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Jan. 12-19,2016 – Mexico Trip- by Kay Dawson

What impressed me: Todd Luke impressed me. He is devoted to this place and these people. Scott is right it was incredibly well organized and a lot of that falls on Todd. I was impressed by how hard the local people worked. They really do the heavy lifting. I was impressed by what was accomplished. It is great to see things completed.

What inspired me: I suppose that falls to Todd as well. The people were very kind and engaging even though we couldn’t communicate very well. It is great to feel like what you did actually helped someone.

What pleased me:  I had something to do that felt useful. I hate above all volunteering for something and then not having something to do or feeling like a job was created for me that really isn’t useful. That wasn’t the case. I will say though that unless a woman is very strong the jobs are limited to shoveling sand.

What surprised me: This probably is off topic a bit but the flowers were beautiful and fruit trees were everywhere, along with hummingbirds. Having a child peel an orange right off the tree with a machete was a bit of a surprise.

What was fun: Well, the kids were fun – just like kids anywhere. Also the side trips to the Mayan ruins and the “bat cave”.
What impacted me: Trips like this always do. It was in a lot of ways very similar to the Katrina work we did.

What were the people like: This was also a surprise. They are not Hispanic they are native Mayan. Spanish is their second language. A lot of the people we worked with and stayed with were Presbyterian not Catholic.

The accommodations are fine but Spartan. I would encourage other women who might consider going to talk to Bev or I about what to take. Men are occasionally clueless. I felt much safer than I thought I would. We were in a very rural area and not being a farm girl I didn’t realize that roosters apparently never shut up – Ear plugs are essential.

All in all it was a great trip and I would have no hesitation going again. 

 Kay Dawson

Balmoral Presbyterian Church, Memphis, TN

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