Friday, August 8, 2008

A True Mexico Day!

Well today Mexico got the better of us.

I got up early to go to the church and finish painting the ceiling by noon. I had a drop off scheduled at the orphanage in El Higo at 1:00 and a dinner appoinmtment at 5:00. This should have left a 2 hour time frame for the truck to arrive and be unloaded. ( it is Mexico you know).

Sooooo - I got up and finished installing the kitchen faucet in the missionaries home we are staying in. This took longer than I thought so we were running about an hour behind. Not bad so far. I arrived with Doren (the son of another missionary who is the pastor at the church) to work on the ceiling. We had just gotten started (1o minutes into it) when Derek (a man from a 1 week short term mission trip) came to repair the electrical at the church. He had to move our power source and that took 1/2 hour.

Then comes the fun part. 5 minutes more of painting with a sprayer on the new power source and Derek does something in the building. The power dies to most of the church and the rest of the power goes from 120 volts to 240 volts in the plugs. We shut everything down and for the next 3 hours tried to figure out what happened. I will save you the electical details, but the power in from the building was 5 wires off the meter, with several crossed. When certain combinations of things were on in the church, you sometimes had 120 and sometimes 240 volt power depending on which circuit breakers were turned on. To frustrate matter further Derek is not an electrician - just a nice guy who new more about electricity than the pastor. He ended up getting me to fix it and if you know me you know that electricity is not my strong point. There were more things wrong with the church - but I digress. Needless to say I never painted.

I left 15 minutes late for El Higo to meet my truck. I was low on gas and prayerfully the gas station I stopped at took credit card (most do not). Gas here is government owned and there is only one station, Pemex. I get to my corner to turn towards my destination and there is a semi-truck rolled over on the corner. Another delay. I get to El Higo without further incident and wait 3 hours for the truck. Nothing.

Now you have to see El Higo. Its 200 people who live in conditions you would not put your dog in. It is in the middle of nowwhere. There is nothing! Dirt, dirt and more dirt for 15 miles in all directions. I have no idea what ever possessed anyone to stop and make camp here, but there they are. Phones are out of range, the people at the childrens home were gone and all I could do was pick up trash (about 100 pounds) while waiting.

Finally I could wait no more and headed toward home. When I got within cell range, I recieved a message from the company that the truck might come at 4:00 now and then get loaded and drive the 1 1/2 hours to El Higo. After a long, nearly comical 1 hour of Mexican communication sytems troubles, I finally got to speak with Jose from Santrol who said the truck had still not arrived (it was 5:00 pm). We rescheduled for tomorrow.

We lost our dinner date in all this - had to cancel.

By the time I arrived back at the church, they ended up with the power back on, I never did find out what happened. I painted for 1 hour before coming home very frustated with all this.

There is more.

After dinner, Adrianne wanted to swim in the above ground pool outside our house. The pool had been shocked several days earlier and needed to be vacuumed very badly. I looked for 20 minutes for the parts to clean the pool when we found an outside shower area attached to the side of the house we are staying in full of pool stuff. I started to look in the closet and thought the smell would overwhelm me. The area was stacked full of plastic toys, the pool cover and who knows what else. It was a mice condo! After chasing mice out of it, we emptied the whole thing, threw away the ruined things and washed the area. While trying to throw things away we located the pool supplies to clean the pool. By the time we were done it was late, I still wanted to clean the pool for Adrianne, but the pool filter runs on an extension chord that is 15 feet to short to plug into the house. I gave up.

We learned patience today. The car ran fine, we were able to get gas, we ate and were safe, the church ceiling did get painted although by others and life went on.

Not the day we had in mind and I never even mentioned Sunshines day and her 45 minute project of cleaning the microwave and the 1.5 hours of time she took to attempt to reach me about the truck delivery. Her translator called at 9:30 last night and said he could not translate for the hygiene training. He called back 30 minutes later and said he now could.

Today (Friday) is the hygiene training at El Higo.

We will see what the day brings,

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