I’ve been away from blogging for a week since we’ve been here in Cotija and without giving as much detail on everything we’ve done so far; I’ve finally found the time to do so.
The first week seemed to be the slowest week of my entire life! It was filled with days of cleaning, learning the house rules, learning the names of everyone, and basically trying to make our way through the language and Mexican culture! The first week was also very surprising for Annina and I because it hadn’t been the middle of the week yet and we were already in for a huge SURPRISE! We were going to have our very first Mexican experience of Missions. It wasn’t the typical though because it was only for 4 days and we didn’t really sleep in the towns assigned to us. It was more of a Colab Missions rather than your typical Extreme Missions. Nonetheless, being in small town in Mexico are always so heartwarming most especially having our first Missions here in Michoacán.
My team was assigned to El Barrio. The first day was the typical “hi-hello” and visiting the different homes making our presence known to them and inviting them to join us for rosary while the kids would play before that. I think the first day was the hardest for me not because of the language or the type of Missions we were about to have but more of the fact that the rain poured as if there were no tomorrow. By the way, after that day, the weather here in Michoacán has been the craziest. Mornings would be the coldest; the afternoons would be sooo hot with the sun blazing its rays and brightness before us, late afternoons were met with a breeze and a cloudy sky – a signal that it would be raining soon. The rains would last till about 7:30pm with the sky still brightly lit, but the rain would be around. Hence, our evenings were a mix of a very cold night just like Baguio and Tagaytay. ANYWAY! Going back to Missions, that was the first day for you. I was soaking wet around 3pm and we had to brave the downhill stream of water as we were a bit up the mountain. You can imagine how wet I was without an umbrella! My jacket was soaking wet, my shoes were soooo wet that it had to be dried for 2 and a half days! @_@ BUT, that was just the 1st day. The 2nd day to the 4th day seemed to be more of blessings for us. My group in the team didn’t get to go to many houses each day due because a lot of things were happening. But the houses that we did go to were the houses with amazing stories. And each day we spent going around these houses, I understood more and more the family life that Mexicans had. Everyone is always tight-knit. I didn’t really get to understand much due to the fast paced speaking of the Mexicans but everything I did understand, I pieced together making the experience much more deeper. All the families we did visit were all Catholic which made it easier to talk to them. Well for my group anyway! BY THE WAY, on a side note, God seemed to always guide us to these houses and make us stay for as long as we needed to then when it was time again, the crazy outpouring of the thunder storms came, then the sun would come back up just in time for our play with the kids and the youth, and our rosary time. This routine would be a part of our schedule for the last 3 days. Though, our last official day, Friday, was the most heavy that I have experienced in my entire life!
The Friday of our Colab Missions was one day that I will never forget in my entire life. We had visited a house that we stayed for what seemed to be like forever. It was actually the only house that we got to visit for such a period of time. Anyway, we met with a woman and her youngest son, along with her daughter. Without going too much into the story, it was basically the story of the feud between the mom and her other son, middle child I presume. The story went like this; the son is a 13-year-old boy who had the common case of rebellious angst towards his mom. The mom who seemed to be a very lovely woman and really strong as she seemed to be firm in everything she had said. She said that her son started becoming rebellious because the mom had been “too controlling” for him and that she didn’t make him do things he wanted and that she “punished” him too much. Another part to this story was that he had a motorcycle that she had given him but because of his attitude and the way he was living his very young life wasn’t something a child of that age would do, she took it away for the mean time. A lot of things happened in between, but the worst was when he ran away to his grandparents’ house. They supported him in every single way and the worst thing was, they were his mother’s in-laws and they agreed that she seemed to be a bad mother for everything that she was doing. In the side, the son had been saying bad things about his family that would hurt them in every single way. The mom had been trying everything to get her son back even telling him that she would give the motorcycle back just for him to go home. The sad thing about this is that the son is 13 years old and his life choices from drugs and hanging out with tattooed men, and that he was starting to lose interest from school. So she sought counseling in Cotija in the Parish with the priest to help her and we recommended a Consa for spiritual direction and guidance. Anyhow, the main point I got from this experience was how much we have to value how much our mother’s discipline us. Sometimes it can be suffocating and that it is different with other children but that doesn’t mean that we should be rebelling just because of something so simple. Because of a motorcycle was the shallowest thing in the world because the mom was just merely teaching her son a lesson. In fact, the boy already had so much freedom having a motorcycle at the age of 13. The sister I would understand; she also gets the same treatment from her mother but that didn’t push her to disrespect her mother. Throughout the Missions experience and the love everyone has for their families was an amazing testimony because they will really fight for what they believe and to have a strong family no matter what.
AND FINALLY, our last day in Missions! We said goodbye to the homes we’ve visited and invited them to rosary and asked their children with us. The most exciting thing though was seeing a lot of people in town because it was a Saturday and El Barrio has an image of the Santisima Virgen that a lot of people are devoted to so they make visits to her every Saturday! This reminded me so much of the devotion that Filipinos have for the Blessed Virgin Mary. I know that Mexico has always been known to have such a strong love and devotion for Mary, most especially to the Our Lady of Guadalupe. I think that is why I feel so at home here in some way and that is why the Saturday Devotion here was such an amazing experience because people from different towns would really come and pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was such a great sight to end an amazing week of Missions!
Next post will be about the little highlights of our 1st week in Cotija!
God bless everyone!