I am writing all of this on Saturday evening from our house in Mexico. I haven't been able to get to an internet cafe' yet, but by the time I have this posted you will know I found one. I think I need to give an overview of how the trip went first though, before I tell about today. It is long, but there is no other way to tell about everything.
We left around 9 am from Tucson, Arizona. I would have left earlier, but slept until I woke up. I wanted to make sure I got enough rest before we left. Everything went smoothly most of the way. I drove about 70-80 mph a lot of the way. We went through several toll booths. We used to take the Indian roads around them, but it takes at least 2 more hours and the side roads aren't very good.
By the time we were in Navojoa, 1 hour from our house, everything seemed to go wrong. I had some boxes to deliver to a mutual friend from our friends in Tucson. I drove to their house, but they weren't home. I tried to call, but couldn't on my phone. We waited around for about 15 minutes then left for the store before going to the village. I bought a phone card there, and tried to call our friend again. I got a hold of her and she said she would meet me at the store.
I shopped until Becky got there. After she came, I gave her a laptop from her daughter and some DVD players another mutual friend. We visited for about 15 minutes, then I left.
I was excited about getting to our house, as I hadn't been there in over a year. But, unfortunately, I could not find the hidden key anywhere. Greg had sent me a text message and told me there were keys to the house in the ashtray. But, unfortunately, the top dead bolt would not work. It always had a problem sticking, and there was nothing I could do to get it to budge.
I finally decided to drive another hour to Los Mochis, where my daughter was. But, unfortunately, by the time we got there it was 1:30 a.m. And I didn't want to call. I was so tired by then that I wasn't thinking straight. I might have even tried to call, but I can't remember now. I am embarrassed to say it, but I ended up driving around for 2 hours, looking for a nice motel or trying to remember how to get to the deaf school.
Anyone who knows me well, knows I have very little sense of direction. I really wish I'd had a map of Los Mochis. I ended up going in circles .I had asked a person at the OXXO (store like a 7-11) if there was an inexpensive nice motel nearby. He directed me to two, right next to each other. I found them, but felt uncomfortable, not knowing what kind of motel it was, so I drove around looking for a better one. I never did find one. Eventually, I asked a taxi driver, and he led me to a “good hotel” By then I would have taken any kind of hotel. I gave him a dollar bill, but he wanted more, so I gave him a 20 peso bill and took my dollar bill back. He hinted for more, but I didn't give him any.
It was old, but in it's time was a noble place with a courtyard. They also had a locked area to park my car. The hotel manager wasn't too happy I'd woke him up at 3:30 a.m. The hotel had a ceiling fan and a wall fan, but no air conditioning. It wasn't too hot, so that was fine. We had to get a room with 3 beds, for more money, as the manager said the others were all full. 2 of the beds were OK, but one was not very good – a little lumpy and uneven. I told Clemy she could sleep in mine, but she didn't. (The next day she told me she could feel the springs). I took a cold shower to wash the sweat off and went to bed. It was 4:45 a.m. By then.
I woke up about 10:00 a.m. The girls turned on the TV and were watching a movie. It took me awhile to figure out that it was the “Flinstones” only with real people instead of in cartoons. It was also in Spanish.
I took another shower, as it was getting warm in the room and then we left.
I drove around about ½ hour before we found the deaf school. I had tried to call earlier, but no one answered.
I prayed last nigh and today for God to guide and protect us. I think one reason I drove around so much was I didn't know if I was in a good or bad area of town and I felt uncomfortable and wanted to find a safe place. At least there was hardly any traffic out. Mostly taxis and police cars. I'm surprised I didn't get stopped.
I finally recognized a street name and some landmarks. Petra was very glad to see us! We ate lunch at the deaf school. After that Petra and I did some errands, picking up kids, delivering more gifts to a relative of our friends in Tucson.
The weather was very humid, but not as hot as I was expecting. The air felt heavy and moist.
Even though my Spanish isn't very good, my mind was able to switch gears and communicate with people again. If I don't think about it too much, then I can talk in Spanish.
Petra and I stopped in a little outdoor cafe'. They served K-freeze and cappuccino's. Petra and I had a nice time visiting and catching up a little. We went to Wal-mart to buy cat food. It is cheaper at Sam's Club, but I don't have a membership card anymore. I don't want to get rid of our 2 cats. They get some cat food, and when it runs out they eat mice, lizards, snakes and bugs. They also get a few scraps from the neighbors.
Around 6 p.m. The 2 girls and I drove back to the village with Petra's keys. We made it there before dark. First we drove to our friend, Carmen's house, who runs 1 of the 2 stores there. She also takes care of our water and power bills when we are gone. Then we went to our house and were able to get in. I was surprised that it was as clean as it was. Petra has been going there every 2 or 3 weeks and has kept it fairly clean. Since she started leaving a window open, so the cats can go in, there have been less mice. The cats were skinny and very happy to see us (or the cat food).
I swept the bedrooms, living room and kitchen, then I took a cold “bucket” shower and went to bed. We have no running water in the house because the hurricane in September broke some pipes. I bucket shower works fine in the summer if you don't have to heat up water. I'm glad that I have trained myself to take cold showers.
I really am enjoying being in our house. I didn't realize how much I missed it. I hope we can come back soon to live.
I didn't get up till noon. I slept 3 hours for yesterday and 9 hours for today.
It is very humid here and a little hot. It gets worse in July and August.
Susannah has been washing clothes all day. It looked as if it might rain, but didn't.
Today I drank 2 glasses of carrot juice, ice tea, and water. I also put some beet and an apple in the carrot juice.
I spent most of the day cleaning my bedroom and looking through stuff. I found a lot of very dead mice and cockroaches. I have about 10 small bags of clothes from our closet to give away. I am finding some books I want to bring to Tucson, then I will mail them to our house in Oregon from there. I don't know when we will come back, so I want to take care of things.
I wanted to go to the internet cafe', but didn't have time. I need to get to sleep now. It's about 10 p.m.m
I found the lost keys. They were in the area they were supposed to be, but I just hadn't looked good enough.
I had a nice cool bucket shower and now I am going to bed.
I got up at 8:00 I think. I feel SO tired. I did some laundry this morning and Susannah helped me hand it on the line. It is so humid here. It's hot, but not extremely so – but the humidity knocks you out. I had a glass of carrot juice with beet and apple again for breakfast. I tried out the little camp stove that Judah made, but it didn't work so well. It worked perfect when he tried it out 2 times. It took 3 times for the water to get hot enough for coffee. I finally made some, then made some tea to make iced tea later.
Greg called. He is going to a men's retreat and the 2 boys are going with him. They have colds.
I rested most of the day until Petra came with 2 girls who have been helping at the deaf school. They got a ride from some missionaries who live only 30 miles from us. They have been there 10 years and we have never met them. I guess Greg has been in contact with “Brian”, but he never mentioned them to me. They were very nice and visited for about ½ an hour before they left.
Petra went to Dyanas' kindergarten“graduation”. Dyana is Carmen's little girl, the store owner here.
While Petra and everyone else was gone, I drove to the village 5 miles away that has an internet cafe', but it was closed. I always get so lost and turned around in those 2 villages that are side by side. I don't think I should ever drive anywhere by myself at night anymore if I can help it!
2 more things happened that are not too good. I dropped my phone really hard, and now the screen doesn't work. I think maybe it works, if I can get the screen fixed. I'm glad I brought the go-phone with me too. I really don't need it now, except I can text Greg on it. The second thing is that the dead bolt in our front door won't work, so I can't lock it. We will have to try to fix it, because we have to lock the house when we leave. I think eventually we need to replace all the locks that are not working right.
It is late and I need to get to sleep. Tomorrow is Sunday. I don't know if Petra and the other girls will be going to church or not. I cannot go to a Mexican church unless I wear earplugs. So, I may stay home and rest. If I go I will be taking my earplugs.
I rested most of the day and read a little. I had coffee, using the little stove made from a pop can that Judah made for me. It uses grain alcohol. It didn't work very good, but I finally got the water hot enough. I never did buy propane, as we aren't going to be here very long.
In the evening I took Christy and Jenna to church. Petra, I and Clemy went back home. Petra, Clemy and Susannah did dishes, cleaned and finished supper (lentil soup in the crock pot). After the 2 girls got back from church, we had supper with a couple of neighbors. It was SO good! I haven't been eating very much real food, so it tasted especially good.
The funniest thing that happened was when Carmen (the store owner) was explaining about how she was getting "injections" for her dog - so it wouldn't get pregnant. The shots are meant for the local ladies. "Lety" is in charge of the health care in the village and gave them to Carmen. We all laughed for about 5 minutes!
It was so fun to be with our friends again!
Tomorrow we are sleeping in and then Petra and I have to empty out the house we have rented for visitors. Some other people want to rent it. I am not looking forward to it, but it has to be done.
There are a lot of other things I have to get taken care of before we go back. We plan on leaving Mexico Wednesday morning early.
I woke up at 8:30. It rained quite a bit last night with lightning and thunder. I hope it doesn't rain again till after we get the stuff out of the rental.
I drove to Los Toltecas with Jenna, Susannah and Clemy. We went to my friend Pati's house and visited awhile. She talks pretty fast, but I can usually understand most of what she says. We had to "catch up" on the last year. She told me all the people that have died since we left and how everyone around is doing.
I left the 2 girls with Pati and Jenna and I are at the internet cafe' (finally). It works pretty good, but I finally plugged my laptop in, because I am used to it.
I know this is long. I thought about putting it all in different entries, but if I do that, it messes up the order, and I wanted it to be in order. I guess only the ones who are really interested and have time will read it. If you are busy, please come back and read it as you can.
I might be able to come back tomorrow morning, but only if I get up early. God bless you all and I hope to have time to read some entries before I leave here.