The praise is that only a few days later I was ok with Florida once again. We reconciled (most) of our differences and I feel more at home again. I still hate the bugs, humidity, and distance from home. But I also love my church, my friends here, the work I get to do at I-TEC, flying, and my roommates. So I think the giant spiders will have to die one by one as I get my courage up to squash them and the humidity will just continue being destroyed with air conditioning. All is well. Praise God for contentment in His plans. When you know He has you someplace on purpose, sometimes it doesn't even matter what the purpose is (the jury is still out on that one).
As for the trip itself... too many good things to list them all! I spent 4.5 days in Ejido El Porvenir, Mexico and 4.5 days in Temecula, California. It was not enough time in either place but unless I can clone myself to live permanently in both places, it never will be. Both places are home to me. Which is probably why I maximized my time with people. I think my longest night of sleep might have reached 6 hours. Most were closer to 5. For me, that's insane. I was a zombie by the end. A happy zombie. Once again, I regale you with a tale via pictures:
After two trips it took me FOREVER to be motivated to pack again.
Such a welcome sight! I drove down with three close friends: Jason (on staff with me my first year), Jessica (one of my students last year), and Rachel (worked at the orphanage in Porvenir my first year).
The first day in Porvenir meant a nice lunch in the valley with the Vomsteegs and gang. Oh how I love these people!
We went to the beach of course and discovered you could tour ships, for free, from the Mexican Armada... pretty sweet!
Our old houses were gone. No more Ventana as we know it. Lots of changes happening!
Rachel and I attended our friends' wedding and it was beautiful. Then I found out last week that we made it in the newspaper (middle right). We are now Ensenada Socialites.
I don't know why I don't have any pictures with my Mexican friends. I spent more time with them than anything. I think others have pictures on their phones.
Temecula was a whirl of coffee/dinner/hang out dates with people who mean the world to me like Kristin and Chelsea here. Chels was showing Kristin how to do makeup and I just know it was a lost cause for me. ;)
I got a great afternoon of Del Mar, Ikea, and Panera with Stacey. She makes everything great. =)
Spent an evening at the beach with Matt (who now lives in Chicago) and Chelsea (who lives in Ukraine)... such a random but good combination.
Then the best part of California! Celebrating Amanda and Kenny, and itty bitty Kenny, aka Cuatro. The shower was beautiful (go mom!) and it was so great to spend time with this baby bump and the family.
I am truly blessed with such amazing sisters. =)