Monday, July 16

Crossing the border, take 2

So, I'm starting to wonder if every single border crossing is going to be filled with excitement and frustration. I suppose when you deal with two border crossing teams where you "lose" your rights to say or do anything, other than "yes, sir" or "si, senor", then excitement and frustration should be expected.

Yesterday's adventure started at the dark hour of 4:30 AM (!!!). Everyone was bleary-eyed as we loaded up. Our envoy contained three vans of people and the center's ghetto van, which held every one's luggage plus Erin and I and our visiting friends who flew home yesterday. We led the envoy in our center's van (some day I'll have to do a post on the ghetto van and share all it's glory with you!).

When we arrived to the border, Erin commented that it had been a long time since she had seen that particular border's line being so long. According to the border crossing wait time, it was only an hour's wait but little did we know! Erin chose what is the typically the fastest lane but our visiting friend Drew informed us that because Drew was with us, all four vans would be subject to his "gift." His gift is simply that whatever line he is in becomes the longest wait time. Sure enough in our chosen "fast" wait, the projected wait time turned into 2.5 hours. We were all sweating buckets as the ghetto van has no air conditioning and the driver side window doesn't roll down.

When we reached the border, we crossed first. For some reason, the border guy wasn't too excited about the 40 pieces of luggage in the back of van and then requested that we proceed to the second inspection! Thankfully we were the only van to be send to 2nd inspection...everyone was passed through just fine.

We parked the van to wait for an officer's attention and direction. A70 year old-ish female officer comes to our vehicle and told us that she needs every bag to be unloaded for inspection. The four of us start to undo our seat belts when she commands that only one of us can get out. So Erin hops out and starts the process of unloading all 40 bags. After the woman officer left, a kinder male officer came around...I asked him if I could help Erin to which he replied, "sure, no problem." Praise the Lord! So Erin and I unloaded them all, the woman came back and look through 5 bags, and shortly thereafter, we were told we could go. So Erin, Drew, and I loaded up all the bags, once again. And after that additional 20 minute-ish delay, we were back on the road to meet up with the team. The team got to the airport with about 1 hour to spare. And that was part 1 of our exciting adventure on Saturday. Part 2 was the trip home.

In Mexico, we stopped for gas. Here in Mexico, attendants fill your tank. While gas was being filled into our two tanks, the attendant checked the oil, only to discover that our oil (and other fluids) were all very low. She poured in three liters of oil and a couple of other items. We were finally good to go about 15 minutes later. However, when Erin tried to start the ghetto van, the battery only chugging or turning over. So we had to have a old Mexican cowboy help us out by jump starting our van. He was thankfully about to get us going again, much to our relief. At this time, we were still about 1.5 hours away from home so have asked our teammates to rescue us would have been a big long deal. Needless to say, it was a crazy day. We all came home very very tired.

And next Saturday, I get to go up there again! Who knows what exciting adventures await!?!

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