Clown cars and reunions…

Matthew 6:21 NIV

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Day 2

Ahh a good night’s sleep! Well wouldn’t you after day 1 (I’ve been violated…twice)? After arriving and having dinner last night I woke up ready to start the day and make the trek to Usila.

The hotel included breakfast. So we ate our fill. While sitting there I looked out the window and noticed a van parked there and Chai sitting there chatting with a man. I asked Jon if he knew that to be our driver and van (it didn’t look very big). Jon wasn’t sure. But then Chai headed in and confirmed it was.

We started to get nervous because there were 3 other people hanging out in it. ? He wasn’t sure. Then Chai walked in and confirmed that it was. We started getting nervous when we noticed there was three passengers in the van. Honestly thought they saw the sign to Usila and jumped in. But like everything else I was wrong.

For some reason the driver thought because we were a “small group” that we were packing light. As I’ve mentioned, there were 40+ pieces of luggage between us. Things were about to get complicated. Thank you Pastor Wayne for teaching Jon how to pack and load luggage! Caleb has learned from both of you. Now I’m not gonna lie., but I had my doubts!the van was like a jigsaw puzzle. Try this one here, no put it there! But finally it was all in. And our 3 extras were able to sit!

We were finally on our way to Tuxtapec! Dude! I don’t know what’s worse… tourist on I4 who don’t know their exit or Mexicans who ignore the lines on the road COMPLETELY!! Our life was in this crazy man’s hands and I didn’t feel very trusting! He bobbed and weaved and bobbed some more. My breakfast was feeling very close to making a second appearance. There was a sign in Spanish that said if you feel like throwing up ask the driver for a bag. But then another sign next to it said please don’t talk to the driver! Boy am I confused!

We stopped on the side of the road at one point. If it hadn’t been dirt I would’ve kissed the ground. We got some delicious pineapple. Homemade mariquitas (plantain chips for you Puerto Rican’s), and drinks. We still had 1/2 hour to go to Tuxtepec and we’d be getting some supplies. Our driver parked on the side of the road, because why would we park in an actual parking spot? He’s like… “we’re here’. I’m like there’s a parking lot right there buddy. To be fair, as it turns out there was a height restriction bar that prevented him from parking in the lot.

So off we walked to Sam’s club. 10 Americans and a Mexican. Do you feel like a punch line? Well we did. Everywhere we walked people stared. It might have something to do with the fact it was free sample day and we didn’t miss a single one. Oh come on, you wouldn’t skip one either. And there was no attendant so we could say we just thought it was a buffet! Get in my belly. Caleb and I found this Chili they put on fruit! OMGosh! It was so good! We had to buy it. But in true Sam’s fashion we now have 4 bottles.

We decided to just get lunch right at Sam’s. But unlike in America they don’t know the definition of speedy service or cheese pizza. It took FOREVER and extended our Tuxtepec layover by more than an hour! And when we walked to our bus again the driver was missing. He’d gone off to get his own lunch. The 3 Caballeros went missing. They’d apparently decided we were never coming back and went looking for food. As if! Andale Chico we got places to be. He finally came back minus 1 of his guests (his girlfriend). It’s a good thing too, because we didn’t leave Sam’s Club empty handed. Extra space was limited to one seat but halfway up Alesha felt enough pitty to help the guy rearrange stuff to create a seat on a suitcase.

If I thought the 1st 3 hours were bad, it was nothing compared to the next 3 1/2. Listen! Linda listen! Forget Chinese torture just put a group of people tightly packed into a Mexican bus, them drive them uphill on a windey road FOR HOURS! The sights however were gorgeous.

We lived to tell the tale! We made it to Usila! I can’t tell you how exited we were. There is nothing like reconnecting with old friends. Philippians 4:1 NLT

[1] Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.

We sat with them fairly quickly after unloading the clown car, sorry I meant bus, for dinner. It was as good as we remembered. The Frijoles Negros (black beans for you gringos) are still the best I’ve ever had. They still look like big blobs of elephant poop. But very yummy elephant poop.

Soon after that we started breaking down the luggage and pooling out everything customs tried to take from us. Here is a quick photo and video of everything we brought with us. There is even a great picture of a pair of shoes Artie brought he was able to gift to Pastor Imber.

It was a very exciting moment to see it all laid out. Toys, candy, games, prizes, bibles, vitamins, medicine, and shoes. It was awesome! The faces of Pastor, Isabel, Chai & Yuri were priceless. It was one thing to pull this off with Don and Maria Elena to help us, quite another to do it on our own with God’s help.

I would also point out that a jar of Peanut butter and multiple bags of fun-dip made it. See how impressed I am? Thank you Kelly for the body search (it was Caleb’s idea of course)

Moving on. It was time to pull out the air mattresses. Thanks Dad and Jenny for my air-mattress. It has been a God send and the best help possible to get a good night’s rest.

Well all, on to Day 3…

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