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mazatlanian now.

January 11, 2010

in my euphoria,
i cannot help but open this post with
the thought that has been running
through my emotion all day long-

day 1- WE LIVE HERE!?!?!!!!!!!
almost too good to be true.
and yet, completely true.
God is so, truly, good.

now,
shifting gears: details.

FIRST
we got up at 5am on saturday and headed to the border.
we were pretty well prepped on what customs would be like,
and for the most part the whole process went off without a hitch.
that is, excepting the part where we were genuinely confused as to
where customs was to begin with.

because
anybody is allowed to drive 26 miles into mexico
without any sort of paperwork.
but then, if you find yourself 700 miles into the country,
unable to demonstrate that you went thru proper avenues upon entry…
the doodoo that you are in is deep.

so we knew we needed to take care of business-
-get sticker for car
-get stamp on passport
declare and pay percentage for all goods in vehicle
(we made a list of our belongings and as they were all personal,
none for business or gifts, we were told undeclarable)

SECOND
you would not believe the miles of stopped trucks and cars
waiting to be inspected to ENTER texas
as we drove on empty highway into mexico.

most of the way we drove on empty toll roads,
with no cities in site, no restaurants, no nothing,
maybe a gas station every 200 km or so.
(converting to pesos, km, mt, is going to be very difficult for me.)

THIRD
after roughly 7 hours, 100 dollars, 550 miles
we were finished the easy part.
the wide lanes and open plains.
(laredo to durango)
we stopped for lunch in durango,
since it was one of the only cities we’d seen,
and we anticipated the rest of the journey to be rural mountains.

look for towns referenced on map if you want.

from there we started the mountain trek.  (around 3pm)
we had read reports that this stretch of road was awful,
known as “the devil’s spine,” dangerous and agonizing.
these reports almost convinced us to go the long way around
and drop down from nogales.

but then we listened to that book about story.

at first, we mocked the mountains.
the whole thing seemed overrated.
we started out on
perfectly paved roads in beautiful setting.
it was the first green we’d seen all day,
and smelled like fresh pine and mountain air.

but then, after
we had stared at truck butt for 4 hours,
and only traveled 100 miles,
that we realized where the road gets it’s bad reputation.

every other second is a switchback,
so it feels like maybe some crazy rollercoaster or video game.
and if you get behind a truck you’re behind him for
a long time.  because they take up both lanes on the turns.
heaven forbid another truck is coming around at the same time.
justin would haul out and pass at any possible straightaway,
but inevitably a turn would come where the truck would
venture out of his lane so we were nearly cramped off the cliff edge.

mind you,
i grew up in ecuador,
there are similar roads there,
but none quite so narrow, quite so constant twisting,
or quite so drawn out.

FOURTH
we made it!
we rolled up to the lonsdales’ gate around 8pm.
they were still at the coffee shop, and not expecting us.
we had said we were staying in durango, so we could be sure
that we had plenty of daylight for the mountains.
but then, we changed our minds!
and came the whole way.
they are extremely flexible though,
and elated to see us.

FIFTH (and final gear)
check out our new home!
before all our junk clutters it.

we absolutely love it.

we are the upstairs door.
i am the pink shirt doing laundry.

yesterday morning we went with the lonsdales to
the spanish church they attend, centro de vida.
the pastor is a professional surfer, and also a great pastor.
they ask the first-timers to raise their hands,
and then ask “everyone who loves jesus” to hug us.
we got hugged a lot.
and between that and the drive out,
justin is extremely eager to learn spanish.

which fortunately, will be his main job for the next few months.
mine will be to learn the ins and outs of the coffee shop business.

we learned when we got here that we will not be
starting a program immediately,
but rather acclimating, learning, planning.
it’s not what we expected but actually much better.

as for today,
we’re off to get some wood to make bookshelves,
and get the lay of the land a little bit.

even if not in the way we thought,
we’ve hit the sand running, so to speak.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. marmy permalink
    January 11, 2010 12:17

    Hi. glad for the news. we’re in lita, expecting a hundred kids in 2 hours. glad to know you are safe and happy. enjoyed reading your post as always.
    love, mom

  2. Susanna Sullivan permalink
    January 13, 2010 12:37

    wow. I have been reading your posts and am in awe of what God has done in with the two of you. I left your words feeling humbled and challenged. Thank you. May God’s light shine upon you and through you as you serve Him! Have fun :)

  3. jill permalink
    January 13, 2010 15:47

    so glad to see you both last night. apartment looks great. i know you will make it a lovely cozy home. so happy for you and can’t wait to see what God has in store for you.
    love you,
    mom and dad

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