison tacos with homemade corn tortillas - "hechas a mano."  A few of us had seconds.... After everyone had their fill, and there were still leftovers, they packed things up - chairs, sound system, etc. - and headed back to Pixyah where there would be service in evening.

Well, that is easier said than done. In order to get between the 2 towns, you take the "ruta fea" - basically the backroads, very scenic (and very bumpy!).  We've taken this way a few times which makes it sort of a novelty, but they do this several times a week to minister to the people in the nearby town.  Once we had arrived back at the church, we were invited to visit a local cenote called Nomozón with the pastor and his family. And, you guessed it, more backroads - this particular route boasted 4 gates that you have to open to pass through and close again before continuing on your way, with cattle and horses and dogs to boot.

We've enjoyed cenotes in the region in the past, but it never gets old since each is unique, beautiful in its own way.  The adults decided not to swim this particular day, but the kids enjoyed the refreshing coolness of the huge underground water hole.  I don't know which was more fun for them, though - riding on top of the pastor's pick up truck or swimming and racing each other in the crystal clear water on this hot, humid day.  After making our way back to the church, we shared a typical Yucateco snack - charritos with cheese, ham, half and half cream, salsa and jalapeño all mixed together in a bowl for sharing along with some Pepsi to wash it all down.  Yum.

It was a good day.  And the Lord was blessing us even more with His beautiful creation on the ride back to the city...amazing colors and clouds as the sun set in front of us as we drove, reflecting on how great it is to be alive and experience life with others.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tourism Day

Over the years, it seems as though the number of holidays has increased. Just yesterday my sister-in-law mentioned Johnny Appleseed day, which began our family's search for what today might be. A quick Google search brought up September 27 as tourism day. As luck would have it, our kids had off school. No, not for tourism day, but for a teacher workshop. Considering the coincidence of it all, I thought it would be a shame if we couldn't celebrate somehow or other. So, after looking at various options, we decided to head downtown for a meal at a new location of a restaurant we had frequented previously with typical Yucatan cuisine.
Here we revisited the tastes of pollo pibil, cochinita, sopa de lima, salsa de pepita, and vaporcitos, not to mention a refreshing chaya drink. (If you hadn't heard, chaya is the new spinach, with boatloads of calcium!)
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for the kids, we first visited Santa Lucia park (because the restaurant hadn't opened yet), and saw that they had put in a Dairy Queen! I let them choose something small as not to spoil their appetite - DQ sandwiches - while Dave and I tried the "duos", ice cream sandwiched between 2 small chips a'hoy cookies.

Before leaving the downtown park, we stopped in a souvenir shop that had recently opened in order to feel really touristy ;)   Then, on our way to lunch, we saw a fun sign advertising tours and stopped to snap a picture to commemorate the day.
Now, on the way downtown, we had stopped at a coffee shop so Dave could buy more beans to roast his coffee at home. He has become friends with the owner at Cafico, where he always buys his stuff.   Being a "client" has its perks- they invited us to stop by again after we ate, and said they would have 5 frappuccinos waiting for us! Federico, the owner, has always been exceptional, even making home deliveries at times when we've run out of coffee.
A view from the car while Bekah and Dave get the coffee.
I would say we had a quite fulfilling few hours being tourists in a city we've come to love, mostly because of the people in it.

What obscure holiday will you take time to celebrate with the people you love? 
I hear that Sunday is Coffee Day...have fun celebrating...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day in Mexico

I got an outpouring of love from my kids this Mother's Day here in Mexico, a mere 2 days before most of our family and friends celebrate in the USA.  Each one wrote or created a special note especially for me and later in the evening sang an original song/rap that my daughter wrote.  Their Dad even played guitar to accompany.  All told, it was a great day which finished with dinner at a Thai restaurant (the only one in Mérida to my knowledge) and a homemade sundae back at the house. 
 I'm so thankful for my husband and kids and for all those who aren't their parents who contribute to their growth and well being! 
 May God bless all of you this Mother's Day!