Tuesday, July 8, 2008
My experience in Tecate, Mexico proved to be an easy, sugar-free week. The food provided at Rancho La Paloma was plentiful, and there was always something sugar-free, though here is what I was tempted with daily:
Breakfast: donuts, sugary cereals, cake muffins, Mexican yogurts
(I ate hard boiled eggs and fruit)
Snack Time: packaged cookies, crackers with cheese, fruit snacks, Gatorade
(I ate some sugar-free Odwalla bars that I brought from home)
Lunch: Oreos!, chocolate chip cookies
(I ate tuna sandwiches and fruit)
Dinner: for dessert every night there were a variety of Mexican ice creams, and one night a local restaurant came to cook dinner and they brought home made churros which they fried right there for us! All I could do was enjoy everyone else eating them.
(I ate extra portions of beans, rice, radishes and salsa at dinner.)
Building houses in the heat of the day led me to drink excess amounts of water and never did I crave sugar. It was strange to go through the lunch food line and look at all the melting Oreos. Overall, there was no time for food cravings. We were there with a team of great people to build homes for the poor and that's what we did. Our group built 5 houses in 3 days! The houses were donated to 5 poor families and they were given keys to their house on the third day. It was such an amazing experience. The "houses" they had been living in were shacks built with pieces of garbage and broken doors and hanging sheets. They lived on dirt floors. Garbage was everywhere, all over the hillside, coming out of their house, and scattered about by scavenger dogs who live off of the garbage. We were forbidden to feed the dogs there for some reason, but I fell in love with a red dog who looked EXACTLY like Santa's-Little-Helper from the Simpson's. He was red, and all ribs and hip bones. Every time he slowly lowered himself to the ground to lay down, his back legs and hips would clink against the jagged rock. He was flea bitten, scabbed over everywhere, and had runny, sad, but deep eyes. I fed him protein bars and tried desperately to figure out how to argue with the US border patrol to let me take him with me.