Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sickness... and Mexico City!

ER…On Tuesday I made my first trip to the ER. I had been having chest pains for a couple of days and they seemed to be getting worse. The pain was making it difficult to breath. I wouldn’t have been too concerned but we were leaving for Mexico City on Thursday and I knew I wouldn’t have medical access there. Windy (one of our students who just graduated as an RN) looked at my chest and could see a bone protruding a bit. We got to the ER around 9:15- thirty minutes and $25 later (with no insurance) I was set to go! The doctor said I basically pulled a muscle in my chest in our kickboxing class and it was really swollen and pushing on my chest and sternum- causing a bone to poke out.

Montezuma’s Revenge…. This is the sickness Sandy (MTW missionary here) was telling us we could experience here. You must use purified water and food must be washed very meticulously in this special solution, and sometimes restaurants get lazy and this is when we get sick. It starts with vomiting and diarrhea, and progresses to fever, chills, horrible stomach cramps, body ache, dehydration, ect. It basically feels like you are dying and will never recover. I began throwing up after dinner on Wednesday and continued to get sick all night long. I never thought I would ever be able to make it on our 9:00am flight to Mexico City that next morning. However, by God’s grace, I did. I could tell the Lord had a special hand on me because whether I had eaten something bad, or had a bad virus, I never should have stopped vomiting that soon. I felt horrible and popped anti-nausea pills like candy, but I made it all the way through all of our traveling that first day (see below). It was a small miracle! Although my sickness continued throughout our stay in Mexico City, I only had to throw up when I actually had access to a bathroom. I was so thankful that the Lord was granting me special grace to travel all over the city and be with the team. I have still continued to throw up periodically- Please pray for my continued recovery and that I will be able to keep food down. Please pray that if this is a virus, the rest of the team will not get it.

Trains, Planes, & Automobiles- Actually it was van, plane, van, subway, train, boat, and bus all in the day we arrived!!! (and now you see why I said it was a small miracle I didn’t throw up). After we arrived in Mexico City (the second largest city in the world), we traveled to take a cute little boat ride through a village. On the way home we learned a hard lesson. You must push people out of the way in order to get off of the subway in time. A few of our students almost didn’t make it off. The doors started shutting, Kim started screaming to get off, and Sam and I grabbed the sides of the doors and forced them open so our students would not be separated from us in this huge city. The cop was very angry with us, and Isai said if we had been Mexicans, he would have taken us to jail. We all got off the subway much more quickly the rest of the trip. Another scary thing here is crossing the street. Pedestrians definitely don’t have the right of way ANYWHERE in Mexico- people will absolutely run you over. We have to run…

Sightseeing...One of the highlights of Mexico City was the pyramids. These pyramids were built by native Indians who were conquered by the Aztecs (which also used the pyramids). I ate a PB&J at the top of the highest one… definitely the coolest place I’ve ever eaten a PB&J.:) We also toured a famous Cathedral and went to the anthropological museum. We didn’t go into the main square of the city because there was a protest going on there with a rebel military and we thought we shouldn’t get too close. The Cathedral was very ornate and beautiful, but also very sad as we saw all these people bringing things to Mary and trying to pay money for their sin- a cost much too great for them, and one that’s already been paid. I was personally thrilled to find a Subway, but not so thrilled later when I threw it up because I think the lettuce wasn’t cleaned well. L Sunday we were able to attend a Mass service at the Basilica de Guadalupe. This is supposedly the third most visited religious site in the world behind the Vatican and Mecca. This was very eye opening and sad as people crawled on their knees to the building in order to pay penance for their sin.

Character development...Mexico City was very stretching for us all. It was very difficult trying to stay together as a group, catch all the subways, trains, buses at the right time and to the right place, not getting food when we were hungry, not stopping when people were tired, not doing what everyone wanted to do, not placing the needs of others above our own, ect. This provided the atmosphere for a lot of frustration and anger to come out. Please pray that the Lord will use this to grow our character and that He will guide the staff in how to channel this sin into an environment of grace and communication with one another.

The food…we’ve all pretty much decided that we don’t really prefer the food here and daydream all the time of where we will go first when we get back. I’m not sure if it’s the half-cooked chicken, the impure water/ice, the undisenfected lettuce, or because mine keeps coming back up, but I will be especially excited to get back and eat some good food. I feel as though I may turn into a PB&J soon- I eat at least one a day.


Jennifer said...

You are always in my prayers!!! Stay strong! Love you!

Demetrius, Amy & Jayden said...

Hey Katie...sorry to hear about the sickness and all the drama of running around in Me hi co City. Pray the Lord will sustain yall. Gotta admit it was a great experience huh?

nan said...

thanks for the e-mail to let me know of your update. the kids and i just had a pb@j. I was trying to imagine to being on top of the pyramid amidst the chaos of lunch with the three children. We are praying for you and love yall!