A great introduction!
So we get to Mexico and our first week here we get to travel with a group of 20 people down south on the Baja. We had a very dynamic, diverse group: seven Mexicans, three Americans and nine people from LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute). We were fortunate enough to have a retired nurse from Victoria agree to accompany us a few days before we left. She was an amazing help and at each community we went to she gave a first aid class. I was lucky enough to be able to help her by explaining and demonstrating CPR and choking with a few of the other girls. She taught ways to aid in cuts, impalements, giving birth, nose bleeds, extrication from a car collision and a few other very helpful daily ailments. These are things we overlook because we have been fortunate enough to have taken widely available first aid courses or simply have the advantage of having an ambulance usually fairly close to where we live. However, in rural areas and tiny little towns we also know that it can be awhile for the ambulance to show, and a few hours to the nearest hospital, as it is for many of the Mexican communities we were in. It felt great to be able to benefit the people with some of the knowledge that I have, as well as seeing the rest of our group too . Five of the Mexicans with us also gave courses on agriculture, computers, food preserving and candy making, which, for the most part, all seemed pretty well received. We also brought down a huge load of clothing and shoes to donate to each community and beans, rice and flour to donate to the families we stayed with.
The Baja is beautiful. Such interesting desert landscape; cactus forests, gorgeous beaches, and boulder mountains that always leave you with, how the heck did they get there?! (Which we learned was apparently wind and erosion of mountains…) It was fun to be roughing it for the week, tents for the first little while, then when we got lazy, and realized it was much cooler to just sleep under the stars on the beach. There usually seemed to be a cactus not too far away that could serve as a bano (bathroom) door. We had lots of time to explore, climb, survey and swim, although I wish there were a few more days of that. One day we got to swim in the Pacific Ocean (a little chilly but I’m tough haha) and a large bunch of seals swam up pretty close to shore. So cool!!
All in all, the trip was pretty amazing; learned a lot, saw a lot, tasted a lot! Some of it delicious, some of it not so much (Menudo soup….. stomach lining of a cow…… mmmmmmm). It was definitely an awesome way to start off our four month experience here in Mexico. (Tara)