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


Friday, May 26, 2006

Mess With A Bull And You'll Get The Horns

Quick note: I am very tired and I got to sleep in today. It was very nice. I have huge blistes on my feet from the sand getting in my shoes. But here was the cool thing that happened this morning...

We were walking to the base this morning when we saw some guys struggling with a bull in the middle of the road. I recognied Arturo and Juan Daniel, one was holding a rope behind the bull and another was holding the one in front. Juan Daniel is just 16 years old and the bull was trying to jump over a barbed wire fence. He asked me to come help him so I put my bag down and began to pull with all my strength. The bull came out of the bushes and went on down the road. Juan Daniel thanked me and headed on down the road. Arturo was running down the road taunting the bull smiling and waving goodbye to me. It was a funny sight.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Mi Mexico

I was thinking about last year and when I said that I felt as though I understood and felt Mexico deep down inside me within a few minutes of landing. I couldn't explain it last year,but a few days ago I finally figured it out.

It is duality of Mexico that attracts me. I have always been drawn to things that have two very different and opposing sides. Some call it the tension of opposites while others call it Ying and Yang. I prefer to use the term duality because it implies that something can be two things at once. Something be wholly beautiful and wholly ugly and be the same. I don't know, maybe it is because I grew up in the South that I find dualities so interesting. But Mexico, like the South, is full of quirks and constant contradictions that leave me fascinated.

My Mexico is a place where the sun beats down and is unforgiving. A place where not much can grow. But what grows is almost always magnificent. It is a where the people litter left and right. A place that is inundated with advertisements from soft drinks and bad beer. It is a place where most everyone smiles at me. A place where every says hola or beunas dias. A place where the kids will run at me and literally tug at me for attention. They smile when I do the few tricks I know. They scream mas, mas when I pick them up and throw them in the air. It is a place where people give me things. They offer me drinks, or food, or a CD without a care in the world. It is a place where someone is honored to show me their house. The take pride the in the few creature comforts that they have, the smae creature comforts that I take for granted. It is a place where the rain can come in quickly and leave just as quickly. It is a place where there is disease. A place famous for it's horrible water. It is a place where you can't flush toliet paper down the toliet. It is a place where I am afraid the washg my hands. It is a place where I constantly eat or drink something that is new and delicious. It is a land of lucious fruits. Everything always seems so right. It is a place of faith, faith that makes me feel as though mine is weak. It is a place where I can sit between two cocanut trees in a hammock, reading a book and listening to the waves crashing against the beach with futility and great force. It is a place where the bugs are so thick that you have to brush them away from your face like fog. It is a place where with every breath your lungs fill with the salt from the sea. It is a place where people flee. They flee to my country to try and make something for themselves. They try to make a better life, and they usually risk their lives to do it. It is a place where everyone asks where I am from. Then they ask me if I know where a certain town is in a certain state that their sister or brother has run off to. It is a place where people have nothing, or close to it.

It is a place that is full of both joy and sorrow. Hopefully, this week, I can create a little bit more of that joy. I know they are creating joy for me...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The World According To Ernesto: Saturday the 21st

Aaron´s alarm clock was loud, really loud. It sounded like Apu from The Simpsons. Rarely do I get scared by alarm clocks, but this one did. Waking up in a foreign country by a foreign accent that is not the same is quite scary. I thought we were being raided.

I woke up feeling cold,which in Mexico is a good thing. The air conditioner had made the room cool over night. It was a great feeling.

After getting dressed and having a Pop-Tart, I headed off to help the mountain team pack for their trip up into the mountains. When I got over to where everyone was loading up, the first thing I saw was a couple of big dogs run Dave over. They just bowled him over. After loading everything up, we all went to the prayer room for some songs and prayer.

We said goodbye to the mountain team and began to head towards the church in Cacalote. The church is very small. It has a thatch roof top and a concrete floor that we will soon be ripping up and replacing. I couldn't understand everything that Bartolo said, but I picked up most of it. After a few songs, Kent got up and preached on marriage while the kids went off with some members of the group to do a children's service. The kids made small butterflies out of coffee filter, clothespins and paint. It was pretty cool. Jill made me a butterfly for carrying her bags the entire day before.

After the service we went back the base and had a quick bite to eat. Matt and I played a little pitch and catch with the old baseball. Everyone decided that since we didn't really have anything else to do for the rest of the day that we wouldall go the the beach.

Aaron took us to Roca Mar. Roca Mar is an amazing beach. It wasn't very crowded and there were lot of rocks. We climbed around the rocks and I went out on one that jutted out in the ocean. Everything was calm and peaceful until a huge wave came and drenched my serenity.

We stopped by a man's store/house to drink some liquados. Liquados are a delicious drink made with mangos, vanilla, whole milk, and cinnamon. Seriously, the only thing that could make these babies better is booze. And I am not sure that could improve it very much.

The man that made these liquados for us is named Ernesto. We talked a lot. He spoke very good English and we discussed politics and life. He was telling me about ending up in Cacalote. He had traveled the world, but found his life in Cacalote. He runs a bakery/store/house. He was baking some ham and cheese turnovers while we were there. He asked me what I did for a living and I explained it to him. He asked me if I loved my job and I told him no. He told me that I shouldn't stay with a job that I do not love. He whipped some more flour around the baking table and kept explaining all of life's little secrets to me. He was a wonderful storyteller and an even better cook.

After the liquados we returned to the base. We had a quick team time and I blogged my first day. With a long day ahead, I went to bed knowing that it would be a long day.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Loosely Translated: Saturday the 20th

Preface: Sorry for any typos, I am writing this on a Spanish keyboard...

I did not get much sleep on Friday night-Saturday morning. I went to see The DaVinci Code with the Sullivan boys in Tulsa. It was a pretty good movie, but it was pretty long. We finally got back home around one and the only place I could sleep was on a leathe recliner because there were about 25 people total sleeping somewhere in the house. I finally got to sleep around 2:45, which was one hour before we were planning on waking up.

The Tulsa airport isn´t very much fun a 4:45 in the morning, let me tell you.

After the normal rigamorow (man I hope that is a legit word) of airport security and high priced and under taste coffee, we made it on the plane down to Houston. I sat next to Jaime Farmer and a cop from Bartlesville, OK. (Quick question, why do I always sit next to another big guy every flight I am ever on. It´s profilling I tell you. And it ain´t right.) Jamie and I talked to the cop for most of the trip. Jamie mostly talked about her hometown that the sheriff worked in and what all new chain stores were coming in. She also talked about her pooch, which is a very long story that I can´t get into right now.

We made it to Houston alright, but I forgot to get my ticket out of the seatback. I ran back and got it while the crew was claening up the plane. After a quick Starbucks stop, I sat and read the new issue of Esquire and tried to get a little bit of shuteye. My attempts on both were quite futile.

When we finally got on the plane, we sat on the tarmac for about 15 minutes. Evidently there was a problem with the plane that meant we could not take off. I was expecting something to be seriously wrong with the engine, but it was fine. I couldn´t help laughing when the stewardess came on the speakers and said that the fasten seatbelt light was not working. Seriously, all you have to do is tell everyone to sit down. That´s it, end of problem. They never did get it fixed, and somehow they let that bird off the ground without a seatbelt light.

The plane ride was about 2 1/2 hours. It went by pretty fast because I talked with Kiplyn most of the way down. I told her all about the greatness of Norman Maclean´s A River Runs Through It and found out that we both have a strong love of rap music.

Unluckily for us, the seatbelt light was not working properly, so we just had to rely on pure instinct to tell us to fasten our seatbelts when we dropped about 300 feet in a second while we wee crossing the Sierra Madre mountains. The landing was a bit rough, but the important thing was that we made it.

We were in Mexico.

Jason, Cindy, Kyla, and I all rode up to the base with Aaron, a missionary who helped us out and led us last year. We caught up on things that were happening down here. We talked about Lorenzo fish pond that was doing well. Unfortuantely, Lorenzo´s grove of fruit trees did not survive and accidental torching when Lorenzo was trying to control some brush by using matches and gasoline. We also found out that the bible translators up in El Moscoe have had some bad health problems with a new born and the little old lady that Kent and I had met and prayed with had died. Aaron and I also talked a lot about the upcoming Mexican elections and Presdent Bush´s new direction on the border. Dr. Jason kept up his tradition that he had somehow started the night before of patting me on the butt. Harassment papers will be filed Jason!

After a quick stop in Puerto Escondido for an ATM trip and a quick call to Dad to tell him that I made it safely to Mexico, we headed back up the highway towads Roca Blanca.

Roca Blanca is more stunning than it was last year. We unloaded all the bags and had a quick bite to eat. Of course, I didn´t eat the whatever it was that was being served. After the meal I walked out on the beach with Jill, Bethany, Matt, Kiplyn, Jamie and me. The waves were beautiful and huge. I wish I had a a surfbaord, knew how to surf, and was brave enough to ever surf, because if I did, it would have been so much fun. Instead, I watch the sunset and got my feet wet a bit. The ocean mist really cleared up my sinuses.

We had a quick meeting and Matt, Reagan, and I decided to moe in with Aaron at the Cacalote House. It was nicer than the dorms because it has air conditioning. We all took showers, which cooled us off tremendously and headed for bed. Right before bed, while reading I ate Pop-Tart that I snuck in to the country with me. I was pretty proud of my spoils of luxury that I had managed to bring into the country until I saw that Reagan had brought in an entire Kum and Go convience store in his duffle bag.

I woke up in the middle of the night cold. It was a great feeling to have to put on a long sleeve T-shirt on in the middle of the night.