Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cross posts...in a way

I can not post pictures, the darn card will not work on the only computer we brought, so, if you want pictures go here:
http://mumcmexicoteam.blogspot.com/. Today was another incredible day, so much work accomplished and an unexpected trip to the beach for 5 minutes. The water is beautiful, blue and bluer, the sand is bright white, but, full of those things that cut feet and toes. Interestingly enough, bottle caps and cigarrette butts everywhere. We ate once again at the Portales de Cancun, 4th night, and D. and I shared an appetizer (Nachos with Pastor), and a large plate of tacos with every meat the place makes...Chicken, Pork, Steak, and tenderloin. The pico is almost as good as mine, the green salsa is wicked hot and the ground habenaro salsa is deadly, mix the three together and heaven on earth has been located!
LAst night we walked to the 'flea market', what an interesting experience. No price is real, the shop keepers start at 50 bucks, or maybe 500 pesos, and you walk out the door with the item for 25 American dollars.
Back to the states on Thursday, might get a chance to post again before then,

Monday, June 28, 2010

What follows is our team in words. You'll notice 20 lines, each line representing a team member. Please, do not spend too much time figuring out who is who, and don't ask 'cause the 'key' is gone. Many of the descriptions could fit anyone of us, or, all of us. The last line is our link to MUMC, God, who has blessed us in so many ways over the last 6 days and will continue to bless us.

A Team
Quietly persevering,
Steady and true;
Wildly engaging,
Devoted and new;
Fresh, yet accepting,
Sharing the thrill;
Depth not surprising,
Finding the will.
Working to please,
All heart and bright smiles;
Changing with ease,
Collected, in colorful style.
Much more than one sees,
Honestly reaching;
Worldly by degrees,
Chortling and teaching.
Pensive and true,
From out of the blue,
Always answers the call,
Embracing us All.
I will leave you today with just one of the amazing ideas presented yesterday when we heard the Gospel in Spanish:
"Cuando Dios Invite, Dios Paga." Please excuse the spelling if I made a mistake, I think even those who have never heard Spanish can get that one:
"When God Invites, God pays."
I know I have been paid, more times that I can count over the last week.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 4....

Day 2 was better than day 1, with tons of sand and gravel pulled up and all the block set in between the beams. I was able to make the end cuts, felt like I was useful for the day. Saturday was our Xcaret day and we caught the remnants of tropical storm ALex, rained most of the day. It is a beautiful place just the same. Hung out with the dolphins and the manatees and the bats and the fish and the tortugas. GOAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL...sorry, Mexico just scored the first goal. Okay, we left Xcaret early and hung out, two of the youth and I had an experience buying jerseys for the game today, trusted a shopkeeper and it paid off! Today was great, the service was 2 hours but very uplifitng, the Gospel in Spanish is the Gospel in english. If the visiting Pastor had had a pad of paper I would have thought I was listening to Uncle Reg! Recuerdo: Cuando Dios invita, Dios paga.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day one...success

Day one was hugely successful. 600 block up two flights along with 20 beams. Countless buckets made the rope and pully trip and I think the Pastor was happy. Lunch was taquito's, chicken or Potato, or, both! I am so glad I have developed a liking for Avacado! All are well, no bad dehydration, just a few cramps and some slight dizziness among the group, of course with some of us, the dizziness in normal. The sun left us this afternoon, which cooled the air that is being moved by some awesome ocean breezes, thunderstorms are around, but so far only one short shower.
All for now...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We are here

We arrived on time, made it through 'migration' and customs in good time to find that Pastor had indeed found another vehicle to cart us around in, there would be no waiting at the airport for a ride. This was a good thing, the heat is oppressive, the humdity being about, oh, 245%. Anyway, thinking we were headed to the hotel and a trip to the store to buy lunch stuff, we piled into a van and an explorer, the bags were in a little box truck, a size the turned out to be ubiquitous on the streets of Bonfil and Cancun. Bonfil is...well, it's Darby to Philly. But, Cancun isn't nearly as big, so maybe Bonfil is Downingtown's Thorndale, attached but seperate.

We were suprised by lunch at the orphanage, a quick meal shared with some of the children, those too young to be in school, then we stopped at the church. What a beautiful place, stucco and tile, as yet unfiinished, but the sanctuary...wow...big, open (and I mean open, there are no windows in the windows), and yet, I iamgine when it is filled, it will become the size it needs to be.

We were introduced to the beams and block we will be carrying, lighter than expected. Then to the Hotel, the pool (about 90 degree water), and after that a trip to the store for supplies. Nothing is where it should be, and it seems that peanut butter is not a staple here.

Dinner was incredible, really, it was great (and cheap!)

Off to bed, early call in the morning.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Reasons

So below the Israel post is one regarding where I am headed in a day or so, and for the 3 people who still read this blog, the whole thing might be tough to understand. There are those that knew me when anything with the word 'mission' in it had better be an old TV show, and there are those that may be wondering why Mexico, of all places, what's wrong with Coatesville…hey there Stone-dude, didn't we once see a post about charity starting at home?

First things first, I have grown up, and in the growing there have been a few changes. I hope that the inner core is still me, the me that loves people for who they are, the me my grade school classmates would remember with a book, or a helping hand for, well, whoever needed it. I would hope that the high school classmates would still see that guy that was too smart to be hanging around with that group, but sure didn't seem to get into as much trouble as they did, the guy that would, again, lend a hand. See a trend here? I like to help, if I have a skill and I can share it, I want to (this is the reason I can't own my own masonry business, I share too much and charge too little!) I firmly believe that charity begins at home, in our own communities, our own back-yards, therefore I have…nope, when I started to list I realized it read more like self promotion than what it is; it is my life (in the words of a pretty perceptive teenager). So I do give here at home and I see this as an extension of that. The youth who travel with us are the ones who will benefit from this trip, almost as much as the children in the orphanage and the church we will be working on. These are great kids; talented, creative, friendly, outgoing, and willing to work, they've proven themselves locally as well. What they are seeing are some parents that fully support them and are willing to spend a hard earned vacation to allow them to experience helping those in need.

I know, platitudes get me nowhere, need is so overused. I guess what I am saying is that what passes for need in Chester County PA isn't even close to what will pass as need in Bonfil, Mexico. We've been warned that it is different, that it will shock us, that we won't believe it, and still, when we get there and start working, I know that first night is going to be a chorus of "I didn't think it would be like this." And then we will persevere and learn, get to know some kids from another culture, give them a hand for a week (more importantly, supply the materials), and come home with a new perspective on what it means to need.

Why Mexico? That's easy, because it is the church our congregation helped start 15 or so years ago. Is that a cop out? No, that's the truth. Is it selfish to head to Mexico during what is being called drug cartel wars? In a way it is, but it is more selfish to not go, to allow this group to go without me, because they would. Self promotion again? No, one of the mysterious workings of this life we lead. The possibility was discussed between my son and I, bandied about, and then, and adult dropped out. I asked if they needed me and they said yes. The leaders headed down to set it all up and came back with a description of our job. "We will be laying these big block, mixing cement, and finishing the stucco roof," they told us. Did you read that? Laying block…I can do that, I have done that, and no one else on the team has, not one of them. Sure my son has mixed mud, you don't get to be a stonemason's 16 year old son and not mix a couple hundred batches, but he hasn't carried and laid block all day for a week, heck, even I haven't done that for a number of years.!

Oaky, I'll stop now, many may have skipped the middle anyway, we are going because Pedro, Genaro, Lorena, and several other young children might learn from Mike, David, Allie, Gel, and several other young adults. I expect the reverse will be more true, and I plan on watching both groups, so I can learn as well…and lend a hand.

and then it gets bad again

So this will by my final political post before the trip to Bonfil, but I had to touch on this (and if I get news, and if this situation boils, I might take a moment. So now there are American Naval Vessels in the Red Sea to back up Israel in the coming week when the Iranian 'aid' ships come in.
This scares me, I wonder why these people want war? Why are Iran and Lebanon attempting to provoke Israel (and the US) into a war they will lose? Keep in mind that Israel is undefeated in its wars against the Arab states that would like to see the Jews returned to Germany and Poland.
If this boils over, it might get very ugly, very quickly, our President is very much in the market for a distraction from the debacle in the Gulf of Mexico.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Trip to Mexico

Heading to Bonfil, Mexico next week to finish a church that was started by the congregation of our church here in PA. The church also supports an orphanage so we will be spending time with the children, hopefully imparting a small sense of our lives while we grow and learn from them. The blessings we take for granted (just the ability to post political screeds on a blog) are things these children may never have and at the same time, the blessings we will be introduced to may open our eyes to a more enlightened life.

I will do my best to post at least every other day, if not every day, what I have seen, felt, and learned. Stop in and check it out.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Okay, Iran is worse

Below I wrote that Iran scares me almost as much as North Korea...I should have stayed away from DebkaFile. This article, if it plays out, could mean very bad things.
For instance:
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad assured Turkish leaders whom he met in Istanbul Tuesday, Jan. 8 that the vessels due to enter the disputed waters within days will not shrink from a head-on clash with Israel's Navy and Air Force exclusion forces. "We'll breach the Gaza blockade," the Iranian president vowed. The Iranian Red Crescent vessels will carry "volunteer marines" of the Revolutionary Guards "who will teach the Israelis a lesson."

Not a good thing, then the nut goes on to say that this will be the beginning of the end of Israel. This is scheduled to go down next week, I can only hope that it is more posturing by an idiot.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I have seen this before

A few years ago, I think 4, I read "Countdown to Terror", an expose by then Congressman Curt Weldon. In it, Mr. Weldon (full disclosure, I have met and cooked for Curt, while discussing this book)insinuates that Osama Bin Laden is in Iran, has been for years. Now, DebkaFile says so too. I have no idea how valid the source is, however, it seems to be decent.

Iran scares me almost as much as the North Koreans.

This is pretty good...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Helen Thomas....

Look, we all know she's a left wing shill, she has been for years...the left was proud to own her all those years too, now, well, they are scrambling. Back to Germany and Poland? The left like to point out the racism at the tea party rallies, and so do I, that stuff sucks, but the left never admits that most pro-Palestinians are left wingers, and most of those are rabidly anti-Semitic. Now, before y'all freak out, I did not call most left wingers anti-Semitic (I'm not like a leftist that paints all republicans as racist), I said the majority of pro-Palestinian activists are anti-Semitic. The truth of the matter is that the is plenty of food in Gaza and the blockade would be lifted if the terrorists stopped lobbing missile and sending suicide bombers to kill civilians.

I have posted before about intellectual honesty, and I guess as long as left wingers continue to excuse this type of behavior I will have to keep pointing it out.