The time in the US was good; it always amazes us how fast the time goes and how many things we want to get done while we are there that we wind up not doing. The trip back down to El Paso and then on down to Mexico was uneventful, with the exception of all our luggage getting stuck on the plane in El Paso; apparently something jammed on the plane and they couldn’t get our baggage off the plane for several hours.
While in Calandria we were blessed with a brief cold snap, complete with one overnight snowstorm that left a skiff on the ground. Snow is fairly common at the higher elevation of Madera but is rare at the ground level in Calandria.
Our house in Madera now is a different house than we lived in the first year we spent here; while we liked the house we were in before, it was bigger, of a more American style and in a higher-rent neighborhood than we preferred; we wanted something more characteristic of what the typical Mexican people here live in. After a few trips to Madera and checking with various people we have come to know in town, we found a place to rent that seems to fit what we need. It is truly a typical Mexican house, in a typical Mexican neighborhood. The ceilings are low; houses here are built for people of the common stature found here, and thus I find myself something akin to Gandalf in the house of Bilbo Baggins. Except for the doorways, I am able to stand up straight in all the rooms. The house is heated with a wood cookstove in the kitchen.
In the back yard, adjoining the back of the house, are two cows, two goats, several stray cats and about a dozen and a half chickens and roosters. The idea that roosters crow at dawn, by the way, is a farce; these start around 10:30 pm and go until the following afternoon. Apart from where the animals are, however, we are able to bring the truck in off the road in a gated side yard, which is a real blessing. And for those who remember reading about our exploits with the phone company the first time we moved here, you’ll not be disappointed this time – after talking with Telmex (still open here 9 – 12 on Thursdays), it seems their system for this area of town is already saturated, and we will have to wait until one of the neighbors either cancels their service or gets their phone cut for lack of payment before we can get phone – and internet, and skype, and email. I can check back next week. That gives me great hope. Thanks guys. My God is bigger than you. Today I need to figure out where and how to string a clothesline, try and fish our cat out of the neighbor’s (enormous) tree, and talk to the cable company here and see if they offer internet service.
One other blessing with the house is that it is about three houses down from the house of our pastor here in Madera, and we are looking forward to spending more time with him and his family. And in general, after living in Calandria for the past several months, we are really enjoying having power, and being able to just plug things into the wall whenever we want. And the grocery stores are only three minutes away, instead of an hour and a half. On the flip-side, though, the water here has been off since we got up this morning. And we’re back to the whole don’t-drink-the-water thing. Oh well, vale la pena as we say here (translation – it’s worth it!).
The children’s home is doing pretty well. I visited yesterday, and returned later with some grocery items they needed. They still have about 12 kids there, and as always, there is plenty to do around the home – broken windows to replace, doors coming off hinges. Over the next couple weeks we’ll start finding our place there again and getting into a routine.