Looking for my passport and my friend jose

Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
Trip End Apr 03, 2007

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Monday, February 5, 2007

?hola amigos! (i love that i can put upside down question marks and exclamations with this keyboard.. :) )... i?m still in palenque! but good news, i have my passport. i now fully understand what James is talking about in James 4:13-15 "Now listen, youwho say, ?today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year thre, carry on business and make money.?why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little whie and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ?if it sit he Lord?s will, we will live and od this or that.?" i keep setting these dates for when i?m going to be somewhere, but God has me where He wants me, when He wants me there. being here, while a little stressful cuz of the passport situation, has been such a learning experience for me. One, usually when something bad happens, or i lose something, my mom takes care of it for me. but this time i was the one who had to be aggressive to find it.   IN the morning, i found out that the woman who had my passport wasn?t going to be there that day, so i decided to look in the other places where it was possible i could?ve left it just in case the passport she had wasn?t mine. i decided to start with trying to find the man who drove me from maya bell, my hotel near las ruinas, to aexa where this all started. i was really lucky because i found him right away, and he has been such a godsent. i?m so thankful that he?s the one who picked me up on saturday from the ruins.   His name is oscar. when he found out that i had lost my passport, he took me, free of charge to maya bell, when i found out it wasn?t there, he took some time off, a short break, to take me to the radio station to make an announcement. this is a big deal because he makes his money by bringing passengers to and from the ruins, so he was giving me a lot. the radio station was really close, and when we went inside, they took my informacion, and made announcements all day and the next day, and gave out the number of jose in case anybody had found it. and they needed a copy of his id for some reason, so he ran to go make a copy and ran back, he was really out of breath when he got back. this is true friendship. so good to me.. more on him later..   this was my first time in the radio station. it was pretty interesting.. on sundays they have a program that?s run by kids, maybe 14 or younger.There was one young man, probably 17 or 18, that get this does a reggae station at 4.. excite you much ebe ;).. anyway, he had a bracelette with the picture of che guevarra that said rebelde.. and a shirt with marcos on the front. i was really excited that i knew that che guevarra was a revolutionary who fought for the rights of the people, and marcos is the ?"leader" for the zapatistas. there?s a lot of kids in the US who where che shirts, but contreras, i think here they know who he is ;)   after we made the announcement i decided to go back to aexa to ask one more time, and there was a man there who told me she was over by ADO.. so i went.. and she was there! yay! but she didn?t have my passport.. sadness.. she said she could go get it when one of her friends returned so she could watch her cart where she sold food. so i waited with her for i think a couple hours. The woman?s name is Syhyra.. very nice and peaceful. it was aweomse hanging out with her. I found out that she lived in palenque all her life, but she kept telling me that the work in the US seems better, because it pays more. she said she went to TJ to try to find a way to cross, but couldn?t, and returned to palenque because there was too much violence in TJ.. it was also really funny cuz i had the number of jose with me, and a newspaper, and she wanted to see it all, and then was holding it like it was hers. interesting.. but i liked that she felt tha comfortable about herself that she didn?t care what i thought.. or maybe she felt comfortable around me, i don?t know..it was nice just sitting with her, and seeing what her life is like. every day she goes to the same spot around 10, and leaves around 5 or so. she watches the people pass all day long. well.. the lady never came.. and syhra told me she would come to my hotel later on in the night.. but she never came.. so i looked looked and looked for her in the morning, but couldn?t find her. i thought she had left town. but when i returned to the hotel i found out that she had been there, and there was a guy who knew where she lived! ohale! and he took me there.. in the rain.. probably took us 20 mn?s to walk there. her home wasn?t much, but her daughters were so friendly, made us coffee and gave us bisuits. and the man who walked me to the home, pablo, stayed with me for an hour while we waited for syhra to come home.. after i got my passport, she asked me to visit when i come back on the 8th.. i hope i get to.. she?s really sweet.   that?s one thing i?ve learned. the people here are soo nice. they go out of their way to help you. and they really care about you, even if you are a stranger. at least that?s been my experience. it?s been good because i?ve learned how to be more aggressive, and not fear confrontation, and i?ve realized that God is really taking care of me. All of the people that took me around.. oscar (who i also ran into today and was going to try to help me but at that time i didn?t know where she lived), jose, pablo, miguel at the tourist office, syhra, they went out of their ways to help me, and these were the first people that i found. God brought such good people into my life, and i am so thankful. like my brother would say, "they?re good peoples"   i learned a lot from jose. he told me that ?"there are solutions to every problem in the world, except for death." because everyone will die one day. and he also kept telling me that i can do it (which is what i always tell the kids in mexico, so i thought it was a little ironic), and not to worry, because there is a solution. and he?was right. he helped me calm down a lot. I could tell that all his companeros de trabajo, liked him a lot.   He says that he is happy al the time, I think tha tit is good to be happy and nice, but i?m afraid that he does it to buy love, or to mask his pain. I found out that his wife divorced him 9 months ago, and when i took him dinner he told me it was because of infidelity on his part (more on this later). right now he rents an apartment, with a tv hammock and apartment, works 13 hours a day, 7 days a week, and gives his money to his kids, who he says every two days or so.   I also found out he is a christian, but he doesn?t go to church right now. i thought it was interesting that the first thing he asked me about was if i pray to icons like the saints. and i said i don?t and he said that was a good thing. there?s a passage .. psalm 115 that i gave you guys in the last email.. that talks about if you worship icons, that have ears but do not hear, and eyes but do not see.. you will become like them. and we talked about that for awhile.   I also found out, that he doesn?t believe in the sin of adultery.. and i was really sad when i found out why: he had a girlfriend in the church, and she cheated on him with the pastor. it?s no wonder he has the feelings he does..and did what he did in his marriage..  he says it?s because mexicanos think differently, they think about sex all the time, but i really think he was hurt by this experience.. so please pray him. Pray that God will rectify what happened for him, somehow... but it was awesome because he retold me the story of adam and eve, and the prodigal son last night. so even though i didn?t go to a service, i had church. we were the church together last night. so beatiful.. and i think one of the best services i?ve been to in a long time. Thank God.   He also told me much about the government in palenque. the goverment is corrupt here; they started charging a fee to cross into supposedly " protected" areas to all the turistas. jose thinks the money goes to the 5 jefes.. the five guys who control palenque. he thinks this because the bracelts they give out to the tourists don?t have an official number or anything on them, so there?s no way of keeping track of how many they sell or anything. interesting..   another interesting thing i found out today when i was hanging out with the guys who drive the vans to and from the ruins, was they very much dislike the espanoles de la conquista. they were kicking around a mouse on the street.. and i was telling them to stop.. and they just laughed.. and said there are so many here.. and they carry diseases.. and he went on to tell me how the espanoles brought them, and they brought all types of diseases that weren?t there before, and they took all of their gold. i told them not to forget they they have spanish blood too.. but they only laughed and said "no soy un indio" is interesting that they don?t want to be associated with them whatsoever, yet they prefer people with lighter skin..   i went to the radio station to tell them i found my passport, and stayed for awhile to chat. they were joking with me about marrying one of the people that worked there so he could come to the US, and i told them that i had a boyfriend, and when they found out he was african they seemed a little surprised that i was dating someone with darker skin.. i told them that i prefer it.. and the darker of the three said i like dark skin, because they have sugar in the blood.. it think it?s an expression that means they?re sweet.. and i would definitely have to agree that at least my man?s really sweet :)..   .. we were also talking about the economic situation, and they said that it got bad here about 10years ago, and people went from having money, to being very poor. but they didn?t know the reason.. it?d be interesting to find out..   well, that?s a lot of info.. but last thing, jose took me to a waterfall really close, on the way to the ruinas.. it was so nice cuz it was really hot and it helped relax me.. jose was so good to me.. praise God. i met a guy there too, who was almost child like as he climbed the falls and played around. i found out he has no family, so if you could pray for him to that would be awesome. i don?t remember his name, but God will know who you?re talking about, the man from the falls in palenque :)..   sorry it was so long today.. i was having fun reliving my experience.. i could write more.. but i won?t.. hasta luego amigos.
God bless, love, michelle     ps i have a ticket for san cristobal for 11 here.. 9 there.. but no gurantees that i?ll end up there :)   pps now i realize why your letters are always long steve! always something going on.. write me and tell me how the kids are!! and give them my love   ps the fotos for agua azul are up.. the ruinas will be up later.. the internet is very slow here..
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