NEXT DESTINATION? South in the Fall
Well, Day 2 of the Quarantine has passed and we did a roll call this morning and we are both still alive. We have removed all sharp or heavy objects that could be used as weapons from the Ponderosa and are so far resolving disputes with pillow fights!! 13 days to go!!
I want to tell you a bit about the family in Mexico that we have come to love during our stay there this winter. There are lots of members of the family, all of whom are wonderful caring people and have accepted us into their families unconditionally. Tina, Kenia, and Oscar have become near and dear to us as people we felt comfortable with and who's home we could show up at anytime and we would be welcomed in with open arms. Tina is grandmother and mother to the whole family unit but Kenia and Oscar are the only ones that live with her in her house. Because Tina's daughter Cecie and her daughter Karen run the restaurant at the RV Park where we first visited, we got to know them quite well too and they have become special friends to us.
|Antonio & Cecie, with daughters Karen & Jaqualine|
My story today is about how proud I am of that whole family. They work hard and do a lot for their communities. When we left we discussed how this whole COVID thing would affect them. Being in the food industry, one of their main sources of income for the year is Semana Santa, which is the Mexican Holy Week and Semana de Pascua which is the week after that. Normally many many Mexican people come to the beach at La Penita to celebrate for 10 days or so, and while they are camping at the RV Park they require lots of food. Easter Carnival is all about the food. Lots of it!! And they buy it from the local vendors which Tina and Cecie run a couple. That is what this family relies on to get them through the summer months. With COVID, all of these celebrations have been cancelled and even the tourist season ended abruptly and earlier than usual. Many of the local people are without work and have no income. Life is going to be tough around that town for quite a while. That is where this family has opened up their homes and are providing the equivalent of a soup kitchen at their own expense, to make sure that everyone has something to eat each day. They put on their masks and go to work feeding as many people as will come for a meal. And the smiles are constant and free, no matter how rough things will get. Deep down inside we wish we could be there to help them with this. We have so much to learn from them.
There is no question in their minds of whether they will have enough to survive the summer themselves, but only the thought that their community must eat. There is no safety net for them or stimulus packages or even unemployment insurance to fall back on. There is only a sense of watching out for your fellow man. When we talked with them before we left, they assured us that they will survive, and we know they will. They have ways to make sure that no one goes hungry and they know they will be fine. We do feel so helpless in their plight and yes, although we have never been asked for assistance, we will be sending a few peso's to help with purchasing some food at least. Our concerns for them are changed to smiles every day as we receive messages from them, not about the hardship, but rather about all of the great things in their lives. They have a new little one in their family just like we do, and Aunt Kenia is so proud of her wee Abigail. And Oscar always shows us his big smile!!
Will they survive? Of course they will. And when all is said and done the family unit will have only grown stronger. Kenia may have to put her dream of coming to Canada on hold for a bit, and persuing her Emergency Services career may be pushed back a bit, because she will not turn her back on her responsibility to her family and her community. We often forget that she is only 17 because she thinks way above her years. Abuela (Grandma) Tina's job as the head of the family will be a little tougher, but everyone I'm sure will learn from her perseverance. We have come back to Canada richer in having had the opportunity to experience this incredible family and how their priorities rest in family and not the almighty dollar. Thank you for all you have taught us, and maybe when this worlds craziness is over, we will adjust our priorities just a little bit and figure out what is REALLY important!! We Love you Guys!!
|Tina, Oscar, Kenia|