Full length version of the clip shown in service today:
Just for an update on Regina. She had her hip replacement this morning. She is out of surgery. Beverly and Sarah are possibly going down Weds to check on them. Thank you for your prayers for their family. We will try to keep this updated as she heals.
Our last work day is complete!
A minor disappointment – the suspended ceiling was unable to be completed. On Thursday we used all of the long pieces of the frame, and the new ones that we ordered didn’t make it in before the weekend.
No worries! We still had plenty to work on. The office and bathroom walls are complete, and we “raised the roof” in the bathroom. The bathroom roof was necessary because the walls we raised for the bathroom and office didn’t extend all the way to the ceiling; they stop at eight feet, and the suspended ceiling will continue uninterrupted above them. Additionally, our mudding and sealing (not to be confused with ceiling) crews finished all the walls upstairs, including the new ones. We even got the accent color painted on one of the office walls.
The summary of downstairs progress is that we completed everything we set out to do. The rooms downstairs have been completely painted, including the ceilings (if I understand correctly). The volleyball net was finished, and Sara A. and Chon put a lot of effort into creating boundary lines at the ends of the field by embedding rocks and small chunks of cement into the dirt, and the loose dirt and debris in the middle of the field was raked to the sides to form the side boundaries.
The volleyball field got good use, too. We played a game (with pretty relaxed rules) at the end of the workday, and then brought out members of our host families to join us in two separate games after supper that evening. Our rules were again pretty relaxed, and there was a friendly dispute afterwards regarding who actually won either of the games. In the end, I think victory has to go to Sheila (the Allshouses’ dog spent some time on both teams during the course of the game, and was also responsible for a few of the “obstacles” around the edges of the yard that we made sure to keep the ball away from).
Greg and Judy spent the morning working with Dennis and Twana, installing ceiling fans, curtains, and outer doors on the new church.
Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures immediately available, but I’ll try to get my hands on some and get the slideshow up in the near future.
We may be back in the states, but keep a close eye on the blog over the next few days as we try to catch up with information and pictures from the last few days of the trip.
We are all incredibly thankful our financial supporters for completely funding our trip, and to our prayer supporters for your spiritual uplifting. Please know that you have not only blessed us, but also the church and population of León and Irapuato. God bless you all!
We are back!!
I think we might be on the first ever food mission from Hanfield. We have eaten so much good food! If you like Mexican food, this is heaven. We even participated in the Irapuato church version of walking tacos. The church served tostadas at the end of service. Greg Ford and Junior McGinnis ate so many that the church ladies had to ask them to leave. We left and went to a meat market where we had a one giant pork rind that fed all 11 of us. We then travelled to another restaurant for carnitas. They were made from pork boiled in hot oil. The pig has been very good to us today. God is good. So is the food.
Mexican Food Blog, Day Dos. As good Hoosiers, we love good ole home cooking’ and Lydia Allshouse has not disappointed. The day started with French toast and fresh fruit. Breakfast was complimented by gallons of coffee. After a good devotional led by Sarah Chambers, we went out for a hard morning of work. Kay Keller labored away in the yard, reminding us of her sod rolling days in Minnesota. In short time, we were ready for lunch. Freshly baked rolls were topped with ham, fresh avocados, tomatoes, and lettuce. Mandy Foss discovered a new favorite condiment, Chimi churro sauce. Think salsa mixed in mayonnaise. Greg Ford recommends it on pork rinds. Everyone rolled away from the table and went back to work , except for Seth Foss, who lectures us on Geometry and higher forms of math. Dinner was spaghetti, fresh salad, and bread. Bev Chambers finally got some ice for her drink. She has been smiling ever since. Judy Ford has been taking away everyone’ s recess for bad behavior or for poor work performance. Twizzlers have been passed out at every meal. In conclusion, French toast at breakfast and spaghetti for dinner makes us international diners. Anthony Bourdain, eat your heart out.
If Bill and Lydia are setting are setting a food trap, we are taking the bait. Tuesday started off with delicious eggs from Lydia’s kitchen. The coffee here is very strong and plentiful. Lydia has colorful cups that almost fill themselves. Morning work only made us hungry for lunch. We came in for ham sandwiches on large bread rolls that were made locally. Lydia also had fresh cut tomatoes and avocados for toppings. Chimi churi sauce has become the group’s favorite condiment. It is a mayonnaise based sauce mixed with salsa. Muy bueno! Dinner was unbelievable. If we weren’t in heaven we could at least see it from where we were. Bill and Lydia took us to a local restaraunt for tacos. The name doesn’t do the food justice. Normally, when we think of tacos, we think of soft or hard shells. We walked into the restaurant and were greeted by a giant slab of pork that was being slow-cooked on a rotisserie with a propane flame. The drippings alone were enough to make a meal. At this place, tacos are served on a giant platter of deliciousness. The platter consisted of three kinds of meat, cheese, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and pineapple. There was literally a section on the menu called meat with cheese. We had to scrape a mound of meat on to each tortilla. Several of us created a giant meat volcano on each tortilla. The blend of ingredients created a synergistic flavor explosion. It looked like someone had scraped off the toppings of a pizza on to each platter, but it tasted like heaven. Each platter also came with a condiment caddie consisting of four different salsa toppings. There was a red salsa that was hot and spicy, a green verde salsa, a light guacamole sauce, and fresh limes. Sarah Adamson and Seth Foss literally ate their weight in these tortillas of love. That means they ate almost 220 pounds. Two others had to be rolled out to the van because they were unable to walk out. This may have been the best food every put in front of us.
Wednesday only brought more punishment in this eating marathon. Lydia made pancakes that we ate covered in peanut butter and sweet syrup. A stack of Jacks never tasted so sweet. Every breakfast has also been complimented by a variety of different juices. Today was rather hot and humid, making lunch come as a welcome break from work. Lydia went Americana on us, serving juicy burgers and chips. Again, we were treated to freshly sliced tomatoes and avocados as toppings for the sandwich. If one beef patty is good, doesn’t it reason that two patties would certainly be better? Yes, some made theirs into a “double.” Dinner consisted of tostadas topped with a light topping of shredded beef, onion, peas, radishes, potatoes, and lettuce. This would be topped off with chimmi churi sauce or salsa. For dessert, we were treated to fresh strawberries and whipped cream on top of an “ox eye.” An ox eye is a sweet, hard, pastry. Irapuato is famous for its strawberries and these were some of the sweetest every smothered in whipped cream.
We have had another delay in updating the food blog because no one has felt like putting their fork down long enough to write. We can be good eaters or good writers, but not both. Food won out.
Thursday’s breakfast was another championship effort from Lydia. We had eggs cooked with chorizo sausage mixed in. Most of us put it in a tortilla covered with cheese and salsa. We also enjoyed toast while watching Haywood Banks on You Tube singing his tribute to toast.
Lunch was brought in by a lady from the church. As we all know, food cooked by ladies from the church is always good and it’s always blessed. The main dish was spicy, shredded beef that we scooped into tortillas. We covered the beef with cheese, salsa, and another local specialty. There was a large bowl full of onions and peppers in a vinegar type sauce. It would have been easy to look past this bowl full of stomachache and heartburn, but everyone liked it. The onions were sweet and pickled. The peppers were yellow and hot. They may have been the hottest we have tasted this week. Dale and Junior ate several of the peppers, swearing that they had hair regeneration properties. They have promised to take some back for Lance Brookshire. He will need them at full strength. We also had rice mixed with peas and carrots as a side dish. Two hours after lunch, we were still smacking our lips, wiping the sweat from our foreheads, and rubbing our bellies from this fire-filled lunch.
Bill and Lydia treated us to an Irapuato favorite before dinner. It was hot, humid, and there was almost no breeze. If we were home, that would sound like a recipe for Ivanhoe’s. We were in Mexico, so we went to Don Ramone’s. This a tarp covered stand selling shaved ice covered in fruit. Brain Freeze has never tasted so good. Don (he’s actually a real person!) scrapes a bunch of ice into a 20-ounce cup. Customers tell him which flavor they want, but the choice usually consists of a combination of two flavors. The ice gets covered in the fruit of choice and syrup that matches with the fruit. This treat should have it’s own section on the food pyramid.
Dinner was quesadillas from Lydia’s kitchen. Clearly, she has been given the spiritual gift of hospitality. It was rather late when we finally sat down for supper, so a few members of the team had already walked back to their houses. Those who stayed were able to witness Mandy Foss go into a food frenzy. The sweet soprano from Hanfield bared sharp teeth and claws as she wrestled away ALL unclaimed quesadillas from the rest of the team. She even ate the last one right in front of her still hungry husband, Seth. Food this good brings out the animal in all of us.
Hanfield Time and Mexico Time (or is it the other way around?) mean the same thing. Everyone runs a little bit behind. By the time Bill picked everyone up for breakfast on Friday, we had to eat quickly so we could get on the road for a hard day of shopping. We would later discover that eating less breakfast and saving more room for lunch was another step in Bill and Lydia’s food strategy.
We traveled to the historic city of Guanajuato and shopped on every level. Literally. The city is an old mining city and has three levels. There is a deep underground level which runs along old mining tunnels, a middle level, and an “above the mountain level.” Just about the time everyone in the group had shopped so long we could no longer stand up (about five minutes for most of the men), we were treated to lunch at Hotel Luna. They took us to the moon! This was a very nice restaurant that had beautiful chandeliers. Everyone ordered something different. Dale and Kay Keller were still googley-eyed from visiting the Ally of the Kiss. (It was the only time all week Dale was seen with his hat on backwards.) They ordered a milkshake with two straws to keep the romantic mood. Mandy had poblano soup as an appetizer. Sarah Chambers had chicken and rice. Some of the top entrees were salmon and shrimp swimming in cheese sauce, stuffed chicken swimming in cheese sauce, and chicken parmesan swimming in cheese sauce. We needed life preservers to get out of this cheese-filled pool. Lunch was also entertaining as several blanket and scarf salesmen came by showing their wares right over the top of us. One of the men got too close to Judy Ford and she accidentally bit into the man’s scarf. She felt so badly about it, she purchased two from him.
We ate a late dinner after a bible study with Twana and Dennis, who are starting a church plant in Leon. Twana made a delicious pasta salad, complimented with bread. The bread had a pesto sauce and a honey-butter sauce. Both sauces made you want to eat a whole loaf of bread. For dessert, she made the best Key Lime pie. This was even better than the stuff from Key West. We thought it was very polite of Seth Foss to go around the room and pick up everyone’s plate until we noticed that he was licking the remaining pie off everyone’s plate and fork. Unusual behavior. I’m sure he was raised better that that.
A Mexican Food Haiku:
I ate way too much
One more taco wouldn’t hurt
I am defeated.
It is very late! We leave to head to the airport at 6:15 am!!! Please pray for safe travels! Log day of traveling ahead! I think most of us are already thinking of when we can come back!
I (Dale Keller, aka “dk”) had a both humorous and provoking experience Wednesday evening. The Kellers and Fosses are being housed by a local hermana from the church. We were told she was out of town and volunteered rooms for us in her absence. I was designated the “key” man.
Let me explain. The house where we sleep has a locked gate that must be passed through before gaining access to an outside door. Additionally, the very nice room Kay and I use has an inner locked door that connects to the living room. All have different keys.
The door from our room to the living room is usually open slightly I believe to allow better airflow for cooler temperatures. The hinges of that door were in need of lubricant as whenever the air pressure changed and the door would swing slightly, a squeak could be heard that made continuing sleep difficult. A problem to solve, so Kay and I first attempted to put shoes behind the door. The air pressure could move the shoes. Finally we solved the problem by having either Seth or Mandy lean again the door from the living room side on the way to their upstairs room with enough pressure to allow us to secure the deadbolt and disallow any squeaks.
Stay with me, the fun part is coming. So, here’s the normal routine. Bill drives us home usually around 10 PM, I first unlock the gate allowing us to access the outside door to our room. Seth and Mandy walk through our room’s door to the main house, lean into that connecting door so we can lock it and sleep.
Wednesday night we finished our devotions a bit earlier than usual and I “volunteered” to go to the house early to catch some extra R&R. Kay, Mandy and Seth decided to come later, so Lydia suggested I give the key back to Bill to give to them to access with least hassle to me. Great idea. I arrived, unlocked the gate and outside door, passed the keys back to Bill.
While awaiting the arrival of my three companieros and attempting to catch an early train to “jammyland.” However, the door problem prevented that as we had not locked the door as explained above. I went to play B, using a brick from the worksite. I wrapped a belt around it, put both ends under the door and pulled the door tightly against the jam. Noise gone.
Soon thereafter I hear a knock on the gate. Strange, I thought, my housemates had the necessary keys. Peeking out the window, I see a very pleasant but unknown woman peering through the gate. Who is this and what does she want I wondered. With my very limited Spanish I figured out she needed a key to get in. I quickly remembered the Fosses telling me of meeting what we assumed was another house guest the previous evening. This must be her, right?
However, I did not have the keys. She and I eventually “communicated” and she got back into the car that dropped her off, driving away. As it was close to 10 PM, I hoped my housemates would be back by the time she might return. And, that eventually is what happened. (Actually, its MUCH more complicated, feel free to ask for the fuller version when we get back to IN)
Ends up she was the OWNER of the house in which we were guests. So, what might she be thinking about knocking on the door of her own house, only to see a strange man in his jammies telling her she could not enter. Wow! And, what would she think if she viewed the strange “belted brick” under the door separating her living and guest rooms. Strange norte Americano, verdad?
Lesson learned: First, I more appreciated the adjustments my forebears had to make when first coming to our home country. Second, hopefully can help be more understanding of those from other cultures you and I regularly come across in our Indiana wanderings.
Truly, this has been a life-altering trek for me. So many lessons on many levels, like the importance of communication. ALL the team members have similar stories I feel confident they would be glad to share. Take a moment to ask.
Buenas dias mi amigos!
We made a lot of progress on our fourth work day. The frame for the suspended ceiling is going up quickly, especially with Alexis’s help. The mudding crew, with the help of Evelyn and Yuleni, has moved upstairs and has finished most of the walls that were put up earlier in the week. We also got the last of the walls put up inside the half bath.
Down below, we have finished painting the bedrooms. We added a splash of color to the back wall of the yard by painting the support pillars orange (another area where Alexis contributed his skills). We also poured cement for the volleyball posts and finished pulling out a huge, stubborn hibiscus root.
On Wednesday we visited Casa Cuna, an orphanage in Irapauto, where Lydia volunteers. What a blessing that turned out to be! Casa Cuna is privately owned today and the children are nurtured, well-educated, and happy. Children range from infant to age six.
As we walked in the front door we saw a young couple waiting to greet the child they were in the process of adopting. The anticipation and joy we saw was wonderful. As we waited to join the children for recess we were given a short tour. Everything was spotless-from the kitchen to the teeny little potty in the restroom. The classroom was typical. Chalkboard, maps, little desks, and smiling faces. “Hola”
We were led to the play area and waited under the canopy for the children to arrive. They came out in a single file line, in order, smallest to tallest, genders together, hands in their pockets or behind their backs. Boys wore black pants with white shirts, girls wore plaid jumpers and white shirts. Adorable!
Then the words came, “Go play,” and they scattered. We were outnumbered. Swings, slides, riding toys, and jungle gyms. Everyone learned quickly that “mas” means more. More swings, higher, faster-by the end of the hour our team was exhausted. For children “play” is their work. Our hearts were touched by the willingness and eagerness of the children to accept us.
Casa Cuna Haiku:
No pictures of kids
We want to bring them with us
They sure play like champs