Wednesday, 28 February 2018

A Loooong Weekend - Road Trip

Our plans for this past weekend were simple, drive to Queretaro to visit life time friends.

Immigration Mexico had other ideas.

When we arrived 4 years ago, we took out temporary residency, as is required.  After four years, they require you to apply for permanent residency.

Well, since we are returning to Canada at the end of April, we, along with the lady at immigration, decided it would make more sense to just extend our temporary residency for another year.

Well, her boss did not agree with her.  She denied that option. Then gave us two options. The first, apply for permanent residency within five days - virtually impossible!  Or, option 2, we had 30 days to leave the country and turn in our paperwork! We could then come in as tourists.

So our plans changed.  Instead of a long weekend with friends, we had a short weekend with friends and a trip to the border.
Pablo and myself, Ernie, Martha and their son Pablito
First things first.  We arrived in Queretaro early afternoon to spend some time with these wonderful friends.  This family (one son and grandson missing) lived next door to us in Chihuahua.  They became very good friends and we have continue our friendship over the miles.  They are so very special to us. 

We enjoyed a wonderful barbecue on their rooftop patio while we did some catching up on our lives.  We talked life, family, work, and faith.  It very quickly went to spiritual matters and ran long and deep.  It was such a wonderful afternoon and evening.

The next day we did the touristy thing and hit the road together.  We took in two towns, one they had never visited (a small typical Mexican mining town, turned ghost town) and the second was well known to them and lovely. 
Us in the ghost town!

From there we drove another 2 hours to Bernal.  It was a quaint little town, very touristy. 

The attraction to the town is the big rock you see sticking out of the ground in the background.  You can climb to the top (almost) and there are tours up there.  We did not to that.  We walked through the town and had lunch.  
Lunch was gorditas.  Although it looks like a cookie, it is not.  It is blue corn flour made into a pocket (somewhat like a pizza pocket) and filled with whatever you pick.  There are lots of options.  Ernie chose his favourite, which is rajas (chilli cut into strips with onions and cream).  I chose meat with chilli pasado and tinga (chicken in a tomato/chilli sauce), they chose chicharron (pig skin, not crispy but chewy).  But there were about 10 different kinds.  They were all very good!

The evening was spent playing table games, snacking and visiting.  It was a rich time for us.  It would have been nice to visit longer but alas, not possible this time round. 

Sunday morning we got into our car and headed to the US border (Laredo, TX).  It was a loooong day of driving.  That said, the roads were new and made for good driving time.  We arrived during daylight hours.  Having never been at this border, and border towns being notorious for poor signage, we were unsure of how this worked.  

But if Ernie is good a something, he is extremely good at asking at the border.  While we had though to just cross and not turn in our paperwork, as the sign said they were closed.  With a few questions to a young man who seems to look like he knew what he was doing.... we got rerouted and got it done.  Just wanted a little tip.  That was an answer to prayer!

Made it to our hotel by 6:30ish.  Got settled, had a quick supper and crashed.  Monday we did some errands and a little shopping, more relaxing and then hit the hay.  Tuesday Morning we were once again on the road.  

This was our worry, immigration.  Not because we thought we wouldn't be let in, but we had some complicated paperwork issues that we were concerned about.  And, as our son Chris said, 'Oh ye of little faith."  He told us that when things are difficult, seemingly impossible, that's when God shines!  And He did.  We got through within an hour.  PTL!  We were given 180 days (more than enough to finish up here) and a new vehicle permit.

So from there we had a 10 hour drive back to Guadalajara. We were stopped twice by the Federal Police. Both times we were let go with a 'just checking'.  Arrived home at 7:30 p.m., tired but glad to be here. 

So once again we are extremely thankful.  God has gone before us and behind us.  He has answered our prayers, even those prayed in doubt.  

We are in the throws of packing up as the people who bought our furniture are here and wanting it.  We will 'camp' for a bit and then move into Reimer's house for the last month.  

We continue to covet your prayers as we say our good byes both here in Guadalajara and in other parts of  Mexico.  We are headed to Chihuahua to say good byes to the rest of our neighbours and spending a day with our church people, as those relationships are dear to us too. 

Goodbyes hurt but with social media we are able to remain in one anothers' lives. 

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