Our daughter Lindsey, and grandkids Cameron and Sadie out for a walk at Baxter Conservation Area south of Ottawa, Ontario. Photo taken by Ruth October 26 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode, Ontario, Canada. Just south of Ottawa.

And where are they going next? We leave November 1st for a six week trip to Romania and Moldova.

Monday, November 17, 2014

An update about our Mexican friends

In response to a couple of recent comments...yes, we need a vacation. We know that sounds odd. But we've have been going pretty much non stop since we left Saskatchewan just over six weeks ago. Moving every few days and living out of a backpack does take a toll and you do need a break from it every now and again.

I wanted to talk a little more about how things are going with our adopted Mexican family.

Back in February, I explained that they were having some problems. And you all came through to help them out!


Gael's medical condition regarding his head seems to be fine. Although, since we've been here he's been to the doctor's twice. The poor little guy has got a really bad cough and cold. And the other day he fell down and bumped his head. His nose was bleeding as well, and he swallowed a lot of blood, and then of course coughed it back up again. Not nice.

But we can still get him to smile!

And, he's not been sleeping well. We know, because we're sleeping in the same room. In fact, there are seven of us sleeping in the same room. Yes, another reason that we need a vacation. 

They (we!) are living in a one room concrete structure. There is a separate semi outdoor kitchen area with a gas fired hot plate and an electric stove that is owned by Mary's sister. Haven't seen it used since we've been here. There's a fridge in the big room that separates our bed a little bit from the others.

Alfredo is still working at the dairy. Six days a week, 6,000 pesos (about $500) per month. Mary also has a job now, working at a medical clinic. Again, six days a week, but only about 4,000 pesos (about $340) per month. Alfredo's mother looks after the kids when Mary is working, but she still has to pay her to do so. Not much left over, but better than not working. Also, she has a benefit at the medical clinic that any medicine for Gael is much cheaper.

Alfredo, and his sister Leticia.

Mary and Alfredo's other child is six year old daughter Nataly. She's a sweetheart, and a lot of fun to have around.

Nataly and her mischievous smile! Ruth and I are taking Nataly to the beach today!

Despite the low income, there always seems to be enough food to go around. Yesterday afternoon, Ruth helped Mary make a big pot of "pollo a la barbacoa"...

Mary and Ruth making dinner.

Chicken and sauce.

It all goes in a big pot, like a stew.

And then it boils over the fire for an hour or so.

Sunday is family day, so Alfredo's brother and his wife and daughter were there too. Lots of kids around, including a few of the neighbours kids. Children, dogs, and chickens. Lots of them in La Barra!

Alfredo's brother Raphael cutting up some fresh coconut for us.

Raphael hamming it up for the camera.

Fresh coconut.

Raphael's friend was there too. He likes his coconut with lots of chile sauce!

Ruth, with some of the crew!

So, life goes on here in La Barra. We're off to visit one of Puerto Escondido's seven beaches today. Thinking about Playa Angelito!


  1. Wishing little Gael gets better soon, and enjoy your day at the beach with Nataly. And yes, we understand the need for a vacation. Travelling full-time is exciting, exhilarating, but also exhausting. Hugs to you both. :)

    1. We are hoping that Gael feels better soon too! He does really well for most of the day but by late afternoon early evening he is starting to not feel so well and his nights aren't very restful for him or his mother.

      We love travelling but sometimes I think that we just try to do a little too much, guess we should throw in a "day off" every now and then instead of trying to do something every day.

  2. A nice adopted family and life in Mexico can very hard.
    A vacation is a good Idea. Soon you will be back with Sherman and relax a bit.
    We really like to pace ourselves.

    1. A simple life is nice but it isn't always so easy!

  3. How lovely. We have an "adopted" Mexican nieta as well. She is 24 yrs old, goes to the Tech in Ajijc. We are supporting her to go to school. She is the youngest of 7, the only one to get Gr 12 in her family. The others have Gr 6. She is so lovely, looks like one of our granddaughters, which is what attracted us to her and why we fell in love with her. I will get to see her when I go to Ajijic in Dec. My husband is already there, for 6 months. Lucky guy, but he is retired and I'm not yet.

    1. That is a very nice thing that you are doing for your "adopted" granddaughter. I am sure that she appreciates it very much. So glad that you are going to be able to see her in December. Enjoy your time there and with her.

  4. Replies
    1. Yes, Nataly does goes to school but she unfortunately hasn't been able to go since the day we arrived. Last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the teacher was away and they don't have any substitute teachers so she had no school those days. Today she was supposed to go to school but the school was closed according to Mary because the teachers were out protesting about what happened to the 43 students the other week.

      Mary told us that once Nataly missed 3 months of school because of a teachers' strike!

  5. We understand why you would say you need a vacation. Just keeping up with you two makes us tired! Thanks for telling us about your extended family in Mexico. The smiles on their faces say it all! Gael and Nataly are adorable!

    1. Yes, they have lovely smiles and they are very happy most of the time. We have really enjoyed our time with them.

  6. The arrest and probable execution of the 43 students was horrible, It's hard to believe it happened in Mexico. Can you talk about the local population's reaction to it?

    1. I talk about it a little more in the next post.

      If the students hijacked four buses like many reports say they did, then of course they deserved to be arrested. What happened to them afterwards was obviously horrible.

  7. Kind or reminds me of when we moved to Estonia while it was still under Communism. We had to get used to a whole new way of life as we were used to American standard of living. It was a shock to us and to our team who went with us. A few times some of our team got the dreaded "lice" deal but we just laughed our way through, got rid of them and pushed through. Life eventually got better for us and the people as Estonia received her freedom and the pay off was that we got to be there with them each step of the way to freedom.. We actually missed the earlier "hard times" we lived through. And we have a life time of friends...Russian and Estonians who will always have our hearts. The joys of being missionaries from spoiled USA.....smile

    1. You are very right Joyce, things are done very differently here and for the most part we are able to adapt to it. Having to sleep seven to a room was a bit of a killer for us though because Alfredo snores and Kevin has a very hard time trying to sleep when there is snoring, also poor Gael has a cold and is awake a lot at night so again it left us feeling a bit sleepy throughout the day. Hand washing laundry isn't an issue for us but boy it is a lot of work for the women. I tired to help as much as I could with anything that needed to be done. We are always happy to spend time with them and I know that they are also happy to have us do this as well. So glad that you had such a great experience in Estonia as well.

    2. You all are great examples to the Americans who think they MUST have a whole more than what they really need. Your stories inspire me and now we are retired and so those stories bring back lots of memories for us. We too spent a lot of time in South Korea...... Great reading and inspiring many is your gift to so many of us. Thank you.

    3. Thank you so much for your kind words and that you have been enjoying our adventures.


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