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Feb 12, 2005

Those of us who can make it gather together in Father Jim's office. Fr. Jim is our "leader" because he's done this before. He went down to Mexico last year with MarKay (<== not a typo) and built a house. Of course, he went down during July, which, since Juarez is a desert, is the hot time of the year.

We are going down in February, which, since Juarez is a desert, should be quite lovely. More than one person on our team confessed to less of a desire to serve God and more of a desire to get away from the damn rain (27 days straight!).

Here's the highlights of what Fr. Jim said:


It's "very brutal in Mexico" (actual quote) [of course, he was talking about the weather, but that kind of ruins the dramatic effect.]


There are lots of Spanish speakers on our team, so we should be okay. Plus, Robert has made a careful study of Speedy Gonzalez cartoons and is ready with such handy phrases as "Andele! Andele! Arriba!" and "The fastest mouse in all Mexico!"


It gets cold at night and warm during the day. Also, they have a pretty big sun down there, so bring SPF 4000 along.


It's very dirty, with lots of trash.


"Expect the worst outhouse of your entire life" (we think this was directed at the younger folks, as we've seen outhouses in the back woods of the Appalachians that would make a bear blanche).

bullet Don't give anyone money.

After Sunshine Jim was through with his pep talk, and Laura had dragged Robert ("I like indoor plumbing!") back into the room, we continued.

We'll be building the house on Monday to Thursday. On Friday, there's a house blessing where we have to show up in public, representing all 250 million Americans ("wear something nice").

Friday afternoon, since we're Americans, we'll go to the local mall and buy Mexican stuff.

We'll be staying in our very own Green Zone (St. Matthew's Church) which has a wall around it and a basketball court (but no latte cart). They also have hot water (probably, although Fr. Jim wasn't 100% sure of this) and bunk beds. Bunk beds. They still make bunk beds?

We'll let you know.

Meanwhile, we've got to get back to packing--which means Laura has to take the margarita mix out of Robert's luggage, and remind him that he might want more than one pair of undies.

Robert & Laura
Mexico Housebuilding Trip


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