Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday's Fond Memory
Summer in Mexico
B and I spent the summer of 2002 in a small colonia outside of Juarez, Mexico called Anapra [learn more about Anapra in this TIME magazine article]. We were long-term volunteers, our 'mission' was to provide housing to families who 'survive' on less than $40 per week. We coordinated the building of two houses that summer, both constructed of cinder-blocks and ply-wood roofs, about 10'x20' - nothing fancy, nothing glamorous, nothing we would ever call our own. We have kept in close contact with the friends we made that summer in Mexico, and those friendships continue to be influences in our lives. I feel like that summer shaped who we are so much, because we experienced what poverty can be. We lived amongst them, shared meals with them, and now we try to maintain a friendship that is crossing a wide expanse of unlikely circumstances. I spent a great deal of my time in Anapra feeling this desperation to get out, escape, forget this ever happened or existed...but then there were kiddos like Norma (pictured above). The children show us that we are all so VERY similar. They laugh the way our kids do, they play the same games, fight over the same things, and give love just as freely (maybe more). Upon our first visit back to Anapra, we stepped off the local city bus and were met by several beautiful, familiar little faces running down the street to throw their arms around our legs. This is what keeps us so in love with this group of people. And my summer with these children and their amazing parents are some of my most painful yet fondest memories yet.

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