Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mexican Bugs

I have a new favourite saying, coined during my recent trip to Mexico:
Mexican drugs for Mexican bugs.
Clever and catchy, wouldn't you agree? I'd put it on a bumper sticker, but I'd probably just increase the number of times I get pulled over.

Nobody is better suited to treat uniquely Mexican health issues than the local Mexican doctor. And when I found myself the unwilling and unwitting recipient of a uniquely Mexican bug, a visit to a local médico, and a further visit to a farmacia, did the trick.

Maybe I should pause here, and give you the back-story:

Every year about this time, a local high school does a six-week "Global Citizen Project" at Puerto Escondido, in the beautiful state of Oaxaca, Mexico. This is the grade 12 grad trip for the students, and it's a huge deal at this school. However, one very special young man, Matthew, couldn't go for the entire six weeks due to his confinement to una silla de ruedas (see picture for translation clue). The plan was for Matthew to join his classmates for ten days.

Matthew's parents, John & Kathy, are dear friends of ours, and when they asked me to accompany them to assist with Matthew, I was thrilled. I love this family, and of course, I love Mexico.

Another mutual friend, Trent, was originally supposed to accompany the family on this particular trip, but was unable due to scheduling conflicts. Trent and his wife prayed about it, and suggested to John & Kathy that I accompany them instead. And they would pay for it. This was an incredible blessing, because there's no way I could have gone otherwise.

And so, I found myself back in Mexico, a country my entire family loves and misses. In some ways, Puerto Escondido is quite different than Tijuana -- the brutal heat & humidity, for example, and it's a small town -- but in most ways, it felt very familiar. And I discovered that my Spanish wasn't too rusty, which was a good thing because I was by myself in Mexico City for a day and a half, and nobody I met spoke a word of inglés. While in Mexico City, I also picked up some uninvited bacterial guests, which made the rest of the trip eventful, but not in the way I had hoped.

The good news is that I was still able to fulfill my primary reason for being there, which was to help with Matthew. The other news is that when I wasn't helping with Matthew, I was keeping close proximity to any available baño. For a week, I lived on Gatorade, in my mission to keep hydrated.

Comic Relief: Mid-week, I attempted to fry myself a couple of eggs, hoping to get some protein into my system, but the second egg I cracked over the frying pan was rotten, black and sulphurous. The stench was like a slap up-side the head.

I decided to stick with Gatorade, later supplemented with salty crackers.

After being sick for a week, the leaders of the trip decided I should see a local doctor, where I had another opportunity to practice my español, and came away with some wonderful pharmaceutical products, which greatly improved my health and happiness.

Matthew had the time of his life. He absolutely loved being with his classmates on their grad trip, even if just for ten days, and he loved being in Mexico. He was a hit with everyone he met, which is normal for him: he is a special young man, with a great family. It was a privilege to be a part of his Grade 12 Grad trip.

Since returning to Canada, I have continued to take the wonderful Mexican drugs that I was given, and am about 95% back to health as of today.

To all those who were praying for me during this trip, especially as news of the fiesta in my innards spread, thank you for your prayers. It was a great trip! I'm glad I was able to serve Matthew and his family, and despite the heat, humidity (and, of course, the Plague), I absolutely loved being back in Mexico.

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