The conference (and how I missed it)

by Jim on 25 November 2006

On Sunday we enjoyed the 10th anniversary celebration of the church in San Juan del Río.  There was a great service (yes, I understood some of it) and some delicious food afterwards.  Hannah and Nathanael were pretty tired, so we headed back to the house the relax the rest of the day on Sunday.  Sunday night we got some pizza from Sam’s Club, and then we went to bed.  Then everything changed.

My first clue was that Nathanael went to sleep instantly.  That just never happens.  Shari went to bed pretty early too.  But we didn’t get much sleep that night – hardly any.  We were sick.

I don’t mean a little sick.  I mean, really sick.  I don’t think I have ever been that sick (which of course is something to be thankful for!).  Well, maybe with migraine, but a migraine attack doesn’t last as long as this did.

Now I almost hate to mention this, because of course Mexico has this reputation, that you’re going to go there and get sick.  Now in all the months I’ve spent in Mexico, I’ve never gotten sick before.  And I know people who have been here for years and have rarely if ever gotten sick.  Also, this wasn’t the well known sickness from drinking the water.  We think it was food poisoning, which of course can happen anywhere.  So please, don’t think that you have to get sick if you go to Mexico.

Anyway, that being said, we were (that is Nathanael, Shari and I), totally, miserably sick.  I went down the next morning to get Hannah started on breakfast, but that’s all I did that day – the rest of the day I was in bed.  And most of the rest of the next day as well.  That was the day we were supposed to go to the conference.

On Wednesday morning we   d   r  a g g ed ourselves to the conference – one of the missionaries was gracious enough to lead us there (it was only about a 1/2 hour away).  Remember, at this point I had hardly eaten or even drank anything since Sunday night (remember the pizza?  Didn’t absorb much of that!), so I was pretty weak.  I think those suitcases all tripled in weight while I had been stuck in bed!

Nathanael and Hannah at the hotel
Nathanael and Hannah at the canon outside the front entrance of the hotel

The conference was at a beautiful hotel – a themed hotel (the Mexican Revolution).  It was chilly – below freezing at night and no heating in the rooms, though we had a heater.  The first day we pretty much spent in the room.  Note that all this time Hannah was pretty healthy, other than a cold.  She was able to take in a lot of the conference with the kids, so that was fun.  Shari was starting to get better, so by Thursday was taking in most things.  I was starting to get better by Thursday, but Nathanael was still pretty sick, so I was in the room with him all day.

In the end, I did go to a couple of half sessions on the last day, and did enjoy some meals.  By Friday my stomach was feeling a lot better and reminding me that I’d had to tighten my belt a notch after not eating or drinking all week.  So I was hungry!

What I saw of the conference was great.  We reconnected with some old friends, met lots of new people … I just wish I’d been able to see them more, and take in more of the great worship and teaching.  But there’s always next year!  (Here’s a brief note from a fellow missionary who didn’t miss the conference!)

After an uneventful drive through the world’s biggest city on Friday, we arrived in Cuernavaca.  Shari is feeling mostly better, Nathanael (who was hit hardest) is almost there too, and Hannah is still fine except for that cold.  And I’m doing fairly well, though not at 100% yet.  Today our hosts the Casteels put on a wonderful American Thanksgiving dinner, and my stomach was (thankfully!) able to handle it.

Today we took a look at the house we’ll be renting.  Lord willing we’ll be moving in in the next couple of days, but we’ll have to see how things go since we don’t have a fridge or bed or anything yet.  Some things need to be done before we can really live there.  I’ll let you know how things go – but for now, I need my sleep!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Godzwa November 26, 2006 at 4:38 pm

Well, welcome to the neighborhood. Of course your neighbors are only about a day and a half away! Sorry to hear about the sickness, but we’re glad to know that you’re making it through to the other side.

We have been in Merida now for almost 3 months, and we have noted that sickness is not uncommon. It seems to us though that we have been plagued with viruses of the respiratory variety however!

As far as the home is concerned, I would allow yourself plenty of time to get settled in. Setting up a home in Mexico is just not the same as in the states, or in Canada for that matter. We have adopted a quote from another missionary who says if you get one thing accomplished it’s a good day, two things accomplished it’s a banner day, while saying that you’ve accomplished three would make you a liar.

Jim November 27, 2006 at 7:46 am

You’re not helping me with the sickness topic here, brother! 😉

Thanks for the welcome. Your missionary friend is right – we’ve put that into practice during our times in Mexico. We’ve got lots to do. We’re going to see if we can get a fridge (where? how much? which one?), get it delivered (when? how much? where?) and get it hooked up (where? with what outlet? is it grounded? who cares? how many other things will be plugged in there? Oops – the power went out.) and some basics like food so we can stay in our house. One thing at a time! 🙂

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