For Christmas, my family and I traveled to do some work in an orphanage in Mexico. We didn't know what to expect and it was even less of what we expected than we expected. It was fun though, and we only wish we had spent longer on our vacation, namely in warm southern California. We had to come home for my youngest brother to go to a New Year's Eve party. Boring. Here are some pictures:
Rexburg right as we were leaving:
These are the dorms where we slept. There was a garage door on one side that didn't shut tight. It was very cold. But only $5 a night. My sleeping bag is awesome. The guy from Canada who was across the room from us and snored louder than anyone I've ever heard was not as awesome. They ran out of water while we were there and they told us not to shower unless it was necessary. Same with flushing the toilet.
This is one of the girl's dorms. I'm happy to report they weren't as shady as our quarters.
Here's a couple of pictures of the actual orphanage. There are nine dorms and a main cafeteria place, plus two camp sites for the volunteers. They run completely on donations. They have 110 kids. Each dorm has a single mom or a couple that live there to be in charge of the kids. It was actually probably the nicest orphanage in Mexico. They were very well taken care of and very used to American visitors. One day when I was walking through one of the kids saw my water bottle, walked up to me, drank the rest of it, than gave it back. Ok kid.
Me and my aunt Charlene loading and hauling trash into this pickup. The dump was WAYYYYY up the mountain. Actually a very beautiful ocean view location.
They asked my dad and brother to take down a couple trees. Here is my dad risking his life.
A bunch of people donated stuff for us to take down. Thanks to Broulims, a few dentists, the vet and my aunt.
This is the orphanage.
There were goats right by where we slept. And yes, that is a toilet seat for the goats to put their heads through and let us feed them leaves.
We went to the most amazing restaurant called La Fonda. I had banana pancakes with coconut syrup. Char had delicious enchiladas. We shared and were very happy. The wall you can't see is facing the ocean and is just kind of covered, so they have blankets. And chickens. The best part was while we stayed at the orphanage we couldn't put toilet paper into the toilets. We had to put it in buckets. And if you accidentally did, you had to use a stick to get it out. But at this restaurant, flushable. So clean.
We went to the coldest beach in the world. We think it might be Rosarita beach. Anyway. Cold. COLD! There was also a seal. Don't try to pet them though. My dad about lost a hand.
After my dad and brother were so successful removing the tree other groups wouldn't dare touch, they asked them to take down this Oleander tree that was in the middle of the orphanage. If you didn't know, Oleander trees are poisonous. Why it was in the middle of an orphanage, I do not know.
They put up a plastic fence around the cutting down area but as soon as they finished, the orphans jumped in to help clean up. They literally tore down the fence. One kid, I should say, tore it down. With his teeth. Then I looked over and saw the same kid holding one of the saws and attacking the fence. Not so safe. At least he didn't get poisoned. We didn't get to play very much with the orphans because we were working and we didn't have cool toys. They had tons of toys. It is hard to play with kids who are already playing and don't speak your language. They were attracted to the power tools though. My aunt suggested we take a big saw out into the middle and some would come play with us.
We painted primer on the bottom side of this roof. (this is my mom by the way) The owner of the orphanage went by the motto, colored paint costs the same as beige. Buy color for happiness of orphans.
Here are my dad and brothers putting tiles on the top of the roof. I also helped. I was amazing at it, in fact. The bad thing about this tiles was they were made of asbestos. Yep. Asbestos. In an orphanage. Apparently they don't have any regulations down there.
On our way home we stopped in Ensenada. This is my hermano looking at a disgusting giant pescado in a wheel barrow.
After it took us two hours to get through the border and hours of searching after San Diego my dad found this hotel for us. I would like to say I learned so much about conserving water, etc., but I did take two showers while I was there and intend to continue taking one every day. This was about the only time we were warm the entire trip. The one hour we sat by the pool on Sunday.
Our trip really was amazing. I'm glad we went and equally thankful for my house and parents.