The last day of our trip was one that simply did not have enough hours in it! Most of us had pressing reasons to need to be back in the city by that night and as we considered all our options of things to do and the time it would take to do them (especially with six kids in tow!) we were all feeling a bit down that it would be impossible to do everything! 🙂 The time was going way too fast.
This is where I will insert a little bit about the relational aspects of our trip. Taking this trip with the people we did was a really important part of the whole time. Having deep and trusting relationships with your coworkers is always important but especially so when you are in ministry. We do not know what the Lord has in store for us in the future but He might very well have us working along side some of these people! It’s exciting to think of how He may use some of our relationships in the future as coworkers for the sake of His beautiful gospel. We learned a lot about Mexico on this trip-it’s geography and it’s culture -but we also learned a lot about each other. Living together for these days and spending so much time with each other was a treat. We did have moments when the kids squabbled and got a bit sick of certain play mates but for the most part we all jelled incredibly well. I was blessed to witness the godly character in these friends as some were asked to be extra patient with shenanigans from kids that they were not used too, others shared a lot and the necessity arose to work together and often let go of personal expectations for the benefit of our whole group. I am very thankful for the opportunity we all had to see different sides of each other and grow closer as friends and possible future team mates! We will see what the Lord does in the years to come.
Now onto what we did on the last day! It was decided that the best use of our time was to go visit a beautiful waterfall called “Cusarare” about an hour drive away. When we first discussed the plan I didn’t really understand clearly what would be involved to get to this waterfall. I knew we would be driving through the mountains for a bit on paved roads and then I understood that there would be a section to drive through the was “rougher” after which we would be hiking to the falls. Well-“rough” is a pretty relative term. If you are driving a massive truck “rough” might mean one thing and if you are driving a minivan (like we were), it could be something else. At least in my mind. 😀
The drive through the mountains on the paved winding roads was perfect and beautiful, and soon we were slowing down as two young Tarahumara indian boys ran towards us on the road waving and motioning us to follow them off the main paved road down a drop onto a dusty road in among the mountainous pines. Our two van “caravan” had a bit of a difficult time deciding which way we should go as the boys tried to “sell us” on why we should give them money and take their road… and give them a ride. 🙂 As cute and convincing as they were, after giving them some things from our van we ended up deciding to go a bit further and choose a different way.
This was about the time I started to be a bit concerned for our wonderful van as I saw the first drop off the paved road into a valley stream area leading us further into the rocky mountain “road.” Don’t get me wrong, it was breathtakingly beautiful! Gorgeous fields with grazing horses and cows that quickly turned into solid rocks and boulders winding up and around. We absolutely love our Honda van (which was a gigantic provision of the Lord!) and we proceeded with the utmost caution as we began our “off roading” on the single lane rocky expanse of ‘kinda road’ that I never anticipated ever needing to drive on. 😀 Most of the time we were able to keep the tires high enough to avoid hitting the rocks beneath us but a few times there was no option but to go right down into a rough hole and we winced as we heard the noises under the van. 🙁 Thankfully the van was not damaged in anyway even though a few sounds we heard made us think otherwise!
Thankfully we could take it slow and enjoyed looking down over the edge of the road as it dropped down toward the rocky creak bed several hundred feet below us. Several times we had to pull over as far as we could to the side to allow an on coming vehicle to squeeze by us. Part of the way there we were stopped by a Tarahumara woman and her many children. She informed us of how much we needed to pay her to continue traveling on the road towards the falls. So many of the Tarahumara who live in the mountains here rely on visitors to provide some of their income. After all, we were basically driving through their “yard” in a way. 🙂 After paying her we continued on our way slowly and cautiously. After almost a half an hour we finally reached a level spot by a slow moving river where we could park safely.
The kids enjoyed throwing rocks into the water while we all prepped for the hike to the falls.
Off we went on our hike. It was absolutely perfect. Not too challenging for the kids, wonderful shade from the pine trees and constant beauty to look at as we went.
To make the view even better and more interesting, all along the way we were able to observe beautiful hand crafted items made by the Tarahumara people. Carvings, jewelry made from berries, nuts and seeds and all manner of baskets and hand woven items. We all enjoyed hiking and looking at everything along the way but since I am an avid crafter and artsy person I was especially thrilled with all that I saw. 😀
Just as the kids were almost “done” hiking we made it to the breathtaking views at the top of the waterfall! We took some time to take it all in, drink some water and then it was time for the long way down to the base of the falls. Thankfully there were beautiful stairs to help us out. 🙂
After a simple descending of the many levels of stairs we were at the bottom of the falls and some of us lost no time in getting in the water while others sat and relaxed and admired how gorgeous it all was.
After about an hour down at the base of the falls we realized we needed to start the treck back to our vans in order to make it back to the city before midnight. Needless to say, our trip DOWN all those stairs was much more pleasant than the way back up but we made it- huffing and puffing as we went. 😀
On our hike back to our vans we were able to buy a few things from the Tarahumarah ladies and Jude and Iris both picked something out too. They loved everything they saw! Again there was so much to see as we went. Tarahumarah “cowboys” riding their beautiful horses, the river, ladies gathered under trees making their hand crafts and talking, children running through the trails playing, etc.
The rest of the evening was a lot of driving, a lot of tired kids, a lot of debriefing and good conversations, getting caught in a torrential down pour of rain, stopping to get “elotes” (yummy Mexican corn) and “dorinachos” (nachos using Doritos) for a snack and driving long into the night to get back to the city.
We are so thankful to the Lord for allowing us this little trip, for keeping us safe and for teaching us so much through it. It was nice to “get out” and away from the classroom and our boring desks to see and experience more of this beautiful country we are serving in!
It is humbling and awe inspiring to be reminded that our Savior holds it all in the palm of His hand and cares so deeply for every soul here in Mexico and every other place in the entire world. Not one pine needle can fall in the Sierras of Mexico without Him knowing about it just as no coconut can fall on the beach of a little island in Papua New Guinea without Him being aware. THAT is the God we serve. That is the all powerful One who desires to have a close relationship with all mankind who have been separated from Him by sin. Everyone needs to know of Him and His love and grace toward all people. That is why we are here in Mexico and it is our privilege to be for His sake.
If you have questions about knowing the Lord, please feel free to contact us and ask us anything! We would love to share His truth with you!