June 17th

Today was our last full day here in La Mision. We started the morning with a tour of the orphanage before heading off to our worksites. By lunch, we had wrapped up all of our projects at the Siloe Medical Clinic and we were almost done with drywall and mudding in Primo Tapia. So a number of students went back to the orphanage to play with the children. We had another crew of students volunteer to go back to Primo Tapia and finish the work. How awesome is that!
Tonight we are having our final team time before packing up and getting ready for our early trip. Tomorrow morning we are planning on leaving La Mision at 5am. It is our hope to be across the border by 7:30am. You will recevie a text when the students cross the border. Please monitor our flight to see if our plane is on time.
Re-Entry
It has been an amazing week with your students. Like I said this has been a unique group, in a great way! We have been immersed in this culture and your students have been working hard, getting dusty and dirty every day. They have been without cell phones or any media for a week. Some students’ reentry can be a little rough. Like I stated, they have been immersed in this culture and as they return back to their home, they may become slightly overwhelmed with the change. Some students will be ready to talk your ear off till 3 am in the morning, others will need a day or two to talk about their time here. You know your student best, so please be aware of what might happen to them as they arrive home. With that said, I will tell your student tonight that they NEED to debrief this trip with you in the coming days. It is when they verbalize what they have experienced that it moves from their head to their heart. This is what will happen because that is when life change happens.
Below are a few questions you can ask your students when they get home:
– What was it like crossing the border from the US into Mexico? What did you see, smell and hear?
– What was the orphanage like?
– What was the Open Arms DayCare like?
– What did you think or feel about the old Tijuana dump?
– What job were you on and what did you do?
– Did you connect with any of the children and if so who?
– What are two things you enjoyed about the trip?
– What was the hardest part of the trip?
– How do you think you have changed this week?
– What is one thing you don’t want to forget this week?
– What is something you learned about yourself, life, this world, God and others?
– What do you remember about DJ’s story? Daniel and Heidi’s story? Sarah and Brenden’s story?
– What has this week meant to you?I hope this gets the conversation going.Finally, Mindy and I are grateful that you would trust your student with us in Mexico for this week. They are great kids and we have enjoyed getting to know them. We have also had some amazing adult leaders with us on this trip who gave up vacation and time away from family to be here to make this trip a possibility. For that, we are very grateful! 

Looking Ahead

– This year Be2Live will be hosting its first ever Be2Live Student Leadership Retreat the first weekend of November in Sonoma. Look for information in the coming months. We would love to have all the students join us.

– November 16-28 we are hosting a Ghana Service and Learning Trip. There is great information on our website about this trip as well as how to apply. Any student who is a Junior or older, including adults are invited to apply.

– Lastly, when we opened registration for this trip on November 1, 2016 it sold out in five days. Sadly, we still had students on the waiting list. We will be opening our trips for 2018 on November 1st. I now many of the students are wanting to attend again next year…and we would love for them to join us!

Once again…THANK YOU!!

June 16

Working hard and playing hard!

Today we worked for half the day and the other half we went to the beach and then out to eat. This morning we split up into three teams again.

Team Siloe: We worked on clearing brush and rocks from a fence line in front of the clinic. There were a lot of weeds, wood, and rocks. It all got cleared in a matter of a few hours. They did a great job

Team Primo Tapia:

Today was more mudding, taping and sanding. The students have really taken this project on for themselves. They have been doing a great job there.

Team Open Arms

Open arms needed the team to come back, sand the wall and begin painting it.

We had lunch at Open Arms Day Care which was then followed by capture the flag with the children at the daycare. It was a lot of fun watching our students play with and interact with the children.

Then we headed to the beach for some much-needed fun and rest.

Tomorrow we will finish our trip by working at Siloe and Primo Tapia. the kids have ben great this week and we have really enjoyed having them. We have had a lot of fun and deep meaningful conversations. You would all be proud of your sons and daughters.

Tomorrow, on the blog I will give you some questions to ask the students when they get home.

Thanks…

 

June 15th

Today was a very full, good, and hot day.

This morning we left La Mision around 9 am and traveled to the old Tijuana dump. The old Tijuana dump is no longer an active dump, but there is a large community of people that still live there. Many of them used to pick through the garbage when it was at Tijuana and some still go to Tecate where the active dump is located. We partnered with Life in the Canyon. Life in the Canyon works to help resource these families with immediate needs, clean water, money for food and utilities, counseling, schooling and other needed help.

Today we broke up into 5 teams:

Lunch Team 1 and 2 divided into two different locations in the canyon.  The Canyon has two different Compradors or dining rooms. We prepared spaghetti, watermelon, and salad. They worked hard in preparing, serving and cleaning up after the meal. We served about 100 people, many children who were on their way home from school

House Dig

Yes, we were moving more dirt. Many people have built their houses along the steep canyon hillside. Under the loose dirt is piles of garbage. This past winter there was a lot of rain and there were a number of mudslides that slid into people’s houses. We spent the morning and afternoon digging out a house.

Water Truck

We also had a team walk along side a clean water truck, delivering clean water to families in the canyon. The students followed a water truck and families would come out of their homes and bring their water jugs to get clean water.

Fence Team

Lastly, we had a small group of students repairing a 15-foot fence next to the school. They did a great job of preparing and building the fence.

After our time at the Canyon, we headed to the Tijuana Playas. No, we didn’t go there to lay on the beach. We went there to see the wall that separates our two countries. The Mexico side of the wall is a huge art piece on the wall itself. It is amazing. One student pointed out that the art doesn’t feel anger, but gives hope and also has a feeling of sadness. People have used the wall to express their feelings about the wall that separates many families due to various reasons. There is also an upside down flag painted on the wall, a sign of distress. This is to remind people that the United States has deported veterans who served in the US military back to Mexico. I would encourage you to google this and do some research about this as it is sad and interesting.

Everyone is feeling more tired tonight. As it was a hot day in TJ and we did a lot of walking and working. Tomorrow we will spend a half day working before heading to the beach for some much needed R&R.

Tomorrow’s blog may be much later as we will also go out for dinner.

——————

June 14th

Unlike yesterday morning, everyone was a lot more tired after a hard day of work. The students (and some leaders) were slow rolling out of bed. But it is all worth it because of what we are helping to provide.

Last night we heard from Brendan and Sarah the co-founders of Siloe Medical Clinic. They shared amazing stories of people who came to them looking for help with medical needs and Siloe was able to meet those needs. Here in Mexico, there is no good system to meet the practical and tangible medical needs of people, especially those who have little financial resources. Most of the time families must choose between putting food on the table or seeking medical care. Even if they have the financial resources to get medical help they are risking losing their job if they need to go and see a doctor on a work day. Siloe will be able to provide more medical care so people will not need to make these choices. Our team gets to be a part of this story. These students along with Siloe and the amazing Mexican workers they are working alongside will have a part in providing this much-needed service tot he community. How cool is that!

Team Open Arms

The team finished building the half wall in the toddler room and it looks great. They learned how to frame a small wall, drywall, mud, tape and paint it.

Team Primo Tapia

After mudding and taping yesterday, today was full sanding and re-mudding. Others helped to hang more drywall on the second floor. We love it that students are able to do things here they normally won’t be able to do at home. They love it too!

Dirt Team

A crew of 10 students continued moving and leveling dirt for a future playground and community garden. This is a lot of hard work. But the stuck with it most of today.

Water Tower Crew

We had a team remove a small water tower (10feet). This took most of the day.

Wire Team

This morning we had a team pulling wire from the second story of the medical center to the breaker box down below.

Paint Crew

We had a team preparing and painting the exam rooms at the medical clinic.

Once again this Be2Live team did a lot of good work today. Right now they are playing with many of the kids in the orphanage, holding babies and losing (again) to the Mexican teenagers in Soccer. I actually think some of them are 10-12 year olds.

Tomorrow our whole crew will head to the old Tijuana Dump. We have visited this community many times. We partner with Life in the Canyon. We will break up into 5 teams. We will be preparing a fence, digging out a home from a mudslide that happened this winter, providing clean water, serving lunch. After our time there we will visit the border wall that separates our two countries. On the Mexico side of the wall, they have made it into an art piece expressing their feelings about the wall.

Everyone is doing great!

Until tomorrow,…

———————————–

June 13th

Travel days are almost always adventures! The day started great as everyone made it on the plan without any delays. When we arrived a few of our leaders had retrieved four of our six vans. Unfortunately, as we started one of our vans at the rental company, it began spewing gas. We quickly turned it off. Thankfully the rental company had another van we could use, but we would have to wait another 45 min for them to clean it and get it ready for us.

Once we got all of our vans we headed straight for the border. When we arrived at the border, two of our vans were waived through without delay. But the other 4 were pulled off to secondary and were x-rayed (without anyone in the vans). After a few questions, the let the other four vans pass.

We finally arrived at Door of Faith around 7:30 pm, had dinner, settled in and then went to bed as we were all tired from our day.

Today, we awoke to a beautiful sunrise and a warm morning. After our solitude time, we divided into our work groups and got to work.

Team Siloe

Our biggest team went to the Siloe Medical Clinic here in La Mision. They are getting closer to being able to see patients, but not quite ready yet. We had teams, moving and leveling dirt for a future playground. La Mision does not have any playgrounds in the community. This playground will be awesome! We had students stuccoing walls, preparing walls for paint, digging ditches for electrical as well as cutting down trees. Everyone worked hard and did a great job.

Team Open Arms

The team began construction on a short interior wall in the toddler room of the daycare. When they broke for lunch they were told that they cannot come back this afternoon as the toddlers will need to take a nap. So this crew went to Home Depot in Rosarito to get supplies for a fence we will repair at the school in the old Tijuana dump on Thursday.

Team Primo Tapia

Be2Live has been working on building this house for the last year. Many of the students who went last year remember clearing the land and laying concrete. Now there is a two story structure on it. Our team was busy taping and mudding the drywall on the interior.

Team Genesis Diaz

15 of us traveled to just south of Ensenada to an orphanage for special needs children. This orphanage services brain damaged and severely handicapped children. It is an amazing place. They take in and love on those children that many in Mexico cannot care for due to finances, medical care, and other reasons. Our team was picking up two truckloads of food that will be delivered to other organizations and ministries in Northern Baja who serve the poorest of the poor in the community.

It was a full first day and tomorrow will be much of the same. Everyone is doing great. Many of them are playing with the children right now either on the swing sets, play ground or soccer field.

Tonight we will hear from Brendan and Sara, the co-founders of the Siloe medical clinic.

Till tomorrow!