A few weeks ago it suddenly occurred to us that the summer was almost over and we still hadn’t made our move to take the trip to Creel that we had planned to take at the begining of the summer. Where had the time gone? Soon Jude would be back in school and we would be far less flexible to hop on the road for a cultural road trip and exploration of this amazing area of Mexico! So I contacted friends, found out who could come along with us and in no time at all the date was set and we were packing our bags to go see what there was to see in the gorgeous Sierra’s of Mexico in the south west of Chihuahua!
When you are student of a new country sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the necessity of learning the local language and you forget how important the culture is to learn as well! We wanted to learn a lot on this trip-both in adding to our Spanish vocabulary but also in our understanding of this country and it’s unique culture. Let me say, this three day trip did not disappoint!
Our companions for this trip were: another family who is also in language and culture study- the Husbands, a fellow missionary here- Crystal Pierce, and another couple who are Mexican missionaries here as well- Gaby and Adriana Saenz. It was a good mix of people to go and we were all really grateful to have Gaby & Adriana along to act as our guides as well as the ones we could practice our Spanish with and learn from! 😀 As we traveled further from the city it was beautiful to see how the landscape got greener and greener! The hours of travel went by very quickly as we passed herds of cattle, horses, sheep and goats and visiting with each other.
It was very interesting to observe the landscape changing and even the way people’s homes were built as we entered areas with pine forests. Very pretty!
In less than the time I had anticipated we were pulling into the little cabin we would be staying at thanks to a connection that the Saenz had. It was free, which was a huge plus for all of us and as soon as I saw the horse grazing freely and the pasture full of cows I knew we would love it! No better way to get to know people than to sleep side by side on mattresses in an open room! 😀 This would be fun!
The large dalmatian like farm dog greeted us happily as we unloaded our things and began discussions on who would sleep where as we moved around a few mattress’s to make it work out. After confirming that there was no warm water available in the cabin we all agreed to put up with each others stinkiness for the next few days with no complaints. 🙂 Next stop was Creel for dinner so we took off as soon as we could for there!
The city center in tiny Creel had so much to see. Many people were selling hand crafted things and while we kept an eye on all our kids we enjoyed walking around and thinking through the dozens of questions we had based on all the things we were observing. What are the things we are looking at? Who made them? What are they made out of? Where do the supplies come from? Are they local? What is the significance of these things? Are they useful? Are they decorative? Notice who is selling what-why is that? Etc, etc… Learning to ask questions is so important when you want to learn about culture and everything that is going on around you! I had lots of questions and saw a lot!
The talent of the people making all the things to sell was so amazing! Many of the vendors were making things as we walked by and it was so interesting to see what they were doing!
After exploring the streets for a while we went to dinner at a place called “Lupitas”. Although the temperature (and humidity!) in the restaurant reminded me a bit too much of Papua New Guinea, we enjoyed the delicious food and music!
After dinner we continued to walk around town and enjoy the energy of the town. When it started to dark we headed back to the cabin for the first night of our massive “sleep over” as Iris called it. 😀
Our first night in the cabin went better than we all expected. “Miss Crystal” was her usual kid magnet self and read bed time stories to the kids while we all did what we needed to do to get the beds ready and so on. All the kids slept pretty well and even the baby of the group didn’t wake anyone all night long. It was fun to be together and have the chance to talk.
This blog will be continued in Pt. 2…..