The Unauthorized Biography of Rosco P. Coltrane

When it's my moment in the sun, I won't forget that I am blessed, but every hero walks alone, thinking of more things to confess

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Location: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States


Monday, June 13, 2005

Oaxaca Part 5: These Mountains are So Beautiful, It Makes Me Want to Vomit

After everyone got up, we some more team time. Laura came by before team time and asked me if I really had my heart set on working in the clinic. I told her no, it really didn't matter to me what I did. She told me that some of the others really wanted to work in the clinic so I could just stay on the construction team for one more day.

After team time, Aaron and a few other guys went up to get the fish for the pond. Most of us were talking when a man came up with a machete and wanted to get a tooth pulled. Adam volunteered to pull it. I am not exactly sure if he pulled it or not, for some reason I thought there was a problem.

So the rest of the team, minus Adam, hiked up the mountain. Everyone had a chance to pick up a fish out of the barrel, name the fish and throw it in. Almost everyone threw one in. I tried to catch one with one hand, there was no way I was going to put my already cut hand in the barrel, but failed to get one. I think pretty much everyone else threw a fish out in the pond. We milled around the mountain for a while and looked out at the beautiful mountains.

After we went down the mountain, we grabbed a quick breakfast. The clinic team (everyone but Kent and myself) loaded up and headed off to clinic. Aaron was taking a truck load of the team, so Kent and I had an hour to burn. I read a great article by Philip Yancey in the new issue of CT. Kent also let me listen to a John Piper sermon on his IPOD. The sermon was pretty powerful, it was about racism. Right around the time the sermon finished, Aaron pulled back up.

We loaded up a few things in the back of the pick up and headed off to go drop off some supplies. Roberto and his wife came with us so that they could buy some corn. Roberto and his wife rode in the cab with Aaron, and Kent and I rode in the back. Though there were only two of us, the ride was still pretty rough. There was chicken wire, lots of shovels and a bunch of other stuff in the bed with us. Kent and I first thought it would be a good idea to sit on the side of the bed and hold on to the cab. That was a bit of a miscalculation on our parts. We adjusted everything in the bed and sat with our backs towards the cab.

The ride took about an hour or so. Kent and I discussed many things on the ride. We talked about what we had enjoyed the most during the trip. Kent talked of his family and how much he missed them. We laughed about a lot of things. We talked about why donkeys are so funny and why the Mexican bulls didn't seem to live up to the hype. The ride was amazingly beautiful. The mountains were amazing and with each turn we found another amazing view. In fact, I told Kent that the view was so amazing that it made me want to vomit.

When we began to get close to the town, Kent and I discussed the town we were going to.

Missionaries had previously been welcomed there, but had been kicked out. It had only been recently that people had become more receptive to getting help from missionaries. Kent and I decided to pray for the town because we knew very well that there could be some hostilities towards us.

We finally made it into the town and dropped Roberto and his wife off to find some corn. We stopped underneath a tree in the middle of town. This tree was amazingly old and big. It had to be over 200 years old. Aaron went up to find the man (unfortunately, I have forgotten what his name was) that we were dropping the supplies off to. Aaron came back down with him and we walked the supplies up to his house.

His wife was out in the yard hanging up clothes. She came over to say hello and her husband went and got us some chairs. We all sat down and talked about what he needed to do to build the fish pond. Aaron eventually had to draw a picture for him and I think he finally understood. The older gentleman left for a few seconds while we talked to his wife. She told us that she had been suffering foot problems for 7 years. She could barely stand up. After a few minutes her husband came back with a handful of oranges and gave each of us a couple.

The wife asked us if would could go inside her house and pray for her. I know I was very honored that she would ask us that, and I am pretty sure that Kent was as well.Kent and I both prayed for her in English and then Aaron prayed for her in Spanish. She was on the verge of crying when we got finished.

We went back out on the porch and ate the oranges. Now, I know earlier that I said I really didn't pay much attention to the food, but this is one of the few eating experiences that I had and remembered. I had never seen a green orange. Aaron assured us that it was okay to eat and it was ripe. I must also admit that I don't really eat that many oranges, but this was by far the sweetest orange I have ever eaten. I was glad I was wearing my sunglasses because it was so sweet that my eyes were watering.

We soon excused ourselves so that the old gentleman could catch the pasahero that he was waiting on. Aaron and Kent went go and try to find Roberto. We were walking down the hill and saw that Roberto was next to the truck. Then the ground fell out from underneath my feet and I rolled my ankle as I was rolling down the hill. Aaron and Kent ran down to check on me. I felt my ankle roll very hard, and I was pretty scared to standup. But after a few steps, it didn't feel so bad. I was glad I was wearing my boots that day. I also found out that, according to Aaron, the remedy for a turned ankle is little chocolate wafer cookies. What can I say, they worked.

Roberto said that he found some corn and pointed us toward the house where he was going to get the corn. Aaron drove the truck down a hill and backed up to the porch. When we got out, we found out that the people that were going to sell Roberto the corn were having their lunch, so whenever that was over they would sell him some corn. Then a gentleman came out and told Aaron to drive down the hill because that was where the corn was.

So we drove down the hill, but come to find out that Roberto was going to buy some corn from the original person at the first house. Aaron apologized and said that he was sure that they said something about coming down the hill to get some corn.

We drove back up the hill to find that everyone was done with lunch and Roberto was buying some corn.

This was the only time during the trip that I felt apprehensive about my safety. When we got up there, everyone was milling around and was drinking. The entire thing just felt kind of wrong, like something was going on that we didn't know about.

Nothing happened. The only thing that happened was Roberto bought two bags of corn. The man (who was wearing a hat with a silhouette of a naked woman, a Viagra pill, a Corona, and a marijuana plant with the words "What a Life! in Spanish) wouldn't sell him anymore, so we had to go back down the house at the bottom of the hill.

When we got there, Roberto was buying the corn while the gringos (Aaron, Kent and myself) stood around the truck and talked. Aaron told us all about how he found himself down in Mexico. He also told us of his struggles as of late. He told us how he felt underappreciated when trying to help people out and about his doubts. He also told us of his future wife and all about the wedding plans.

Finally, Roberto yelled at us and we walked up to the house to get the corn. Roberto had a total of 6 bags of corn. Each bag of corn probably weighed about 125 pounds or so. We loaded them in the back of the truck and took off back to the base.

The bags of corn were quite comfortable. Kent and I sat on them on the ride back and they were much easier on our butts. We picked up a man who was walking to the next town over. We talked a bit with him while riding. He offered us some of his bananas. He had silver white hair and said that his hair had gone white even though he was still relatively young. He laughed when I took off my hat and revealed my bald head. It was only then that I realized that I hadn't seen any bald Mexicans. That was why everyone always laughed so much whenever I would take off my hat.

When we arrived in his town, he got out of the truck and thanked us. Kent told me how to say God Bless You to him. But when I started to say it to him, we took off. I said "Tu Dios" and forgot the rest. Kent was laughing because all I said was "You God" to the man.

Roberto had Aaron stop in the town so that he could buy us all refrescos (coca-colas). We thanked him for his generosity. It was then that Kent and I started to read the side of the coke can. We thought it would be a great SNL skit in which a person visited a foreign country and only repeated ad slogans like "Para mejor dis por tomarse una coca cola" which I think mean "it's a good day for a coca cola."

On the way back we stopped and talked to some family on the side of the road. Kent looked at me and said, "I'm gonna make a run for it." I knew exactly what he meant, so I told him that he ought to wait until we get back to the camp. He said he couldn't so he ran out into the bushes. What was really funny was there was this stray dog that followed him into the bushes. I couldn't help but laugh. I was going to tell the dog to leave or yell to warn Kent, but I couldn't stop laughing. He ran back out to the road and said that he felt much better. Aaron finished talking with the family and we started back up the road again.

We picked up some kids on the way back. They lived in El Moscoe and had been cutting trees. They laughed at our broken Spanish.

When Kent and I got back, we unloaded the corn on the ground. Aaron drove to go get the rest of the group. Kent and Roberto carried the corn up the hill to Roberto's house with a wheelbarrow and a rope. It took them almost an hour to get 6 bags up there. I loaded it up at the base and they pushed and pulled it up the hill.

When everyone got back, we had dinner and then team time. I read some more of my book, wrote a little bit in my journal and then decided to call it a night. Unfortunately, my batteries went dead and I couldn't listen to music as I was going to sleep. Instead I had a weird dream that I was working at some store and Matt Fries wanted to buy a puzzle, the only problem was I couldn't figure out where the puzzle was. I was just walking around the back rooms of the mall searching for a puzzle.

Weird huh?


Anonymous Lynette, MO said...

Yay! I was glad to see a new post. Got to looking forward to it:). I've told others from our group about your blogs. I hope they look you up too. Have a great week.
God Bless!

7:09 PM  
Blogger jlo said...

Thanks for the continued input, Lafe. I will try to add pics from the Hospital. See you Saturday.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Drew Caperton said...

I'm hooked on your posts... I really have to carve out time lately to read them.

About your dream, Matt Fries could represent your desires for the life of a family man. The puzzle he wants you to find represents your inner struggle to attain that life...

It's either that or bad frijoles.

9:45 PM  

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