Serving as a Family

Sometimes I`m just plain tired.  Sometimes it seems that the day`s or week`s agenda is a bit too crazy. And sometimes it seems that the sticks, cards, ropes and other play toys just can`t stay in their boxes…….hence there you have it, life as a family, strewn about.  If and when I think more critically about this, I fall to the trap of comparing our normal routines to that of the MCC utopian experience, which I like to describe as combining all the wonderful elements and positive experiences of MCC workers over decades and packaging it up into one family’s 3-year term…….certainly not realistic I know but hey, I`m still prone to dreaming.

HOWEVER, as a family serving with MCC in Chiapas, through our regular routines, conversations, and even one-off experiences, there is a particular dynamic that occurs in serving as a family unit. I deeply appreciate MCC`s vision and willingness to send families as volunteers. Yes it can open doors to understanding a new culture, and yes it closes doors too due to family committments and time constraints. And while in no way am I trying to compare the service of MCC workers who are single to those who are in immediate family situations, I wish to summarize a few thoughts and experiences that have significant meaning for us as a family.  So, in no order of importance, here`s a smattering of  photos and comments that reflect the more sublte side of our time to date as service workers.

Through a broader approach to our specific work assignments:

  • Combining strengths….in this way everyone wins, and we have opportunities to expand our horizons and perspectives.
  • We have to at times do things that could appear as chores, but also could appear as learning opportunities
  • Sometimes we get some spoils!! and enjoy things we didn’t necessarily have to work for!!

At times we all enjoy helping out at Rick's INESIN garden - Rick has developed this space which has allowed INESIN to demonstrate some technical aspects of the community workshops in their own backyard.

An experiment in soap making - perhaps its better to try something yourself first before trying to teach others!







Jacquie and the kids joined Rick in one of his communities to do a pizza and banana bread workshop in March.  Only two of the participants had ever tasted pizza – and what an experience for us to bake in a clay oven! In the end we all were able to learn something new.

Hilary loves any and all textures: dirt and sand, flour, sugar, laundry soap, water, scrap of satin cloth etc. etc. Here in Mexico, everyone loves Hilary's green eyes and blond hair!












Through community and church activities

  • Taking part in children’s activities is a fun way to connect with other adults and revive our imaginative side
  • We participate with the masses, in order to identify and better understand a people and culture we did not know before
  • We worship in ways that are familiar in order to feed our spirits and maintain our vision.
  • We try to lend a helping hand where and when needed, and we participate with our communities to help build a more just society and a healthier world.

Students, teachers and parents of Pinguinos school at a local park to video-tape the pre-schoolers yoga routine

We joined the crowd in the nearby barrio to honor Good Friday as we observed a reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ.






Picnic, roasted meat, stream-hopping.....very natural way to deepen friendships!

Jacquie singing in our church's Easter choir










Through participation in areas of interest and passion (recently, at a Kid’s Bible Camp)

  • We step out at times to practice leading and facilitating, in an effort to learn, grow, share and contribute.
  • We strive to care for the earth in a way that reflects Biblical values
  • We open our hearts and make friends!

Jacquie leading a morning devotional - "The Heaven's declare the glory of God" - Ps 19:a

Ecology Class - Rick focused on learning about trees, here the kids are measuring out the girth of the largest Mexican tree.






Hilary is still saying how much she misses her "amigas"


Rick also had all the kids make name-tags out of recycled material and the next day adopt a tree



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