Trumpets in the street, Tequilla in the milk bar & 40 people jammed on to the back of a ute - this is southern Mexico! Nikki & I crossed the border three days ago & are heading north piece by piece, through the suprisingly green, mountainous & humid countryside. I picked Nikki up from the airport in Guatemala City (by foot) & after a final recouperating stay with the Franciscan's (and Fr Gerard) we were off towards the border. To get back to the 'walking path' we needed to take a bus for some distance & with out a doubt it was the most harrowing piece of driving I've ever seen in my life! The bus driver screamed through tight corners, over-took semi-trailers while vehicles were coming the other way, forcing them onto the gravel edging (well, apart form the one guy who had nowhere to go & simply locked up completely as we just squeezed through) & got tired of the slow moving traffic at one point & drove across the median strip onto the opposite side of the freeway & simply dodged the oncoming traffic for a kilometre! Guatemalan buses - don't do it. I am very happy to be walking again. Mexico is slightly more developed than the previous countries but there is substantial angst towards anyone from the USA. I'm not from the USA, but Nikki & I look like we could be & so our walking has been accompanied by many blairing car horns, verbal abuse & unwelcoming stares. There's still a lot of poverty here & it still eats at me as I walk that this is all optional; that the poverty (in its many guises) exists because we allow it to. I'm not preaching, just writing done my musings. I guess the big question on a day-to-day basis is how to be part of a solution & not continue to be part of the cause. It's been great having Nikki alongside for the past hundred odd kilometres as we talk, pray, sing, enjoy the views & try to figure out the road signs. I'll stop typing here & let Nikki introduce herself further!
Hello hello everyone! Just to put you all in the picture, I have been traveling & working in the UK and Europe for the past 2 years & after being back home over Christmas & finding out Sam had flown overseas on this big mission to Unify the churches, its steeples and all its peoples, I thought, well thats a hugemungus task he has taken on. So for the last 6 months I have been reading the blogs & keeping in contact with the adventures & adversities of Sam´s journey & really feeling a pull & attraction to the conscience & reasons behind the walk. So, as I was able to, booked flights to land me in the path of Sams walk & met up with him 6 days ago.
Walking with Sam has been interesting. Im sure already i'm driving him crazy with my deafness & his need to repeat himself all the time. But I cant help but laugh that on his second attempt to get his message across another whopper of a truck comes harrowing past at a million miles an hour & Sam is silently mouthing his exasperated point of conversation! A smile goes a long way! And such is what we have found with the Mexicans...they are all suspecting & stand-offish until we make the first wave or nod, smile & say ´hola!´. They become more animated when they know we aren´t on the hunt...(our walking sticks look pretty threatening!)
On the bus ride (mentioned above) that belongs in MovieWorld & rated ´XYZ´, ´only for people with low blood pressure´, Sam was so wide-eyed with amazment that I thought his eyeballs were going to pop out! It was absolutely horribly wrong though, my learned instincts telling me that accidents happen with this craze & egotistic manner of driving. But we alighted in one piece.
Walking has been challenging but amazing. Sunrises, sunsets, storms & intense, humid heat. Im stoked to be here, joining forces, praying & working for Unity, getting out of the tourist/traveller mode of making assumptions of the people we encounter & into a mission-focussed, Jesus-inspired passing on of love & unity. ´Its all the little things...´
God bless, Sam & Nikki
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy." Matt 5:7