Safe and secure in good ole America once again, we have had our time of reunion… sharing our stories with friends and family alike. The reflections become even more clear and vividly etched into our simple little minds. On Saturday morning as we gather in the mess hall for our last meal together, the emotions were high, the thoughts of saying good bye are the most difficult part of this or any trip. Each one of the team members experience emotions of various levels and reasons. For one I think mine were the dread of the long day of travel.
The actual time spent in the Condor is only 20% of our actual travel time. The time spend on the 4 wide highway of Doom is certainly entertaining… as we watched an 18 wheeler pass another large truck in a blind corner over a hill…. my lord calling out the over zealous driver to ‘Chill out’. There is the awful experience of have to do electronic declarations to exit the country, Multiple security check points as we make our way to the gate of destiny. Finally boarding the Condor and settling in for our journey across the pond. All this is just part of the process that not only we face… but every weary traveler on board as well… we are not alone. Arriving at Greensboro nearly 12 hours later then facing the drive home and arriving at almost midnight after the journey began at 7:30 that morning. Long day to say the least.
The final destination is not the goal for this writer, it is the moments of joy and emotion along the path. We had several moments that have been documented for the past several days, items to include unreliable transportation, and not to say that in a negative context, they are doing the best that they can. Battling heat, humidity, bugs and critters, which is what you have to expect in Central America. There is the culture adjustments, seeing poverty on a greater scale than could be imagined in the USA, but through it all we came with a purpose, to serve, and yet we were served in a greater context.
This trip has been planned, discussed and expected since the spring of 2020 when the world we all knew changed…. 4 years has been along time since we visited our friends south of the boarder, we were not disappointed in the overwhelming joy that we experience over the last 10 days either. Certainly I think each of us was humbled by the experience in a new and meaningful way. Traveling to a third world country to give just a little assistance is just the tip of the iceberg… if taken in the right context, it is not a vacation, workcation or time away, but it is a spiritual experience that, at least for me has refocused my personal ministry.
I have many things to say and yet a limited time to do so from here, so I want to say my parting words with words of thanks and praise to everyone involved with making this trip possible.
Senor Jefe, AKA Chris Lakey for your dedication and leadership. Even though you pick on you all of the time, thank you for your work behind the scenes and planning this adventure.
Senor Mater AKA Jerry Kilby for your friendship over the last 25 years, the adventures, the laughs and just your spirit, that is a joy to be around, and for always being there to help form 1/3 of the brain
B-Rad AKA Brad Triplett for your dedication as a young man all those years ago that help push and continue these types of trips. For you sarcasm and laughter that always is so entertaining.
Hondo AKA Tom Schardt for returning with us once again after a couple of years on hiatus. Thanks or your warm spirit of generosity and the interactions with the people in the community.
Juan Solo AKA John Webster for joining us this year. Truly thankful for all that you brought to the table with your skills and translation ability. Hopefully this is the first of many to come.
To Maynor, Pablo, Wilmer, Lucia, Suyapa, David and Ricardo for all of your support, service and time spent with this group of india loco gringos. Thank you continuing the work even while we are not there. Thanks to the Federation for your vision so many years ago that saw a people in need and responded to that call. I hope we have more opportunities work along side of each other in the future .
And finally, standing last in line is your truly, Marco Francisco AKA Mark Reavill blogging it out on a daily basis to share our story…signing off for now until our next adventure, God bless and good night!
Marco Francisco Valle Valle