Where to Eat?

We have arrived after an eighteen hour journey.  The flights went smoothly and the customs experience in Mexico was gratefully uneventful.  Fr. Graziano, the pastor of St. Augustin, greeted us with great enthusiasm.  He is Fr. Giorgio’s classmate and, we were soon to discover, the greatest driver in the world.  The roads, though paved, were incredibly cramped with the omnipresent bushes waving with the rush of each car.  One foot high speed bumps appeared seemingly randomly and out of nowhere which Graziano miraculously maneuvered around followed closely by our driver.  We were greeted by the dramatic surf of the Pacific Ocean and the sharp rise of mountains immediately outside the city.  The road swept sharply to the right and left through the country and always uphill, interrupted only by the occasional town (SPEED BUMP!).

Along the way, I saw scenes that reminded me of my week’s stay in Ecuador six years ago.  It is a land of hustle.  Alongside the road, it seemed nearly every home had a restaurant or grocery attached with either a Coca-Cola or Corona sign (they appear to have bought these small towns) and the first name of the proprietor, “Irma”, or “Maria” or “Brandon.”  Lined up side by side, one wonders how they have any business if everyone literally ones a restaurant.  They are of course barely recognizable as restaurants to our way of thinking.  They are just a few set of plastic tables and inevitably a cooler of Coke.  It is in front of their home, just trying to make the little extra to make life possible.  It is inspiring and challenging about the difficulty of their life.

What of our first impressions?  Nothing sums it up quite like seeing God’s promise of old.  On the plane, we saw a rainbow above the clouds.  Then as we stopped to see a beautiful sunset across a river, we saw a double rainbow.  God’s first sign of hope refreshed us.  Hope, not despair, is the hallmark of our pilgrimage, our sister parish and its people.

Written 10/5 am