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


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Oaxaca Trip--Days 1 and 2 (May 27th & 28th)

First a list of all the characters on the trip for the few that may not know everyone:

Lafe: That's me
Rick: Firefighter from Lowell and bald like me
Polly: Recent nursing grad that is going to get married and move to Utah
Jill: UA student that speaks Spanish fluently and has a heart for missions
Amy: Hairdresser from Fayetteville
Bethany: UA student originally from Heber Springs
Esther: “Architectural Slave”
Dr. Matt: Recent graduate of Med school
Matt S.: UA student from Rock Town and interning at JC Penny's
Ryan: UA Student, just turned 21, and looking to go to Med School
Kent: Minister from the Grove church
Jason: Dr. from Fayetteville that organized the trip
Cindy: UA grad from St. Louis and Jason's girlfriend
Adam: World famous Endrocrinologist
Mark: ER doc and bald like me

I had Friday off. I spent most of the morning fighting the bureaucracy of local and state government while trying to get my license plate renewed. I swear, everytime I go to the revenuer's offices I tell myself that I am switching party affiliations to become a Libertarian.

I finally finished up and got my tags renewed. I went back home and watch "Ed" on TV, went for a quick doctor's visit for some shots, and then picked up my a few last supplies for the trip. I packed my bag and waited for Kent to come pick me up.

Along the way we picked up Rick at the Springdale Fire Department and finally met everyone at the parking lot of Jose's in Springdale.

(Interesting side note: While in the parking lot, I received a phone call from my friend Josh Lambert. Here is the bulk of our conversation.
Josh: Hey.
Me: Hey.
Josh: Did you know you are missing?
Me: I have no idea what you are talking about.
Josh: You are on the cannot find list for your class reunion.
Me: You just called me. I picked up on the second ring. How am I missing?
Josh: Well, Amy Gilmore just said that you are on the list.
Me: Oh, well tell her I am not missing
Josh: Ok
Me: Well when is it?
Josh: She says in October.
Me: Well, I gotta go, I am going to Mexico.
Josh: Ok, bye.
Riveting stuff huh?)

So we get on our way and caravan towards Tulsa. It took about an hour or so. We all stayed at Stuart Sullivan's parents house in the suburbs. They had a beautiful house and were very welcoming to us. The guys played some basketball in the backyard with a floodlight shining right in our eyes. I played barefoot, which you should never do. Also I guarded Kent, who is much more competitive that he lets on.

FYI: Kent is a serious balla and shot calla.

After a quick game a few of the guys jumped in the pool to cool off. Then Ryan, Matt, Amy, Stuart, his lovely wife Shauna, and myself all jumped in Stu's parents car and went to a coffeehouse infested with high school kids. Stu was supposed to meet his best friend there, but he didn't make it. But, Matt did run into this girl he knows in Tulsa. It was pretty funny. We were all kidding him about it being destiny and egging him on. Amy had one of the best lines of the trip when she looked at Matt and said, "Matt, she's cute. You ought to go hang out with her, the mission trip hasn't started yet."

We all got our drinks and went back to Stu's parents house. I finally got to bed around midnight and three hours later, it was time to get up.

We had some breakfast at Stu's parents house and then made the short journey to the airport. We got the pretty early. Stu and I wrestled outside near in the unloading zone. Luckily, security didn't really care. Since Stu is taller than me, he had an unfair advantage. I also got pretty bored and started jumping our baggage like Eviel Kneval.

After going through security, we all kinda crashed near the gate. We all got on the plane, most of us slept on the way to Houston. I slept a bit, but read a few chapters of a book and wrote a few poems. I was oddly inspired on the plane ride down. I wrote a poem called "Gravity" and a poem about this tiny little woman holding her baby on the plane. I couldn't get over the worry in her face, but the little child was asleep and you could tell just felt so safe in his mother's arms.

When we got to Houston, Kent and I took off on a mission to find a Starbucks. Many told us that we would fail, but we preserved and found one. I also picked up the New Yorker with an article on John McCain, who hopefully I will be able to vote for in 08.

When Kent and I returned, we found Adam pounding away on some Shipley's doughnuts and decided that would be a good idea too.

We boarded the plane finally. It was about a 2 1/2 hour plane ride down there. When I sat down in my seat, I noticed that the demo seat belt was in my seat. So when the flight attendant began giving all the instructions that everyone has already heard a thousand times, I stood up and demonstrated how to use the seat belt. I believe that Jason has some video of it. (Quick Sidenote: There are a few people in this world who I just think the world of: Flight Attendants and Waitresses. The nice ones are always so fun to talk to.)

I slept most of the way down there. I also filled out my customs forms. As we were making our final descent, I started looking out the window and looking at the ocean, hills and mountains. I looked back and saw Jill looking out the window and tears rolling down her cheeks. I think she could see the beauty in the land too.

We touched down at the Huatulco airport. It had a thatched roof and armed guards around the runway. And as we all exited the plane, we felt the humidity slap us across the face. It was hot.

We all passed through customs and found Aaron, the missionary that was going to take us to the mission. We all piled into a Suburban and a few trucks. We wound our way up the road. The scenery was amazing. I could keep my eyes of the land. It was somehow very familiar to me and I instantly felt a kinship with the land.

We stopped in Puerto Escondido to pick up some paint for the mural for Esther (which we shall return to at a later time...) and exchange our dollars for pesos. The going rate is a little more than 10 pesos for a dollar. I traded in thirty bucks and got 320 pesos. Kent and I went up and looked at a small store that had a bunch of nice art stuff. Then I split a coke with him. My first one since Lent. Which, for the record, Mexico has a very very sweet Coca-Cola. It felt like I was drinking crack.

We finally got back on the road towards the mission. We arrived at Rosa Blanca and we were all in awe. It was amazingly beautiful. It looked like a resort. Somehow, Adam and Mark had gotten there early and went out on the beach. We had some dinner really quick and put our stuff away. The two Matt's, Kent and myself all stayed that first night at a house right outside of the base.

We then went on a tour of the base and sat down at the guest house and a few of us shared the stories about ourselves.

I was hot and a bit grumpy. When we were done, the guys walked back to the house, said good night to Pedro the Guard (not to be mistaken with Pedro the Lion) and went to bed. Even though our room had an air-conditioner, it didn't work very well at all. It took me a long time to finally go to sleep. I rolled around in my own sweat most of the night and awoke in the morning to find my sheet drenched, pulled off the mattress and engulfing me.

Wow, can you feel the excitement in the air, or is that just the humidity?

Find out what happens next in the next installment, hopefully posted sometime tomorrow...


Blogger jlo said...

Thanks Lafe. I am now a daily reader of your blog, so the pressure is on to "keep up". I will do better come July when my schedule improves.

I am going to make a link to this post since you did such a great job. You forgot to mention a few things, so I will place them in my blog. I am at work tonight, so I will try to post pics tomorrow.

11:01 PM  
Blogger Dallas said...

"We had some dinner really quick and pot..."

That is a mission trip!

7:49 AM  
Blogger Lafe said...

Sorry Dallas for the typo, I fixed. Look at me I'm Dallas, I liked to point out people's typos and try to make witty jokes, woo hoo. Hope everything is going well Dallas.

Jason, I know I left some stuff out, and thanks for picking up my slack. I am sure I will miss somethings this next time too.

8:01 AM  
Blogger shauna said...

impressive! you're quite the storyteller! can't wait to read more and hopefully see pics.

10:46 AM  
Blogger jlo said...

Just so you know Lafe, you are way better story teller than I. My addition to your comments is in no way a blow to your abilities. I was just adding a few fun memories. Thanks for doing this.

11:15 AM  

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