Hi All - I am going to give this platform a shot for sharing my experiences from this summer. I haven't tested it out much, so if it is a pain...I am sorry.
Soph and I had an amazing week in Portland, OR (June 18-June 25). Honestly, there is not much in that town not to love. I was texting photos throughout of very funny storefronts and signs. Things like "MF Tasty" for the name of a food truck. And "Cuts, Shaves, Whiskey" for - I kid you not - a bar and barber. Get a shave, get a whiskey. Another highlight was a dude spinning vinyl in a gift shop. Two turntables, salsa funk. While you are buying birthday cards. The Portlandia-ness of it was out of hand. The trees were a) many, b) very tall, c) magnificent. I dug it out there alot.
Total Ya-Ya fest with my college girls - and all of our children. We did a full-on Ya-Ya ceremony around a fire pit with drumming and regalia. Not kidding. I'll figure out photos on this platform and (maybe) share some. Donna and her family hosted us; 5 million points for Donna's husband, Craig, who shuttled, poured, grilled, laughed for and with us. (He has 19 years of experience with this clan under his belt....but still!)
Yesterday, I flew Portland to Harlingen, TX. But let's be clear, it was actually: Portland-Las Vegas-Houston-Harlingen. I woke at 3:30AM and got to my bed in Los Fresnos, TX about 8:30PM. It was a long day. I was welcomed literally with open arms by Father Pereira at the airport, and then he took me for enchiladas. So, it's basically a perfect fit for me here. Father Pereira (whom I will call El Pastor from now on) helped me settle in a little house across the street from his church and the small housing complex he has built over the years for refugees. I have my own room, and share the house with an abuelito named Jesse. Jesse has lived in Los Fresnos since 1964, and traveled the country picking fruits and vegetables until his knee gave out in 2001. At least that is what I am understanding between my hilarious Spanish and his halting English. But I know my Spanish veggies pretty well, so I think I am on target.
No wifi in the house, but there is AC. I also have a ceiling fan in my room. I share a bathroom and kitchen with Jesse. Mi casa para (por?? dios mio) tres semanas.
El Pastor will pick me up in a little bit and introduce me to what I will be doing. I still don't have much of an idea what that is. Last night he mentioned re-building his website after I told him I worked at an ed-tech company. Eeeeek - all these tech skills I don't have! Or Spanish! I hope they trust me with a washing machine.
Hugs and love to all.