SALSA PICANTE: The Hot News Mix of EduVenture Mexico
Fall Semester 2004: Nov. 16 Report
By Tim Trezise
"I have no time to blow smoke-rings this morning. I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone," grumbled Gandolf.
"I should think so – in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them," said Mr. Baggins.
The ruggedness of the Sierra in northern Mexico isn’t exactly the cozy little "Shire" of Bilbo Baggins. We have many uses for adventures in these parts. It is our way of life. Many times they are disturbing, uncomfortable, and even make us late for dinner. Let us show you what we see in our most recent adventure ... the Trek!
Snapshots from the Trek
Heavy-laden packs – tired feet – blisters – tired muscles – deep canyons – mountains – loose rocks everywhere – what’s up with this bushwhacking all the time? - Who does this? - freezing-cold nights – snow flurries and sleet in Mexico? – 0-degree sleeping bags are necessary – teamwork – peanuts, raisins and dried fruit – not enough rope for the waterfalls in the box canyon – where are we on this crazy map? – patience – trust – reunion with Marcus on day three – Red Sox win it all! - good food - much time with the Lord of the Dance – leaves falling, water babbling – making a fire with a bow? – Who does this? – baking garlic-cheese bread on a stick – what is lurking out there, bobcat or cougar? – delicate gymnastics on barbed wire fence between the legs with full packs – falling into the creek – more tired muscles – blisters on blisters - four more years for George Bush! – Angela flies like a superhero – Chacho (Daphne’s new dog) learns to swim difficult canyon sections – Rebecca is master of fire – crossing a river in bone-chilling rapids – "Be quiet and concentrate, we CAN do this!" – encouragement – Who does this? – the endless ridge – up, up, higher and higher – I thought we were acclimatized to altitude! – OK we’re on top, now what? – See that canyon? – "Return seatbacks and tray tables to their upright position and fasten seatbelts to prepare for our descent" – perseverance – camp never felt so good – another day of canyoneering in the water – hiking in sport sandals is great for the first hour – "Yeah, more poison ivy!" – 15 Coati* jumping from tree to tree – are we gonna make it out before dark? – keep pushing little dwarfs – are we still on the ranch? – this place is huge! – Oh no, just when you thought it was safe to come out of the woods ... another river crossing! – swimming with packs? – hy-hy-hy-hy-hypothermia in Mexico? – warm fire – awesome stars – dump cake – campfire stories – simplicity – contentment – boulder demolishing a full-size oak – crank it home – boy, do we smell bad!
* Coati is a mammal that shows God’s creativity in making a mid-sized animal similar to a raccoon, anteater and giant man-eating squirrel. Seeing one is rare. Crashing the party at the national Coati Convention is even more rare. They didn’t invite us two-legged hairless beasts with multicolored tumors on our backs to share in their "reindeer games." Instead, they left in a huff and were quite unsociable but entertaining to watch.
Who Does This?
(The theme question of the semester among the students.)
All the students did very well on the trek. They had to meet a minimum fitness standard to participate on the trek and every student pushed hard to achieve what was necessary. It was especially encouraging to see their teamwork in all the responsibilities of making decisions as we traveled and in setting up camp each night. Being immersed in the beauty of God’s creation also brings out a much deeper appreciation for our wonderful Lord and Savior. Andrew Peterson declares the praise that rises forth from the natural world around us in one of his songs: "the mountains sing your glory-hallelujah, canyons echo sweet amazing grace." May we never lose site of how incredibly amazing God is – don’t let the rocks or trees shout louder than you! God deserves our very best, all the time!
Students are currently living for two weeks with their Mexican families to learn more about the culture and develop their language skills. They return to the ranch on Tuesday, Nov. 23 for the last two weeks of the semester, spent socializing and wrapping things up. Time is flying by and they will soon be flying back to their homes and colleges. This is the last helping of Salsa this semester.
Scorpions and black widows are no big surprise, often finding themselves on the soles of our shoes in various forms of splat-art. However, one morning after class a healthy-size rattlesnake was apprehended as it was passing by Kevin and Rebecca’s "condo." Students worked together in the event of killing, skinning and cooking it for all to sample. Our little 3-year-old daughter, Joyellen, thoroughly enjoyed eating this "yummy" venomous serpent. No guys will be messing with this little cowgirl when she turns 16!
Please be Praying for:
Students finishing strong and open to the working of the Holy Spirit in shaping them to be putting their faith into action.
Alex and Becki Ashe as they are visiting Houghton College and recruiting students for upcoming semesters.
Our decision about whether to run the student program next semester or develop our local ministry.
Work teams to help us with various construction projects at our campus.
Guidance and direction for our involvement in local ministry.
Lupita, our Mexican staff member who cooks dinners, is pregnant but must be on bedrest for the remaining four months of her pregnancy.
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