One effective effort

Trip Start Nov 25, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Mexico  , Coahuila,
Thursday, December 21, 2006

Margarita and Juan treated us to a great breakfast buffet in Mexico.

From there, we drove off with Margarita and their friend Miguel to spend several hours in a very unique rehabilitation facility for men in recovery from drug/alcohol addictions. Their interactions with the men were a great model for the two of us, who've often discussed how to most efffectively relate to this population. Miguel was direct in his questioning without being threatening or affronting. [When Margarita sang, I really enjoyed her voice.] They visit this facility regularly and spend hours conversing with the men each time. Over time (each man gets to stay for 3 months) a change takes place. When the guys leave the facility, the change is tested--for some it doesn't stick, others are permanently rehabilitated. Miguel's own personal history seems to help him know instinctively how to proceed in his regular visits. He'd likely say he was God-directed in his ministry.

Miguel then treated us to a great seafood buffet at one of his restaurants. (His "real job" is owning/managing a variety of businesses.) Paul and he dialogued extensively; they seemed mutually engaged. [This entire day tested my Spanish skills beyond their limits, unfortunately. So I'll just leave it at that.] I know both Paul and I respected him and appreciated his commitment and effectiveness.

Juan and Margarita took us to visit a shelter home for migrants in Acuna, run by their friend Carlos. We saw the dorm bedrooms where 40-50 beds were packed like sardines. Around Christmas they are not near full, but they'll get real busy Jan-June. Kids as well as women and men--many shelter residents are folks caught and returned by U.S. border officials.
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