Archive for December, 2006

Entry for December 30, 2006 – who builds houses in Mexico?


I went on this trip both as a philanthropic act and for an experience, an adventure.

Others went on it as a mission.

Our common thread was our belief in God and the wish to help someone, in this case it was easy to see who need the help. These were good people, little dissent and friction among members. Events were centered around fellowship. Sergio was the local facilitator through the MSCC facilitator Bob.

Each of us had at least 50 distinct memories, each it’s own little event. You have shared in only a small portion of mine in the previous blog posts.

I end with another that goes with the picture above.

After the day of work, the little four year old Carlos of the family the house was being built for was running down the dirt street with a three foot by two foot white sheet of paper. I said, whoa little fellow, what do you have there, where did you get that!

He ran off down into the crowd of Americans.

Someone said “does anyone have a pen?”. I listened a little, then said, yes, I have one. So I gave Scott my pen. A few moments later, here you can have your pen back. Yes Scott, but why did you need the pen? “Well the family wants us all to sign a sheet of paper so that the owner can put it up in the house.” I said really. The family trying to get the signatures was asking people to sign on a cement block on the street. There was nothing along the dirt street to hold against the back paper to sign it.

I said, wait a minute, I can solve this problem.

I ran over to the side of the house and pulled a sheet of plywood I had stashed there earlier. I asked Tommy Denny to get me a hammer and a couple of nails and I swiped the sharpie that had been on the construction table. I propped the board up, positioned the paper, Tommy hammered the nails in place.

I stepped back and people started signing there names.

Later I came back, signed it myself and put the group name on it. After complaining my writing was terrible, Samantha Obrien came back filled in some art work.

The result, as we left the house is photoed above. Very nice touch.

Baja Vision is the group that enables this trip. I think they have it pretty close to right.


Entry for December 30, 2006 – passing out toys collects a street crowd


The organizers of the trip (include Bob J in this photo) use the money they collect for the trip to by food and supplies for the families in Mexico. This includes cheep toys for kids.

These toys, when they are distributed collect a crowd in the neighborhood.

Here you can see the crowd around the distribution van and see the kids coming in from the neighborhood.

Norma and Delores street restaurant, chicken mole at it’s best


Housing site 2 (code pink) had a nice lady living in the back with her two young twin daughters Alison and Rosita (age 6) and son Carlos (age 4).

The first day the lady went to the store and brought bread and ham and passed out ham sandwiches at about 11:30.

The second day she cooked a pot a chicken with her special mole sauce. So at about 4 PM she served it to the construction crew over rice. It was delicious, but then I am a sucker for chocolate.

It was a very generous meal from such a poor situation.

Entry for December 30, 2006 – Street soccer in Tijuana


Soccer is the universal language.

So during a break from construction, the soccer ball from the 14 kid playing in the street up the hill wondered into the construction site.

Before long we had a little skill display going. This kid was very skilled and was pleased to kick around a little soccer with the gringos working next door.

Entry for December 30, 2006 – how to pass a bus in Tiajuana


The trip is a thousand little moments. Like this one.

Up the muddy hill past our construction site the local bus went about noon, rear tire blow out but moving along fine.

It was too muddy for the bus to make it all the way up the hill, so the bus backs down the hill, and to us seems to be stuck beside construction site 2. No one is getting up and down that road for a while.

Minutes past and a police truck shows up, then another (four officers in the back of the pickup). Lots of noise. What the heck in going on??

This truck is gunning it trying to get around the bus and is pinched between the hill and the bus. I said, who, this is worth a picture. The guy did scrape through, just amazing.

Entry for December 30, 2006 – house site two under construction


This shows the venue of construction site two.

Tool van in front of the frame of the house going up.

The house cement slab is in front of the slanted hovel of a house where the single mother with two cute girl twins age 6 and their cute brother age 4.

These people were much better off when we left than before we arrived.

Taquerias El Guero – Tacos in Tijuana


The first destination in Tijuana was a taco stand.

Tong and brain were available, I stuck to the pork and beef tacos.

They were good. I got mine with the works, avocado, salsa and cheese. They were small so you ordered them in groups of three.

We just counted tacos for the group and they paid all at once.

Some are wrestled on the tables in front.

The cars would pull in two deep and the parking lot “attendant” (a local bum it seemed) called for you to move when you had someone parked in.

If you can find this place in Tijuana, it is safe (as as they say, no one from the group has never got sick from eating there).

Nanaki Sushi – by the Seven Flags roller coasters


We made a lunch stop by Seven Flags of route 5 in southern CA (town on Newhall).

Scott T and I went of to the local sushi sign for lunch.

Nanaki Sushi was a common store front sushi place like you would find anywhere.

The lunch sushi was fine and a much better alternative than McDonalds.

I was unable to find any on line reviews of this restaurant. Could it be that new??

Entry for December 30, 2006 – Mexico 2006 starts


At 6AM in a warehouse in Fremont a group of 52 people assemble for a 10-12 hour drive to Mexico for a five day (four night) house building trip.

Above Bob give some instructions to the group.

About 20 frozen turkeys were loaded in the bottom of the tool van to take to feed people in Mexico.

Entry for December 25, 2006 – Christmas in holiday red


Photo of the holiday house celebrations on Christmas Eve.

The cherry cheese cake was homemade by DMK. Based on Howard Kaplan’s recipe (Howard took claim years ago for Billy Ostro’s recipe).