Monday, August 31, 2009

Adjusting to Life in Mexico

Today was the kids' first day of school (having missed all last week because of travel), and the school welcomed us back warmly, especially because our kids make up maybe 8% of the total student body. Daniel has 6 other kids in his 6th grade class, Cathy has 6 classmates in her 3rd grade class, and David has probably 10 classmates.

As always, there are issues to adjusting back to Mexico. We locked our back gate, and can't find the key, so we need a locksmith. We didn't take our van to get inspected in time (we were away), so our van falls under the more strict "no drive day" regulations. In our case, that means no van on Mondays, no van from 5 a.m.-11 a.m. on weekdays, and no van one Saturday a month. So I'll have to wait till tomorrow afternoon to get it inspected. But we will do that as soon as possible, to be able to drive every day.

The school demands all sorts of pens and pencils and notebooks and erasers. Oh, and this year we have to take the plastic binders out of the notebooks (each kid needs somewhere around 8 notebooks), and thread them with yarn or shoestrings (because the notebooks wear out less soon, or so is the logic). Oh, and each notebook needs "margins." Don't notebooks come with margins, you may ask? Well, yes, but schools here demand that each page be traced with a colored pencil (blue this year) around the edge of EACH page. And each book and notebook have to be covered with transparent adhesive paper. Now, if you have one kid, this is a hassle. If you have 3, this is a nightmare.

What else...we need to pay the school bill, and the new school uniforms, and the rent, at a bank, first taking cash out of an ATM, then standing in a line for 30-60 minutes at two different banks, depositing the money in cash for each thing. We had to go to the telephone office to pay our phone bill. Just imagine life without checks, a postal system, or online payment. Yes, life becomes considerably more tedious!

But with all of that we are glad to be home. The church here has welcomed us back with open arms, and we are eager to start work on Sendero 2, the second church plant in this area.

For another article on the perpetual Ixtapaluca floods, click HERE.

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