2016 is passing faster than anyone can imaging. Angel and I are already turning our attention towards our summer vacation. This summer we are planning to take another trip to Mexico for our Do Unto Others Adventure on July 16 – 18 with Amor Ministries.
Many of you have talked about joining us. Today, I extend the invitation again. There is no time like the present. Here is a link with information on the upcoming trip.
Last year Angel put together a great list of FAQ’s that I thought would be helpful and perhaps twist your arm a little.
We don’t call it an “adventure” lightly! It is an adventure to go to another country, sleep on the ground and build a house in three days–a truly awesome, life changing adventure!
Over time, we have learned the questions many people ask. I’m going to share these FAQ’s now, but we are always available to answer any other questions you may have, either by phone or email. There are also packing lists and other FAQ’s on Amor’s website, www.amor.org.
Do I need a passport? Does my child need a passport?
Yes to both. Everyone needs a passport. You want a passport. When you are standing in a line in Mexico, looking across the fence to the USA, you are REALLY glad you have a passport.
Is it safe?
I had this question before I went. That being said, I have always felt completely safe in Mexico. There are several reasons for this. We are aligned with Amor ministries. Amor has built over 17,000 houses in Tijuana over the last thirty years. Amor is a well-known and respected part of the community. In addition, we are only in the neighborhoods during the daytime in groups. Likewise, our campground has security and is guarded all hours of the day, for the safety of the people and property housed there.
Where do you sleep?
In a tent. On the ground. Unless you bring an air mattress (which would be a really good idea). You do not have to put up your own tent. It will be there waiting for you when you arrive. All you really need is a sleeping bag and a comfy pillow.
Where do you go to the bathroom? shower?
Well, let’s just say that you will really appreciate indoor plumbing at the end of your adventure. The bathrooms are a line of port a potties, all in row. The showers you take with a gallon milk jug. My kids are absolutely convinced that the most refreshing showers on the planet are taken with a gallon milk jug in your swimsuit in Mexico after building a house all day.
What do you eat? Is the water safe?
As I mentioned before, Amor ministries is intrinsically linked to the community–and its churches. The food provided at the camp site is prepared by the wives of many of the local pastors. It is delicious and authentically Mexican. Beans and tortillas are featured in just about every meal. You will not go hungry. You prepare your own lunch each morning with the food provided–usually lunchmeat, peanut butter and jelly and REALLY interesting Mexican chips. Let’s just say the flavors are distinctive and strong. 🙂 I often take peanut butter crackers and granola bars for my children, just in case.
All the water is brought into the camp and is labeled for drinking or hand washing.
Can kids really build a house?
Absolutely! Each member of the team can be a part of the building process. As the years pass, I see my boys becoming more and more helpful to the building process. My daughter does help with aspects of the building process but also acts as a “goodwill ambassador,” spreading joy to members of the team and members of the family we are serving.
How do you get there?
We allow each family to determine their own path to San Diego, the headquarter of Amor ministries. Some years we drive, others we fly–it just depends on our needs and schedule for that year. I do recommend that you stay additional days and experience some of the great activities available in San Diego and perhaps even drive up to Los Angeles for more fun.
You do need to be in San Diego the Friday before the build because we meet at Amor offices early Saturday morning. Once we meet at Amor, they take us down to Mexico in charter buses that drive us directly to the campsite after we cross the border. After that, we are driven to the job sites in school bus type buses on very bumpy roads. 😉 We usually get back to the Amor offices around 4:30 or 5pm on Monday afternoon.
Eric & Angel