I did a lot of things during my long weekend (like eating a LOT of food). People stared at me or did double-takes everywhere I went (because it’s uncommon to see an Asian person in this part of Mexico), but I got used to it (and it’s not too different from when I grew up in Asheville, haha).
I visited a school that my friend’s organization (Hands and Feet Ministry) operates, providing education among other things to the children in the area. I had been there twice before on weeklong stints with my church missions team. The funny thing is, I had absolutely no interest in Mexico or studying Spanish before my first missions trip to Piedras Negras (and Nava), but I really enjoyed interacting with the kids there and decided to study Spanish so I could have more conversations with them. Two years later, I haven’t improved a LOT, but baby steps!
After my first trip to Nava in 2015, I decided to enter their sponsorship program and sponsor two students. And in 2016, after my second trip, I wanted to sponsor one more child. My third trip this past weekend was my first time meeting all of my kids as their sponsor though. I got sticker books, colored pencils, a soccer ball for José, and artificial flowers for Mariana and Priscilla. They seemed to really enjoy the gifts! Their smiles and hugs gave me life. 🙂
I got to cook pancakes for all of the students. I was pretty bad at spooning out batter and flipping them, but Luis, the school’s cook, gave me tips and I got a little better. I also did some origami with the 5th and 6th graders. I discovered on my first trip to Nava that the kids LOVE things made out of paper. So I’ve brought origami paper on every trip since.
(Note: Hands and Feet provides the students (who come from disadvantaged backgrounds) with education, clean water, food, Christian fundamentals, and more. If you’d like to partner with them, consider sponsoring a student or a teacher or giving to their various needs! And be sure to visit Mexico so you can see the school in action.)
I also got to visit the ruins of a mission built in 1702 at Guerrero. It looked really cool and we talked about how it would be a great place to hold a wedding. I wondered out loud to my friend on the possibility that I was the first Korean to ever be there and she said it was pretty likely (not sure if many Koreans come to this part of Mexico, haha). We also went to a park nearby that was gorgeous!
After that, we went to see an old hotel that was falling apart. According to my friend, Pancho Villa had stayed there. And then we went to chill at the Rio Grande. I absolutely love being in/near water so we stayed there for a while.
Despite some trouble I had leaving the border (which I will detail in a blog post to come), my trip was overall really nice. Definitely want to go back soon!