I’ve arrived in Mexico! :)
After a week of orientation in Chicago, most of the volunteers --West Bank had to wait for their visas--departed for their countries of service. It was a great week where we each bonded with each other through singing, worshiping, text study, small groups, and a bit of fun in the Chicago area. I can’t even express how much this week made me feel like YAGM is exactly where I am called to be.
Our final worship cemented that feeling. After gathering outside the chapel, we sang our way inside, dancing toward the baptismal font. Fifty new volunteers, several from past years, and some staff people stood around the font. We reminded ourselves of our baptisms and the community of people that comes with it. As we --literally-- waded through the baptismal waters we realized the reality is that everyone in that room cared about one another deeply. We are all family; a community bound together by the Spirit and a common goal to do justice in the world.
The energy was incredible after that. There was laughter, crying, praying, dancing, joyous shouting, sadness and happiness. It was wonderful.
Team Mexico, as we are so called, got into a shuttle around 5:30am the next day. Bright and early we checked out of our rooms, crammed ourselves into a shuttle and scurried off to O’Hare. Goodbyes were hard, inducing some more tears, but we had to go. Our flight was relatively painless out of Chicago and we even arrived to Mexico City half an hour early at 12:37pm. Andrea --our dear country coordinator-- greeted us there at the airport in Mexico, fed us, and hurried us onto a charter bus for our trip to Cuernavaca.
There are 10 days of Mexico specific orientation, taking us until September 3rd. Most of it is in Cuernavaca, but 3 days will be in Mexico City. The orientation is an important piece as it is where we get our phones, first stipends, make site visits, meet our host families, and get some more group bonding time. I know it will be an adventure.
I am going to be mostly out of internet connection until the 3rd as we are staying in a convent in Cuernavaca which does not have internet. I will get another post as soon as I can, which hopefully will cover site visits and my host family.
Adios for now!