Sea lo que sea means “it is what it is”. This saying became extremely important to me this week, in my first week of translating this summer for Baja Missions, after a rocky start and plans that seemed almost inclined to change on their own.
I was with an incredible group from Jasper, Alabama that tought me a lot about where my true possessions lie and perfectly incorporated my theme for the year and practical action without even knowing it. This post is an update for you and a shout-out to them.
Well, a first week that got off to a rocky start was redeemed in some very powerful ways, as we expected. We finished up on Friday and in 2 whole summers of translating, I have never been as devastated to see the end of my time with a mission team as I was on Friday when this group left. They were amazing.
They welcomed all the translators as part of their family from the start and were so special to all three of us translating that we gave out superlatives to each member of the group at the end of the week. My favorite awards were the Pineapple Award, for the Doctor who came with the team and looked like a tough guy on the surface but was really sweet on the inside; The Most Likely to Smile and Nod for the translator groupie who relied on us for everything related to cross cultural communication; and the Rookie of the Year Award for the senior whose first mission trip it was. He was never seen without a kid on his shoulders. All of them did really well and it was a great week. I also learned 2 important things I did not know.
1) Apparently, there are 2 types of medical licensures that Doctors can get. An MD is a physician license, and a DO encompasses completion of medical school AND chiropractic training. I learned this because i have a bad back and when it started hurting, Dr. Dean, who is in fact a DO gave me a little chiro work up.
2) I learned how to read Doctor’s shorthand orders for prescriptions AND how to fill them. Sometimes I translated in the pharmacy for the teens, other times I was by myself filling scripts and translating for myself while the youth minister was off taking his teens in search of mexican treats.
Another thing I really loved about this group was their leader’s mad obsession with going to the market and finding deals on stuff that he would buy for his youthgroup kids. Every day he would show up with something for a teen to put a smile on his or her face. He even bought me an Ireland shirt to wear all day to annoy my Scottish co-translator Siobhan. We worked hard but we definitely had a lot of fun doing so.
This group had the most amazingly organized mission trip VBS kids program I have ever seen in my entire life, including elaborate sets, exteremely well-rehearsed skits and perfect time management. It was wonderful translating for the kids class every night. During the week, we also handed out food bags, painted the church building exterior, church kitchen interior and the church bathrooms.
George Barrera, the preacher of the Woodland Trace Church of Christ where this group was from received the Build Now, Ask Questions Later Award for inventing 3 additional work projects during the week: building a wall around the church pavillion because Mexicans don’t really enjoy a cool breeze as much as Americans do, building 6 new benches for the kids’ classroom and fixing 80 year old Manuel’s roof after driving by Manuel’s house one day and seeing him up there trying to fix it himself.
In addition to all the physical work done, Dr. Dean saw armaybe 50 -60 (?) patients total, giving out antibiotics, blood sugar stabilizers, pain relievers and vitamins. And the best part of the week, of course, were our three new brothers in Christ who were baptized on Tuesday night.
Thanks so much for your prayers for the Baja and the teams coming to serve. This week, I’m with another of my favorite groups from the Vaugh Park Church of Christ (Montgomery, Alabama). We are in Maneadero this week, one of the most impoverished areas of the Baja.
Until the next update!!!
Joke of the Week (sorry, Ginny, if I got it wrong):
A guy walks into a bar with his pet giraffe and orders a drink. He downs his drink and puts the cup back on the table, along with his payment and walks out. The bar tender yells after him pointing at the table “hey! you can’t just leave that lyin’ there!” The man replies, “that’s not a lion, it’s a girraffe!”