April 13th

Today was our last full day here. It has been an incredible week. Collectively this group has leaned into this experience in a way few groups have done. They have asked amazing questions and have wrestled with complex issues of life, poverty, and justice issues while having fun working hard. I know some of you may be in shock, but these students have worked incredibly hard physically and have had a LOT of fun doing it.

Today we had all students working at Siloe. Finishing up projects such as trenching, moving dirt, drywalling a ceiling among other odds and end jobs.

The adult team worked in Primo Tapia finishing up the drywall in the house.

We were able to stop work early today so that we could enjoy time with the children at the orphanage, playing jump rope, soccer, basketball and holding babies. The music teacher at Hamilton Elementary school was able to bring a few recorders and teach the children a song. They had a mini-concert this afternoon and they did great! We love it when people are able to share their gifts and talents with the people here in Mexico. There was also an electrician that was able to help re-wire the house in Primo Tapia as well as help wire the medical clinic.

Travel Day 
Tomorrow we will be a long travel day for us. Below is our given scheduled. Please know timing may change given wait time at the border and possible flight delays. Once in the border line it could take anywhere from 2 1/2 – 4 hours to cross the border. Please monitor the flight times as well.

9:00am depart Door of Faith Orphanage
10:00am in line at the border
1:30/2pm arrive at In-N-Out
2:30/3pm depart In-N-Out
4pm Arrive at San Diego Airport
6pm Flight departure

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’ re-entry 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. In a matter of hours your student will go from an orphanage, crossing the border again back to a nice clean house. The change can be dramatic for many students. Some students will be ready to talk your ear off till 3am in the morning, others will need a day or two to talk about their time here. You know your student best, so please be sensitive 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 form 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. You don’t have to ask all of these questions:
– What was it like crossing the border from the US into Mexico? What did you see, smell and hear?
– What was it like to go to the border wall and see the painting on the wall?
– What was the orphanage like?
– What was the Open Arms DayCare like?
– What job were you on and what did you do?
– What are two thing 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 a way from family to be here to make this trip a possibility. For that we are very grateful!

In the coming weeks we will be on contact with your students about “Next Steps” on how to take this experience back home into their every day lives.

As we look to next year, we will open registration on November 1st for 2017 for our 2018 Mexico Trips. We will also be hosting a Student Leadership Retreat in the fall and we would like for your student join us. We will have more information soon.

Other Be2Live Opportunities

  • Support Be2Live in the Marin Human Race – see website for details
  • Mexico Family Trip – July 30-August 4th (registration is now open on-line)
  • Men’s Surf and Serve – September 20-24
  • Student Leadership Retreat – Fall of 2017
  • Women’s Retreat – October of 2017
  • Ghana – Open to Juniors in High school and above – November 16-28 (Tentative)

Also we have an adult men’s Surf and Serve Trip September 21-25 and a Women’s retreat in the middle of October (Dates coming soon). If you are interested, please let us know.

Thanks!

 


April 12

The weather here has been amazing. Not too hot and not too cold, but great work weather.

Today was going to be a half day of work as we were going to head to the beach and out to eat for some much needed R&R. But this morning wasn’t without its twists and turns.

This week the rock crew had been following a flat bed truck in one of our vans to the “rock quarry.” Yesterday, it ran out of gas even though the fuel meter said there was still 1/4 tank left. This is an old beat up flat bed truck. This time the truck shredded a tire after loading a few hundred lbs of rock. We had to leave the truck on the side of the road while they tried to get a new tire. I’m sure tomorrow we will begin the day unloading a truck for of rock.

The Primo Tapia crew continued hanging dry wall. Like I’ve said before it is fun to see students gain confidence in a skill such as dry wall. They have learned the basics of drywalling. Others were spreading stucco on a wall at the wellness center and water proofing it as it will be back filled with dirt.

These students have been incredible. You wold be proud of their work ethic, flexibility and overall great attitude. What a great group of fun loving students. You have great sons and daughters…all of them.

After lunch we headed to the La Mision beach to rest and play in the sand and ocean. Unfortunately it was windy and a little chilly. This evening we had dinner at La Fondas. The food was ok but the view was amazing watching the sun set.

Tomorrow we will finish up our projects, hang with the children at the orphanage before we begin packing for our trip home. Tomorrow night I will post some questions you can ask your students when they return home. It is our hope that they will share as much details about the trip and the impact it has had on their lives as possible.

Until tomorrow!

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Adult Trip

The adults have done a great job. We have had nurses help out at the medical clinic and others have continued working on the medical clinic as well. moving dirt, hanging dry wall, staining doors and bunk beds. Yesterday we had a paint crew paint one of the houses at the orphanage and label hundreds of envelopes for an upcoming mailer. Lastly, Julie a music teacher at Hamilton School spent time teaching some of the children the recorder as well as the violin.

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April 11

Today was another full work day.

The Rock Crew: the rock crew continued to haul rock from a local rock quarry. During the second trip the flatbed truck that was hauling the rock ran out of gas. So one of the workers from the orphanage ran and got gas for our crew. These students are amazing in their hard work and great attitude.

Dry wall crew: a small te of students and our adult leader continued hanging dry wall on the ceiling. This is always a challenge as you need to left the dry wall above your head while others screw the drywall to the studs. These students worked great as a team.

Dirt crew: The dirt crew worked on moving cinder block, doors and doing other needed jobs on the work site. Tomorrow they might continue moving dirt. These students have had a great attitude of flexibility and willingness to do what needs to be done.

Primo Tapia Crew: These students have learned how to fry wall a house! Each day the get better at their job. It is fun seeing students gain confidence in a new skill.

After lunch today we heard from Heidi, the director of Open Arms day care. Her and her husband Daniel, an orphan himself have opened a second day care in Mexico. They continue to provide a much needed service to the community so that children don’t need to be left at home alone while their parents work all day.

Tonight after dinner we heard from DJ, the America director of Dopr of Faith Orphanage. He really challenged the students to do something great with their lives and find places to serve others. He is always good and challenging.

Tomorrow we will work for the first half of the day the n spend the afternoon at the beach before heading to eat at La Fondas for dinner.

Everyone is doing great and having a great time.

i apologize that we weren’t able to get more pictures up today as we were pretty busy with everything. We should have more up tomorrow.

Good Night

 


April 10th

Today was another full day! This morning after breakfast and after our solitude time we received a tour of the orphanage. Door of Faith Orphanage is one of the nicest orphanages in baja. Many orphanages specialize in certain needs and Door of Faith specializes in infants. They currently have 120 children (infants- HS) living at the orphanage. They focus on education, family and community service. This is really an amazing place. The students and adults have had an opportunity to play with the children here.

After the tour we headed to our worksites. We broke into 5 teams.

  • The dirt crew made up mostly of the adult team and a few students were moving dirt to raise the ground for a future community garden.
  • The rock crew, traveled to get stove pavers for the walking paths of the clinic. There is a young man who is paid to chisels these rock from the ground with a breaking bar and sledge hammer working 10 hours a day 6 days a week.
  • Dry wall crew was hanging dry wall in one of the rooms in the medical clinic
  • Paint crew who was painting and assembling bunk beds for future volunteers of the medical clinic.
  • Finally there was a team that traveled to Primo Tapia to hand dry wall in a house for the psychologist that works at the day care.

Everyone is doing well and has been working really hard.

Last night we heard Brendan and Sarah story of how and why the started the medical clinic. This last year they saw over 2500 patients. In baja many people do not have the resources to go see a doctor. For many of them, medical care is a luxury as they need to decide if they will put food on the table or get medical help. Siloe is opening a larger medical clinic to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the community. People come from as far away as Ensenada to Tecate. It is an amazing story and we get to be a small part of it.

Tomorrow is another work day for our team as we continue on our projects.

Thanks!


April 9 – Student Trip (Adult trip below)

Today we woke up to a beautiful sunrise this morning. Today was an intentionally slow morning as our students slept in a little bit and enjoyed time getting to know each other. The students had time to play with the children at the orphanage before heading to Maganas, a local taco shop in town.

After our yummy lunch we headed to Tijuana to visit the wall/fence that separates our two countries. The Mexico side of the wall is an art piece. Many Mexicans use this wall to express their feelings, hopes and dreams about the wall. Often you will see families come to the park on the US side to visit with their families on the Mexico side through the fence. There is an upside down American flag, which is a sign of distress. It represents men and women who served in the US military and have been deported back the Mexico away from their families. We go not to make any political statement, but just to empathize and consider what the wall means on a human, relationship level. It was a profound and powerful experience for some students.

After our time there we headed back to the orphanage where many of the students are playing with the children in the orphanage. It is fun to see our students connect with the children here.

This week our theme is “One L1FE.” The idea behind the theme is that we all have one life. We know our birthdate, but we don’t know what day we will die. But what is important is the life lived between those two days (birth and death). We discussed how we had no control in where we were born, to whom we were born, but we do control our lives today in how we live. Because we only get one life, let’s make the most of it by making this world a better place. God has a reason why we are here, we are no accident.

Tomorrow we will receive a tour of the orphanage before heading to the work sites. It appears that we will be hanging dry wall, hauling stone and moving dirt at the wellness center. We will also be hanging dry wall at a house we have been working on for the past 8 months. Tomorrow there is a market in town that the students will have an opportunity to visit.

Until tomorrow


April 9th Adult trip

This morning as we were preparing breakfast in the student’s campground we ran out of propane and our stove and oven stopped working. So we transferred our food to the adult campground where the adults stepped up and made breakfast this morning for everyone! Flexico Mexico!

After breakfast the adults headed to church then lunch at Magannas Taco shop before heading to Tijuana to visit the wall/fence that separates our two countries.

The Mexico side of the wall is an art piece. Many Mexicans use this wall to express their feelings, hopes and dreams about the wall. Often you will see families come to the park on the US side to visit with their families on the Mexico side through the fence. There is an upside down American flag, which is a sign of distress. It represents men and women who served in the US military and have been deported back the Mexico away from their families. We go not to make any political statement, but just to empathize and consider what the wall means on a human, relationship level. It was a profound and powerful experience for many of the adults.

Now many of the adults are taking a nap and resting before dinner.

Tomorrow we will receive a tour of the orphanage before heading to the work sites. It appears that we will be hanging dry wall, hauling stone and moving dirt at the wellness center. We will also be hanging dry wall at a house we have been working on for the past 8 months. Tomorrow there is a market in town that the students will have an opportunity to visit.

Until tomorrow!