Last week I told you about a spring break I took in Mexico. We rode the bus partway to a village, then walked a few miles. We got a ride a couple of times, but we did walk a long way. By the time we got to our destination, we were all hot and thirsty.
When we arrived, we went to the house of one of the church families. They gave us all a glass of ice -cold water.
Did I mention the water? Yeah, um, don’t drink the water in Mexico. That’s what we’ve always heard, right?
Somehow, I forgot that in the heat and exhaustion, and guzzled that glass of cold water. That night, I woke up several times to use the bathroom.
As I mentioned last week, the village had outdoor bathrooms, or as we call them here, outhouses. Those were in the middle of the village, and a short walk from the house where we were staying. Not wanting to go out there alone, I kept waking up my housemate: “Daisy, will you go with me to the bathroom?”
The water didn’t affect my friends. I was the only one from the U.S. on that trip. By the next morning. I was pretty sick, but it wore off as the day went on.
I wrote to my parents about the experience. I’m posting more of my letter here, with my notes of explanation in parentheses:
“I got very little sleep. In the morning, I slept a few hours. The other four (the friends who were with me on the trip) prayed for me and I felt better. We went walking, and rested and slept under a tree for a couple of hours. I ate nothing for lunch, but drank two Cokes.
“I felt perky by time to start the evening service. Again, we saw God’s hand at work on everything, and the time with the church people went really well.
“In the morning, we took the bus directly from San Francisco to Saltillo. If we’d known that there was a direct route between the two places, we wouldn’t have had to walk so far.
“One of the young girls from the church rode with us, as she was coming to Saltillo to sell cheese. She gave each of us about a 1/2 pound of cheese, and for them that’s a lot of money to spend. We paid her bus ticket, but we didn’t feel like it was enough. She wouldn’t accept any money.” (The generosity of that young woman was something I found to be true for most of the people I met during the time I lived in Mexico.)
Upon returning to Saltillo, I saw a doctor and took some medicine for my stomach, but the problems lingered. I think that was when I started to get homesick. It was April, and I was committed to a job through the end of June.
In late June, I returned home to the U.S. with the intention of returning to Mexico, even though I’d been homesick. But once I got home, I didn’t want to go back. I had student loans to pay, and I enjoyed being with my family again. I settled into a job that became a good career for me. I met my husband a few months later, married, and raised my children.
I’ve never gone back to Mexico, although I’ve thought about it many times over the years. I miss the people I met there, and some of my best memories come from that period. I’ll always remember that Spring Break trip as one of the most meaningful experiences in my life.