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


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Oaxaca Part 6: What It Is Like To Be 5 Years Old Again

(Sorry it has taken so long to get this next installment published, work has been more than crazy the last few days.)

We woke up and started packing everything up. Everyone was a bit on the groggy side. We had a quick team time and then started to pack up the trucks. We also moved a bunch of timbers underneath the roof on the porch.

Aaron invited all of us up to a man named Primo's house. Primo was the first person in El Moscoe to invite the missionaries into his house. Primo has donated the land for the clinic and the new church that is currently being built. We went up to meet his family. The women were making tortillas and the boys were about to go start cutting lumber. There was also a translator up there that has begun translating the bible into Mixteca. It was funny because he was this 6 foot tall Canadian that keeps banging his head on the short ceilings, so Primo is building the doors to be over 6 foot tall so that he can walk in the church.

Primo might have the worst teeth I have ever seen on a human being, but he has the best smile.

We went back down the hill and had a quick breakfast. It was quesadillas. They were really good. I guess Oaxaca is pretty famous for it's cheese. Maybe they are the Wisconsin of Mexico. After the breakfast, we prayed for Florentino for a few minutes.

The Pasahero finally arrived. Everyone piled up in the Pasahero. There was going to be room in the Suburban, so I rode in it instead of the relative ease of the Suburban. Kent, Adam, Mark, and I rode in the Suburban with Greg and Beth. We talked a lot about music and theology. After a while, I started reading my book and listening to a little bit of music. I let Mark borrow my copy of What's So Amazing About Grace: The Visual Edition.

We stopped for everyone to use the restroom on the side of the road. Esther was feeling pretty carsick and was having trouble with all the dust, so she hopped into the Suburban with us. We were listening to the latest U2 album and discussing why U2 is such a great band, what their songs really mean, and if they really believe in God.

We stopped in a little town for some lunch. Once again, I had a refresco. It was pretty stout. During lunch, everyone was hanging on a tree and then having a pull-up contest. I would have joined in, but I didn't want to embarrass anyone. And by anyone, I mean myself.

Back on the road again. We listened to the new U2 album again. No one complained because it is such a good CD. We started talking about Medical School and how much it cost. I also had no idea the insurance premiums that doctors have to pay. We tried to solve the health care crisis during the drive, but we couldn't get everything hashed out.

We stopped at a town for some reason. We didn't know it at the time, but the Pasahero driver wouldn't drive any farther without some more cash. So I guess we had to pay him an extra 50 bucks or so.

We got back going again, only to stop to get some gas at a gas station. I bought a big water, a juice for Esther and some papas fritas (chips). I think the lady didn't give me back the right change and gypped me out of a few pesos, but I didn't figure it was anything to get worked up over.

The roads were pretty smooth from then on until we got back to the Roca Blanca.

When we got back we started to unload everything. Kent and I had already decided that there would be no more sleeping in that unbearably hot room outside the compound again. So I unloaded all my stuff in Jason, Ryan, and Rick's room. We had been told that dinner was about to be served, so we headed over to the cafeteria, which basically was just a big thatch roofed porch overlooking the beach.

I didn't feel like eating, so I told Kent that I was going to go out on the beach. He said he would too. So I put on my swim trunks, grabbed my book and headed out towards the beach. I didn't even figure on swimming because truth be told, I am not a very strong swimmer and have a pretty big fear of drowning.

I just stood on the beach and watched the waves crash into the beach. Kent kept edging down towards the tide. I walked a little ways down until my feet started to get wet. I told Kent that was as far as I go. I had heard that the undertow was pretty strong at this beach and that I would be a goner if I got out too far. He kept on egging me to get in.

A big wave came in and pulled me into the ocean. Well, I said, I have already got soaked, I might as well swim for a bit. I kept on telling Kent that I wasn't going to go any further out, but I kept on going out further and further. We were jumping into the waves. I kept laughing and laughing. The undertow would pull me back as the waves were pushing me towards the shore. I was at the mercy of every single wave. And all I could do was laugh.

Actually, giggling would probably be a better word for it. The rest of the group slowly made their way out to the ocean. I think Jason has some video of me flailing in the ocean and just giggling.

I felt like a 5 year old. I was in the ocean and I was just being swept in every direction. I couldn't control anything except to try and keep my swim trunks on, which I did successfully. I was tossed and turned with brute force. But there was something about being out there in the ocean that made me feel at ease for the first time in a long time. It felt like I was free. I felt like I did when I was a kid. Long before I knew about alarm clocks, taxes, speeding tickets, the frailty of life, and mortality. Way back when the future was more fun and exciting than scary.

While I was swimming/flailing around in the Pacific, I was 5 years old and having fun with no worries. This flawed world was flawless, if only for a few moments.

I don't know if anyone else had that feeling, but I did. And now looking back on that event two weeks later, I long for feeling again.

After getting my fill of having seawater rushing through my sinuses and half of the Pacific floor settling into my pockets, I decided to get out. Everyone else was making their way out slowly and I decided to join them.

I had brought a bottle to throw out in the ocean, so I went back to my room to get it. I tried a few times to throw it in the ocean. The tide kept sweeping it back to shore though. I gave up after a few throws and went back to my room. I took a shower and shaved off my all my stubble that had grown over the past week. I changed into some other clothes and walked back to the cafeteria. There was a little store open next to the cafeteria and I bought some little chocolate chip cookies and split a coke with someone.
(When I first published this, I got my nights wrong. I mistakenly put down Friday night's happenings instead of Thursday night's team time. Sorry.)

After a bunch of people discussed politics and the role that the church has in politics, which I tried to stay out of as much as possible, we headed back to the guesthouse and had some team time. It was pretty good time, except it took a while for everyone to get together. Some people were taking showers and we had to wait on them.
After team time, I put my headphones on and went to sleep underneath an air conditioner. It was nice and cool.
A first, so far, in Mexico.


Blogger shauna said...

i've been enjoying your stories, your humor, and your honesty. you might have to make this story-telling thing into a regular ordeal!

10:46 AM  

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