Yesterday we had our first rain, part of the time it was a heavy down pour, but never any thunder and lightning like we are use to having in the south nor was it a really serve storm like we have in the south. The plants are happy for the water and the dirt roads we drive on are now a bit muddy, but quite drivable. This morning I woke to a rainbow over the Pacific which was really awesome, we have had mostly sunshine today with every now and then a little shower that passes through. Life feels so simple here somehow, with pleasant activities to fill my time. We had our finally art class for 2012, the next couple of weeks the children will be out of school and have their time filled with other activities. We made Christmas cards which they enjoyed and even made some in English adding my name to them, I was very touched. It was one of these really delightful sunny mornings so we had the group outside on the patio/play area at the two picnic tables. We had the younger kids. One week we go in the morning and spend time with the young ones and the next week we go in the afternoon for the older kids.
Around here children go to school only half a day, the older ones in the mornings and the younger ones in the afternoons. It is done that way so the older children can go to work in family businesses. When they are 16 they are finished with school. Then they go to work full time or maybe if they are very, very lucky they go to college. This is a little farm village and at 16 you go to work or become a soldier, maybe get married and have children. Our after school art program is at a local orphanage/group home and at 16 the children must leave. Right now the oldest child is 13 with the youngest around 5. There 25 children, most of them have been removed from their homes by the government. The government gives the orphanage one bag of beans a month for support of the child. That is it! Lucky for the children US churches and local churches help support most of these orphanages. The one we go to is supported by a Mormon church in Utah with people coming to do service projects there regularly. There is another larger orphanage in La Mision run by the Catholic Church. Then I know that a local non-denominational church that has been created by expats helps a Tijuana orphanage. What you come to realize that it may be very imperfect our US social welfare system, but at least we do have one! The children we spend time with are the lucky ones; they have been rescued at least for now and with luck will grow into happy productive adults. There are the other ones that fall between the cracks…the ones in the streets bagging or sells at the border breathing car fumes as they walk between the waiting cars with their wares or the girls who become prostitutes, for prostitution is legal here.
I have no thoughts or solutions for solving the social ills of Mexico, but I do understand more and more why people are willing to take such big risks to cross the border in search of a better life. For me, I count my blessings this season, and know that I am part of the privileged of this world. My holiday wish is for all of us to take a moment to give thanks and to donate to our favorite charity our time and our money to help make the world a little bit better. Together we can all help to make a better world. Wishing You and Yours a Very Happy Holiday Season!