Sunday, June 2, 2013


Yesterday was a hectic morning, trying to get our act together to leave the Posada and head back to the USA and so there was little time to blog.  Watch over the next few days and many participants will be adding their reflections of the total experience.

Friday was an emotional day.  Some of the crew left early to continue making blocks at Norma's house while the rest of us headed to Ofilia's house to build the walls.  Shortly after noon we finished building the walls on the house and were ready to celebrate with the family that with in a month, Ofilia's family will move in.

The family set up a long board, set chairs around it, and we had the first meal in the 'new house', although there was no roof.
A delicious steak BBQ was prepared with rice and beans.  The favorite of course was the chicken mole.  (Mo-lay).  A wonderful sauce with a chocolate base.  It was amazing.  Children ran around excited to see the progress.

After lunch we circled up and said our good byes.  Everyone was touched by the hospitality of the people and their hard work.  We thanked them and we were told we always had a home to stay in if we came to Mexico, because it was our house also.  I have the sense they meant it.   Hugs went around and we hopped into the bus for what would be the most emotional part of the trip.  We headed to Luz's home, which we built two years ago.   Early in the week we heard she had breast cancer.

On arrival I hoped out of the bus and Luz came out, thinner and with shorter hair.  We both broke out into tears when we saw each other.  A tight hug communicated all that needed to be said.  After a few short private moments, the rest of the crew came into the house we built and Luz explained her situation and that she needs another operation, but is not strong enough now.  She is very aware that each day is a delay the allows more cancer to grow.  She told us she doesn't want to die, but if God calls her home she is ready.  All of us where overwhelmed by her strong faith.

I asked if she wanted the 'sacrament of the sick' and with out hesitation she said yes.   Not having any oil I asked if she had cooking oil, and a bottle of olive oil appeared.  I blessed the oil, and began the sacrament.  We all laid hands on her in silence..but tears were in everyone's eyes.   I could barely get through the ritual.  At the end of the ritual and the "Our Father" was said in both English and Spanish.
Tears were flowing during the prayer.  Somehow we collected ourselves, said our goodbyes and headed to the border to experience the 'WALL" as an Mexican experiences it.

At the wall there was much silence.

 There are many protests to the wall written on it.  Eduardo reminded us  that the wall is not Mexico's biggest problem, but helping build an economy where people will want to stay in Mexico is.   It is always a place of mixed emotions, as a citizen of the USA, we understand the need for secure boarders, but we also know of the longings of the Mexican people to give their children the best life possible.  As Eduardo keeps saying, the border is a complicated issue, with no simple solution.

After the time of contemplation of the border a few brave souls joined hands, and threw themselves into the Pacific Ocean at the beach that is at the border.

 After the sadness and solemness that we experienced laughter was needed.  Once in it was hard to take get them out.   The bus ride was full of dancing and fun.  We relaxed at the Posada, walked into town for some ice cream, and enjoyed our last night with Esperanza.

Saturday we packed, cleaned and headed to the border.  We left at 10 AM and crossed  into the US about 1 PM.  It was good to be home.  We got on the trolley with different groups getting off  at different spots depending on their plans.  We said each time, "this is it..see you in NY."

Well it wasn't it.  Later that evening we all met up at Lulu's Cafe in down town San Diego.  I got cheers as I walked into the Hookah bar and saw our gang at a long table with two hookah stands and everyone puffing away.  Finally a few hours later we finally departed.  Early this morning (Sunday) I hear my phone 'ding' with the first text message saying, 'we are home.'  A few more came in from the 'red-eye fliers.'

With that the 2013 Builders of Hope Experience ended, but hearts, minds and souls were full.


  1. Thanks for writing such a nice blog with us. and also thanks for sharing your adventures with us though this post. i really like it.

  2. Great collection and I sure wish I could write stories for these pictures!Look how lovely these are. I wish I could draw like this. I will miss you, my sweet friend. Looking forward to when you're back.I really appreciate all your comments, thank you! I’m back behind my desk and hope to start blogging again and catching up with all your lovely blogs in the coming days.............

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