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Mexico Trip to the Orphanage

July 31, 2019

What an experience!! I am not a good enough writer to give this week any justice.

As I mentioned in my previous post we headed out for Mexico on Sunday, July 21st. We drove to California and stayed with our good friends the Southwell’s! They have 4 cute boys and with our 4 girls, I am hoping that one will match up with one of theirs in the future. 😉 We got there Sunday and stayed until Tuesday morning. Kelly and I went for a 9 mile run together and then we headed off to the beach! It was a beautiful day at Oceanside beach. 😊

Monday evening I went for a 5 mile run and then Tuesday early morning, I got up and ran 8 more easy miles. We said our goodbyes and headed into Mexico.

Tuesday July 23rd:

We drove from the Southwell’s house (about 1 1/2 hours from the border to Mexico) to Mexico. We didn’t know what to expect getting in, but the officers here did a quick check of our van and let us in. My sister in law, Yolanda, arrived earlier then us… they took a small tour looking like bus in (with 17 people) and got stuck at the border for 4-5 hours. So we were grateful that we were only stopped for 5-10 min. We drove 1 1/2 hours in to the orphanage in Guadalupe. As we pulled in, you could see kids peaking out their windows. The orphanage had its own compound with a fence around their property. There were about 9-10 houses that surrounded a common ground play/gathering area. Each of these homes had a married couple (with their own children) and about 12-16 additional kids that the couple tended to and took in as their own.

It was so amazing to see how well “A Child’s Hope Foundation” has made this orphanage into a great, loving and structured “home” environment for these children. The parents in these homes were some of the most patient and caring people I have ever met.

We had our own living arrangements, on the orphanage grounds, but behind their homes. Our place had 7 or 8 bunk beds, with a bathroom and shower. There were 2 other homes like that to accommodate all the volunteers that come in and out. There were 25 of us in our group and a dentist and his family (that we just met when we arrived) there this past week.

Once we settled in, we were able to start interacting and playing with the kids. It was so fun.

Yolanda, Corom and a few others had to go shopping for all the supplies to start our projects in the morning.

I was able to get away for 40 min for a 5 mile run.

Wednesday July 24th

I got up early to go out on a speed workout. I ran 14 miles with 20 x 2 min on/off. It was tough doing it here in Mexico because there were a lot of dogs and some areas I didn’t feel as confident going down. I got back around 7ish a.m. and our group was already out working. It gets so hot early on that we wanted to have a couple of cool hours. I felt sluggish for a good part of the day!

This morning me, my girls, Eliza and a couple of the orphan girls sorted out a massive pile of donated clothes. It felt like this was never going to end! Others in our group went right to work on painting, tiling, sheet rocking a little tutor/school building, and helped in the main eating area with expanding it.

At about 1-2, we finished up and had a water fight with the kids. So hilarious… these kids are so funny!

Thursday July 25th

I went out for 8 easy miles. It felt better than I thought I would.

Today we worked on finishing up the kitchen, tutor room, the tiling and bathroom and we started to help build another house (we got bricks in). My girls painted trees today around the facility. It helps keep the bugs away.

Once again, we ended around 2 and took a trip to the local zoo. The zoo was great! There was a swimming pool there as well, so our group swam for a while. Corom didn’t go to the zoo, he drove to Ensenada to go surfing. I was bugged that he went there instead of hanging out with us but it turned out just fine.

We took a train ride, played on the playgrounds (at the zoo)…

and paddles around a pool with paddle boats…

That evening we attended a soccer game. The kids in the orphanage put together a team and they play against other teams around the different cities. It was so fun to be there. Our team won in a shootout!

We came back and had a piñata (it was one of our volunteers birthday)… so we had a “fiesta”. The kids loved it!

I headed out for another 5 mile run this evening.

Friday July 26th

I went out for a 9 mile run this morning. Our last day here. I had to run just a mile to mile and a half out only and back because there were too many dog encounters. So I knew I was safe in this radius. (Running pictures and a few others that I can’t remember if I put them in or not.)

Today we tried to finish up the main projects we started. We were able to finish the tutor/school room. We finished the tiling and bathroom, and the kitchen was 95% done when we wrapped everything up. The house that is being built, will probably take a while!!

My 2 middle children got into a good fight. 🙄 They we’re finishing up with painting trees when their fight broke out. My 3rd child threw some of the paint/pesticide stuff at my 2nd daughter and of course got right into her eyes. There were 6-7 of us for the next 45-60 minutes cleaning/flushing out her eyes. They burned! Yeah it was a pain and she was in pain. For the next several days after we continued to flush her eyes out.

After taking care of that incident and after cleaning up all the tools, we headed into town to do a little shopping. We all met back up for a last night taco party. The kids (and all of us) were so excited. We had a mechanical bull there, Street tacos, music and fun.

I just absolutely fell in love with all those children. They were happy and loving and they clung to you and just wanted all your attention. My kids loved them and loved to play with them as much as they could. Corom and I put our girls to work but when the kids came out after lunch we let our girls stop to go play.

We (Corom, the girls and I) left after the gathering on Friday evening to drive home. We got through the border pretty fast as well. I was grateful for that. Corom drove the whole night through (well I drove for the 1st 3-4 hours but by midnight I was too tired to drive). He drove from midnight until 7:30 a.m.

Saturday July 27

I went for my long run (16 miles- 20 min warmup, 65 min at marathon effort, 20 min cool down). It was hard to get out with the driving in a car all night. But I got it done.

My parents came into town last minute so we were able to hang out with them at my little brother’s house (my niece was able to come out as well). I love when we are able to see them. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s not too long ago… it is hard to see him go through this health issue. But it was so great to visit and hang out. We went out for dinner and celebrated my nieces birthday.

Well we had an amazing week! Words can not describe the experiences.

From → Running

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