What a wonderful weekend we had! Early Friday afternoon, we headed down to Agua Prieta, Mexico for the annual food distribution. First, though, we attended a birthday party for the oldest girl at our shelter there. She came to the shelter when she was just a little girl and she is growing up to be such a special young lady. She has such hopes and dreams for her future, and so do we! Dreams that would have never come true if she would have stayed in the barrio. It is so funny when we go down to Mexico - all the girls love the Baseball Star. But he is so shy, he hardly talks to them (both the Star and Princess speak a little Spanish). They always chase him around and goof around.
Here, they caught him on the stairs and they were all laughing. The Birthday Girl is on the top right.
The Princess loves to go down to Mexico because she has really made friends with some of the girls at the shelter. She cries every time we come back home. Her Spanish is getting really good, so she is able to talk with them more.
On Saturday, we helped hand out bags of food, blankets and children's sweaters to 12,000 people. The lines were unbelievable. People stood in line for HOURS (some lining up at midnight) for a bag containing $9 worth of food and a large blanket. And it was COLD down there. Friday night/Saturday early morning it was in the 20's. We stood in tractor-trailers looking out over the crowds while listening to Christmas music. It was such an odd sight, kind of hard to describe. The crowd was so quiet...it was surreal in some ways. And so sad.
The Foundation I work for has build a neighborhood where 42 families will realize something unheard of in Agua Prieta - home ownership. On Saturday, we participated in a 5th interview (we have a very extensive interview and background check process) of 3 potential residents. And, as usual, we loved them all. Unfortunately, we only have 2 homes to fill. I cried the entire way back to our dorm. I could not stand that one family was going to be left out. No matter how many homes we build, no matter how much food we hand out it will never be enough. And that is very hard to deal with for me.
We also took a tour of our new Child Care Facility that just opened last week. When full, it will care for 160 children. This is quite an accomplishment because there is a huge lack of daycare centers in Agua Prieta. Many times, older children are pulled out of school to take care of their little brothers and sisters. Lack of education is a big problem in Mexico, so this will enable more children to stay in school and also provide the little ones with a safe, clean place to stay while their mothers work.
The little sinks and toilets just crack me up. In Mexico, children are potty trained very young – 18 months – because diapers are so expensive.
This weekend wasn't without some knitting, too! I finally picked the Nantasket Basket back up. For some reason, when I was working on it long ago, it hurt my hands. No problems this time, so I finished it on Thursday night and felted it yesterday when we got home.
Pardon the crappy picture. It is really overcast here and I couldn't get a good shot in the house. Cute though, huh? I think I will run a little florist wire through the handle to keep it nice and curved. I really like the basket. I felted it really tight so that it would keep its shape. I used my favorite felting yarn, Brown Sheep Nature Spun. It felts so well. I can see that I'll be making a few more of these baskets. Wouldn't it make a nice gift with a knitted washcloth and some bath goodies?
On the 4-hour trip to Mexico, I worked on Charlotte. Can't you tell?
I swear, I can work on this thing for a week and it doesn't get any bigger. Plus, I don't seem to have used nearly as much yarn as I would have thought. I'm starting to think I'll have to do a few more sections. Which makes me want to jump off my roof. It is boring to knit and I want to finish it so badly.
Last night I ripped out the border for the Flower Basket Shawl. I was pretty nervous about it, but it was easy to pick back up the stitches and figure out where I am in the pattern. Here is another crappy picture.
I want this to be nice and big, so I'm sure I'll be knitting on it for a while. But, unlike Charlotte, this is fun to knit and the pattern goes really fast. I want to wear it with black pants and a white button-down shirt, so I better get moving if I want to wear it this winter. Because we all know I won't be able to wear it when it is 115 here in the summer.
Whew, this has been a long post!! Today also happens to be my birthday! My birthday wish is that everyone would have a warm, safe place to live, enough food to eat, a good job and access to an education. That would be the best birthday present of all.
Posted by Heather at 9:24 AM