So I went to Tijuana…

After going to Flood church for a few weeks, I decided I would try to get more involved, as I was not very active in church when I was an undergraduate at UCSD. Last week I saw an announcement in the pamphlet about an orphanage trip to Tijuana, and I figured this would be a good opportunity to get my feet ‘wet’. After a lengthy back and forth via email with the organizer of the trip, I was about to join the group. J. Tan was interested as well but had to take care of some ridiculous government identification issues, but eventually he was able to get the money into the Flood offices ensuring his spot on the team as well.

We met up at the Flood offices at 8:30 am on Saturday, and went through a few icebreakers, and then some logistics before all 8 of us got into the van. We went down to the border which went very smoothly, and then Kevin looked around and realized that he didn’t have his passport nor his keys with him. He realized that he had forgotten the passport and keys on top of the van during our prayer, and we had already driven more than 40 miles. We stopped the van, and Kevin went around to the back where he had left them, and miraculously found his keys still there, but his passport was no where to be found. Instead of going back and looking for the passport, we decided to just keep going with the plan and headed to the orphanage. There was surprisingly not too much traffic, but to get to the orphanage required plowing up a steep non-paved road. Although it was extremely bumpy, we got through it and started our day with the kids. We unloaded our cargo, and gave the director diapers and shampoo, which she had mentioned the orphanage needed (there’s a funny Costco story to go with the diapers and shampoo). We then started interacting with the kids, there were about 25 of them(one of whom began crying as soon as we pulled in…not a great start). We played futbol and football with the kids, where they kicked it into the ravine multiple times, and each time a brave soul would go down the steep incline and retrieve said ball. The kids would say ‘capuchin’ and point at our shoulders, and of course we obliged them and lifted them up, and then spun in circles to make them dizzy. The kids loved this one ‘game’ which involved us lifting them up to reach the I-bars of the kitchen/common area ceiling, where they would go head-to-head to see who could hang on the longest. For some reason, there were a lot of tears when we were at the orphanage. The kids were also really physical and would hit and punch each other, so we spent a fair amount of time consoling kids and breaking up scuffles.

During lunch time, we had the kids sit down, and we served them sandwiches, orange slices, pretzel sticks, and fruit punch. While I was walking around refilling their cups, they would yell ‘Chino! Chino!’ at me to get me to come over and pour more juice for them. For the rest of the day, I was only known as ‘Chino!’ to these kids, not Jorge, Josh, Yosh, or Josue… just ‘CHINO!’ After lunch, we did some arts and crafts with the kids and played a few more games. We sang a few more songs, and then it was time for us to head back to the States. Now, this is when we started to get worried, as Kevin still didn’t have a passport. When we got to the border, there was surprisingly not that many people, and we only waited 15 minutes to get to the border kiosk. We barely were able to get churros and nieves! We finally reached the front of the line, and talked with the border agent. Thankfully Kevin is blond haired and blue eyed, making it more believeable to even the most hardcore border patrol agent to realize that he is really an American. If anything, I was the most troublesome as I foolishly forgot to sign my passport. We drove back to the offices, and on our way there, we joking said to keep our eyes on the lookout for Kevin’s passport. When we were a few minutes from the offices, I saw a passport sized booklet on the side of the road that also looked suspiciously like a passport, and we made a U-turn and it was in fact Kevin’s lost passport.

Despite a lot of tears, being tired from spinning kids around on our shoulders, losing (but finding) passports and keys, I really enjoyed the trip and hope that I can go back again.

The team and the kids

One Response to “So I went to Tijuana…”
  1. Chiyori Angevine says:

    THATS AWESOME!! I hope you get to go again too so I can read about it X)

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