Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cumpleanos Feliz!

Breakfast time in the cafeteria is always busy.

Wednesday morning the kids were surprised when the visiting Tulare group walked in with birthday party things and singing "Cumpleanos Feliz!" It was Jeff Davisson's birthday, and had been Jerry Davisson's birthday the week before. It was fun for the kids because the Tulare church group brought them fun things, too!

Monday, July 23, 2007


My parents and I went to San Diego again, and had more time this weekend to get out and see something. So, we went on a harbor cruise with a narrated guide. It was really informative and neat to see everything that's on the harbor. We went to the south end of the harbor for the first hour which had a lot of big naval ships like cruisers and destroyers.

Underneath the Coronado Bridge, which was to be designed to look like mission bells.

A couple of the historic ships docked in the harbor:

The clouds were out, but the sun peeked through at times.

View of the San Diego skyline from the west side of the harbor.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Border Crossings

Well, we're all getting pretty used to the routine of crossing the U.S./Mexican border in Tijuana. We were there last weekend, and then Mom and I left early on Tuesday morning to pick up our new intern at the airport in San Diego. We left our town, Vicente G., at 6am, and got to the border at 9:50. I was really surprised by how many cars were there at mid-morning on a weekday. This picture is right after we got in line. Luckily for us, the policewoman didn't close these lanes until AFTER we were in line. For us, that means we don't have to try to navigate Tijuana to find the other border crossing. We were really happy.
So that was us in line. This picture is from the same place, but you can see (just a little) where the road goes and curves around.
After you go around that curve, you see this, and you're at the top of an overpass. There are a lot of vendors that walk around selling things, and this particular guy was selling Mexican wrestling masks.
After go over this overpass, you back down toward the actual gates. There are some lanes behind some shops that most people don't use, so we tend to go there. Once you pass by the shops, though, you end up stopping again. And this is where you sit for a long time.
Mom and I were lucky. We got in line at 9:50am, and were across the border at 10:40am. The last two times we've gone with groups, early in the afternoon, we've waited an hour and a half or so. But, our wait this time was a lot shorter. Usually the border inspection officer just looks at our identification, asks about what we're bringing back from Mexico, etc. There are drug sniffing dogs and other officers who stroll through the car. On Tuesday we saw someone get their car confiscated, a border officer drove it to secondary inspection, with a dog running behind it. Uh oh. But hey, that never happens to us. Then once we're through the border, it's onto the Five!
After picking up Peter, our intern, we turned around and headed back to Mexico (where there's really no wait at the border), and just drove south. We stopped at El Mirador, north of Ensenada, an abandoned (or not yet used) rest area with a lookout point.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

San Diego Otra Vez

Mom and I were up to San Diego again this weekend. We had a group to deliver to the airport on Saturday afternoon, and someone to pick up Sunday morning at the airport. San Diego is starting to become VERY familiar. In fact, I get a feeling of deja vu every time we drive from the border to the airport and back. So here are some pictures from our trip.

Heading North from Vicente Guerrero, on Saturday morning, we saw the fog laying low around the mountains. This is around the town San Vicente, an hour north of our town.

South of Ensenada, the main highway turns into a two-lane road as it drives through valleys and winds around mountains.

Our beautiful (cough) late-80s 12 passenger van got a little nick from a rock a few weeks ago:

We stopped at La Bufadora, an attraction southwest of Ensenada. The main attraction is 'la bufadora' or 'the blowhole', which is at the end of a street with lots of shops and restaurants.
It wasn't spouting very much when we were there.

Also, we were there pretty early, so it was not crowded, which was a definite plus:
Up after Ensenada, the road goes out more towards the ocean, and as it winds around the mountains you get a great view of the Pacific. Of course it was overcast and foggy when we were there.

We made it to San Diego and dropped off the group at the airport. Afterward Mom and I enjoyed a nice walk along the harbor and dinner there. They have a great display of different ships, and sometime I'd love to go and tour all of them. But, here's what resembles a pirate ship. It was built in 1863!

The government building across the street is in a great art deco style. I love art deco stuff, so I had to take a picture.

You see these around town, apparently contraptions you can ride and they go into the water. They just look so funny driving around town.

The Santa Fe train station.

We're always trying to find signs to I-5!

I think this is the Coronado bridge?

The San Diego airport! Destination of all great travelers. (by the way, this is Terminal 2 in case you were wondering).

We picked up our guest and headed straight back into Mexico this morning. This is my favorite sign between Tijuana and Ensenada. This exit is on a windy part of the highway right on some cliffs that look really dangerous. "Salsipuedes" translates to mean "Exit if you can".

This is the tourist part of town, a few blocks deep of restaurants and shops.
And, then there's the other side of Ensenada, less than a mile away.

Mom and I are headed back to San Diego on Tuesday! I hope to take some pictures at the border, in case you are wondering what that insanity looks like.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

For Katie

Katie wanted to know what WHO is about. Now, I could just direct you over to WHO's website (which gives a lot of detailed information), but here's a quick rundown.

WHO stands for "Welcome Home Outreach", and it was actually started more than 20 years ago by two biological sisters who saw the need here in the San Quintin Valley in the Baja. They started out of a camper trailer, then a tent, then bought the property which we are on today, which has many buildings and has been built onto over the years. It was originally an orphanage, but changed over to a daycare a few years ago. Now WHO's main mission is to provide a Christian daycare for the children of migrant farm workers, specifically focusing on the children of single mothers, who must work in the fields to care for their families. We have 2-6 year olds in our care, and if they weren't with us during the day, it's safe to say that they would be watched over only by siblings a few years older than them.

Abel, one of the co-directors, goes out at about 6am every morning and picks up the kids from their homes. They get cleaned up when they arrive, eat breakfast, and then go to their classrooms for a morning of play and learning. The kids eat lunch, take naps, and then are taken home about 3:30.

Out of the daycare grows other ministries. We have a clothing donation room, sometimes give out food, and build houses, especially for the mothers of our kids. Groups who come down and visit do a number of different things like hand out food and/or clothing in migrant camps, visit two drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, or build those houses. It's really busy around here, especially in the summer months. Every week from the beginning of June to the end of August is booked with one or two visiting groups.

So there you have it! That's Welcome Home in a nutshell. And.. of course, here are some pictures.

This is Manuel. He is one of our "walk-ins" (meaning his Mom brings him in in the morning). He usually brings some sort stuffed animal with him in the morning, but yesterday he showed up with this lovely thing on his head:

Manuel and Moises have a conversation over lunch:

Manuelito wanted his picture taken, and posed like this:

Then Dulce wanted her picture taken, with the same sort of pose:

Brigida (one of our teachers), Denysse, and Manuel:

Moises and Noemi:



Enoc, one of our "babies". He asked to have his picture taken:

Brigida corralling the kids after breakfast:

We found an coke bottle in one of Mom's planters (who was it that left it there? Was it YOU?), and I've decided to see if I can make something grow out of it. So here it is, July 11th: the planting.