Sad farewells and new beginnings

We were all very tired this morning after our big day yesterday. So
we were a bit sluggish when Heather arrived at 9am. Rosia and Jesus
arrived soon after and we all walked down to the large central markets.
We were early so a lot of the stalls had not yet opened but we were
able to wander through and find things we wanted. The mission was to
take Jesus shopping for clothes etc as he is leaving on Monday for
university. The market is huge and apparently we only saw a very small
part of it in the few hours we were there. It is like a rabbit warren
with stalls crammed in selling everything you could think of. Jesus
found shoes he wanted, then we went looking for pants and shirts. He
was a very willing model, we were laughing at the poor lad having 4
women telling him what we all thought of the clothes he tried on, plus
Nathan was always trying to be helpful and picking out the most
inappropriate things. He got upset when I kept telling him to put them
back on the racks, because he was only trying to help!!! He finally
chose what he wanted.

We then walked back past the Central area, which is the main place
for the buses and collective taxis. It was quite wet underfoot so we
had to walk carefully. There are train tracks running right down the
centre of the road which are pretty old and neglected and people sleep
on them. We caught a bus to the Project and spent a hour or so talking
with Rosario. It was very interesting as I asked her to explain to me
how the whole sponsoship thing worked and how the money gets to benefit
the children. She got out many files and explained to me in great
detail how it all functions. Heather sure earned her money interpreting

The money that we send each month gets sent from NZ to the head
office in Colorado, then to Mexico city office. From there it is sent
out to the Project it is for. There are 52 Projects in Mexico. 4 in
Oaxaca. The total sum of money is used then to run the Project. The
sponsored children benefit from this in many ways, subsidised medical
& dental treatment, use of the library and computer training,
educational classes etc. Any money that we send seperately from the
basic sponsorship which is specifically marked for the child –
birthday, school needs, Christmas etc – gets given directly to the
child. There were several specific projects which Rosario showed us
that had been undertaken by groups of sponsors. It shows how many
people who pool their resources can acheive so much.

One was the supplying of machinery to set up a bakery from a
Canadian group. The mothers run the bakery and the proceeds go towards
the Project and also pay them a wage which helps their families. The
2nd one was a group of sponsors from the USA who provided money to buy
heaps of large black water tanks. There are many many people who do not
have water at their homes or anyway to store it and they have to cart
it by buckets from quite a distance. They pay 30 pesos towards a tank
and the rest is covered by the groups donation. Rosaria explained that
they don´t make everything free because if there is a cost, no matter
how small, it makes the people appreciate it more. And it is important
for their own esteem to be able to contribute towards these things. So
things like these water tanks and the dental care have a minimal cost
which is manageable. Once they have the tanks installed then the trucks
can come and fill them with good water so they no longer have to cart
it, plus it reduces the risk of bad water and disease. Another project
had been to provide cement to give to the people whose houses only have
dirt floors then they can concrete their own floors.

We left the Collonias around 2pm and walked down to Jesus´home.
Maria had made lunch for us. She made the Oaxacan specialty Mole served
over fried chicken and with rice and fresh tortillas. It was delicious.
The mole was just spicey enough to be enjoyable. It has many
ingrediants which combine to make a delicious dark gravy like food.
Maria told us what was in it but there was so many things I cannot
remember. The whole time we were eating the thunder was threatening
rain and we were waiting for it to deluge us. We were just under a
tarpaline which was not too waterproof!! However it did not happen so
we were okay, no drowned rats today


We had a lovely time talking with her but finally had to move
ourselves from her table. Jesika wanted to take me next door to visit
Estella, Carlos´sister. She and her family live in the deceased parents
home. The section is a lot larger than Maria & Carlos but full of
trees and plants in pots, a volkswagon car (which had squeezed 8 in
last time our children were visiting!) and building materials etc. She
also has a well in the middle of her house. Estella showed it to us –
it is about 40´deep and bricked all the way down. Must´ve been a real
mission to dig. It has been there for 20 odd years. The water is really
good becuse it comes from a subterranean spring.

Marian comes from and family of nine and Carlos from 5. Most of the
families live fairly close so there is a lot of interaction between
them. Maria was telling us that her nieces and nephews often come to
visit her. In fact they will see which house is providing the food the
prefer and they will go there in preference to going home!!! She often
has little ones there, her wee niece Monique is a very cute 3 year old
and she will come and help make little tortilla on a small press while
Maria is making hers. Monique came to visit while we were there and
went to sleep on Maria´s lap. She was very much at home. It was so
sweet to see Jesus carrying her home to put her to bed. He is very
close to his family so it will be hard for them when he leaves on
Monday. Maria said it will be sad and happy – bitter/sweet. He is such
good mates with his little brother Sergio, but they all know he is
going to achieve study for a better occupation. It can only help the
family. His brother Carlos has always wanted to be a doctor, and with
his sponsorship that will be possible also.

Maria walked us down tot he end of the street, we all had a good
laugh when a man strode past us very fast talking nonsense flat out, he
was obviously intoxicated, probably with mezcal!! It was really hard to
say goodbye, but as I said to Maria we are no longer sponsors, we are
friends. She told us the remember that her casa will always be our
casa, and she will look forward to our return in the future.

We went back to the Colonias. In the morning we had asked Rosario if
we could choose another child to sponsor so she had given us a pile of
files with photos of the most needy children on her list at present. We
had all chosen a little girl called Eva. She is nearly 8. So while we
were at Jesus´ home Rosario had arranged for Eva´s family to come and
meet us. It was the first time a sponsor had been able to meet a child
before the sponsorhip had begun, and we found out later against the
rules of head office but as Jesika said, we are here so please let us
meet her. Her mother Nellie has 5 children and Eva is the middle one.
The 2 youngest were Yessica 2yrs and Uriel 15months. They were obviusly
very much in much need, but the children were so gorgeous, we told
Nellie we wished we could sponsor them all. I hope they will find
sponsors soon as the family desperately needs assistance. I think
Shoshannah and Mahalia will enjoy writing letters to Eva. Nellie got
Eva to say a big thankyou to Jesus for allowing us to now be her

When they left we then had our final time with Jesus. It was getting
harder and harder as the time for us to leave got closer. We had to
write in the visitors book and the Rosario took us to see the bakery
and gave us some of the hot very fresh sweet bread. Then we walked down
to wait for a bus. It took ages to come along so it really prolonged
out farewells, I was so close to tears. But Jesus said that he will
plan to come and visit us in NZ as soon as he is able. We joked that we
would keep our airstrip open for him, he is such a lover of speed and
stunts that it would be just the right place for him to land his

Heather came back to the hostel with us and we had a lovely time
chatting with her. As an interpreter she had been great. Jesika
commented that she was way better than the one they had last year. She
goes to a Baptist church near here so we will go visit it on Sunday and
see her again. We are not supposed to exchange addresses with her but
she has become such a good friend that we broke another rule!!

There were a few more folk back here at the hostel. Had a chat with
two German girls and our French friend Celine. Decided to have an early
night tonight as we will have our last busy day tomorrow. Only 2 days
till we leave and still so much more we want to do. A good reason to
plan on returning 

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