Yesterday was the end of the camp in Mexico that I have helped direct the last few years. This is also an end of an era. Today we said our goodbyes to the Deaf from the churches in the main part of the Mexican Republic. We are now headed to the Yucatan peninsula to spend a week of camp with them.
We started the week with about 80 campers. This grew all week with our final count up to 95. That is a good number landing right in our average range of campers. I am always amazed as to how many people come to camp based on how poorly we advertise. Out of the group of missionaries that have mostly been there the last 5 years, only 4 of the group of 10 were able to be there. We had plenty of help and teachers though since we mostly have the pastors and their wives do the teaching.
We probably had 15 people who had never been to camp before. One man from the state of Hidalgo (a new group this year) accepted the Lord as his savior. There were also 2 hearing men who surrendered to service.
Wednesday was our “battle day.” We had a dog bite, a lady step on a nail, a man get stomach cramps bad enough to justify an emergency room visit. There were three trips to the doctor for various reasons. Dissension in the camp among 2 groups grew to a head, however, as camp director I did not know anything about it until late that night. I was able to resolve it, in a way, on Thursday morning. While it seemed everything might fall apart on Wednesday, that was the day that the one man was saved. Everything worked out fine by Friday. I think we were all friends again by the time we parted ways.
Friday I was asked if I could take 3 people to the bus station. This is the first year that I have not been in a hurry to get away from camp. I got everyone off and started the trip to the bus station. My 3 had grown to 10. I took them and they said that there were still 7 more that needed a ride. I returned for the next group to find out that there were 9 more after that. On three trips to the buses I hauled 26 people in my van with only 3 seats. The back end was full of luggage. Only in Mexico can you pack 9 people at a time in 3 seats.
We took our time getting away from camp since we have no particular time schedule to get anywhere. The only town on our route that was of any size was only 1 hour away. We got into town in search of a hotel that had certain amenities. I turned down one hotel because of not having all we wanted. Every other hotel we found was full to capacity. I finally returned to the first place (almost 2 hours later) and they only had one room left, but their Internet connection was out. I have already been a week without Internet and if I am taking the next few days like they were a vacation, I really want some communication abilities.
The reason all the hotels are full has to do with this being the weekend between the 2 big summer vacation weeks in Mexico. We are also in La Huasteca region. It would be like Yellowstone NP to US citizens.
We finally found a hotel that had a room available. Our casual evening in town to relax and eat at a fancy restaurant and get some reading done ended up with us grabbing a greasy chicken from a grocery store and eating it in our room at 9:30 at night. Rarely is anything as easy as it seems it should be.