Friday, September 29, 2017

Austin and Rusty

Here's an update and Austin...and the ever-growing Wakefield family! 

As you all know, Austin broke his leg back in March. He had surgery done on it here, but it was later discovered that the bones were not lined up and therefore not healing correctly. He went to the US and had it re-broken and operated on again. 
Austin has never done so much sitting around in one year. He was going positively batty!
He was on crutches for a total of five months! Here at the end, he was given the ok to switch over to a cane. 

He came back to Mexico and started going to physical therapy twice a week. 

While Austin is in therapy, sometimes we'll grab a bite to eat or just wait in the waiting room. One particular day, Mom and I ate across the street then somehow got separated in the parking lot, then reunited at the entrance to the physical therapy...I guess she didn't see me. We sit down across from each other in the waiting room and after a couple minutes, my phone dings with a text from Mom saying, "Where are you?" 
I looked up at her and replied, "Umm, Mom? Hi." 
We died laughing.

Thankfully, school is done sitting down and Austin has no excuses for getting behind!
In other news - 
The Wakefield family shrunk and then grew in the past month. Dixie, one of the German Shepherds, had a mid-life crisis and ran away. My parents have been intent on all things home-protection since getting broken into late last year. They want two dogs at all times to scare off robbers. 

So...Meet Rusty, the new little Doberman.

I've kind of had a thing against Dobermans since I was little - a family we were working with had one and it looked like the meanest, cruelest dog. 
But who can resist a snuggly puppy?? He really is a cutie.

After having him a couple weeks, we started wondering if the vet sold my parents a full-grown Chihuahua. How can such a scrawny, bony little puppy grow up to be such a large and menacing dog? 

Well, I've noticed him getting bigger these past couple weeks when I go over there. He might just be the real thing...


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Parque Puebla

 Today we went to the grand opening of a mall here in town called Parque Puebla. We have been so excited about this mall because the company that built this place also built several super fancy plazas in Mexico City. These plazas include places like Olive Garden, Cheesecake Factory, PF Changs, Applebee's, Krispy Kreme, Carl's Jr, California Pizza Kitchen, Panda Express, Chili's, Dairy Queen....
You get the picture. 

My grandparents church and house are on the side of Puebla that has a mall, restaurants, hospitals, fun places to go, Costco, several Walmarts (a very sophisticated place here in Mexico - haha!) shopping centers, etc. Our side of town has a market, some run-of-the-mill grocery stores, a cool park. We drive about 45 minutes to go across town to do the things we need to do. 

Needless to say, we are very very excited to have this huge mall built in walking distance of our house! (You know how everything is in walking distance...if you have enough time. :) 
In reality, it is about a 10-minute drive from our house.

 I'm not a huge fan of Starbucks, but Dad likes to study there and normally has to drive at least half an hour to the nearest one. 
We walked through the entrance of this new mall and Starbucks was the first thing we saw. 

The 5th customer!
 This plaza is huge, modern and fancy! 

We'd heard there was going to be a ribbon-cutting and inauguration at some point so we went down to this area where a bunch of important-looking people were gathered. There were tables of super fancy hor d'oeuvres that were being guarded by pitbulls in black suits.

Finally the time came and these guys started buzzing around passing out these fancy (and tiny) finger foods and glasses of wine and soda. Yes, wine. I was shocked.

We took pictures of each round of hor d'oeuvres that came around.
Cream cheese on dark bread and blackberry kiwi tart
Tortilla espanola on bread and a blackberry kiwi tart
Chocolate covered strawberries
As these guys brought each platter out, I got giddier and giddier. This was really fun.
Chips with chipotle toppings
Bread with rasberry and goat cheese spread - this was the only nasty one.
Cucumber and brown bread with cheese, cherry tomatoes, cheese, and artichoke hearts
Chips with chipotle toppings - Mom kept choosing this off the platters coming around and I told her to please stop because we needed variety for the blog - LOL.
More artichoke hearts, cheese and tomato kabob, and mom...again with her chipotle hummus chip.
Shwimp cream cheese on a chip, and Mom's chipotle hummus chip. C'mon, Mom. Choose something else!
When the guy came around again, she finally got something different - mini corn on the cob on bread...and as I joke I grabbed the chipotle hummus chip. HA!

 The bread was all that kind of fancy, sophisticated kind of stale, but I told Mom it was actually like that because they'd been working on this all for FOUR DAYS.
Tortilla espanola and tiny corn on the cob on bread
After getting stuffed off of these tiny finger foods, we walked around checking out this new mall.

We found another Starbucks on the 3rd floor.

The food court

View from the food court

I'm excited to see what stores go into this mall and the restaurants we'll have nearby. The area this mall is in is kind of...not that pretty... So it will be interesting to see how it all starts perking up and looking shnazzy. 

(That moment when you realize your side of town is going to be sophisticated.)


Monday, September 25, 2017

Quake Update

It's been almost a week since the big earthquake. I thought I'd get on here and give a quick update about what is going on down here. Elder and Sis Wakefield were in the air on their way to NYC when the quake hit so they've missed out on all the upheaval. My grandma asked me yesterday if everyone is in a panic and I said no, not really. My family is pretty calm. However, after yesterday, my opinion changed. A lot of people have heard reports of another bigger earthquake that is supposedly coming. As far as I know, there is no possible way to predict a quake, but many people here believe this prediction anyways. People do seem to be on edge, there is an air of tension. There was a 6.1 quake about 6 hours from us in Oaxaca a couple days ago. Mexico just can't catch a break! 

We went out on outreach yesterday and Mom and I walked back and forth across this pedestrian bridge handing out a flier specifically made for these times.
This is a bridge that goes over a major road here in town. On either side of this bridge are bus stops. People are getting on and off buses constantly. This is a great place to reach a ton of people!

 Has God shaken your life? 
God is talking to you today. It's time to seek him. 
Put your feet on the Rock that doesn't move - Jesus Christ.
 As we were coming down off this bridge, Mom handed a lady this flier. She gasped as she took and clutched my mom's arm saying, "Is the ground shaking? Oh no! The ground is shaking!" She was in a panic. Mom replied, "No! It is just the cars below making the bridge shake!" The lady gave a nervous laugh then continued on her way. 
You can see what I mean now by there being fear in the hearts of the people! 

I was doing dishes before going out the other day and before I left I thought - "Man. I hope there isn't an earthquake while I'm gone."
LOL. This didn't need any help in toppling over.
 This is what it looks like driving in the historical center of town. Buildings are falling apart, there is caution tape everywhere, police blocking roads. Authorities are asking people to not venture into this part of town because the buildings are very old and certain structures, walls, cement overhangs, etc could give way at the slightest provocation. Officials are going place to place, school to school, checking to see if they are safe. Kids haven't returned to school.

There has been a huge push for donations...
I honestly can't remember how to say it in English...I looked it up and it says "provisions" and "collection center". You know what I mean though. There are collection points set up all over town receiving canned food, powdered milk, diapers, water, bleach, first aid items...any kinds of non-perishable survival things. Grocery stores here have entire sections that are cleared out.

Some people have misgivings about donating to Red Cross or other organizations. We've received reports that political candidates are taking these donations and slapping their propoganda on it and giving it away as if their party is doing some great deed. We've heard that they're requiring people to bring a copy of their identification to be able to receive aid - with this, these parties commit voter fraud. There is so much corruption and dishonesty! 
A police man in my church said there was a warehouse full of food and first aid that had been donated. Government workers were given free reign to go in and take whatever they wanted. This is just wrong! 

Of course this isn't happening to every donation received, but because of these rumors, people are very wary to donate just anywhere. 

We went to the grocery store yesterday and there were these little old ladies with their families in front of the store with carts and posters saying "donate here!" It really struck my funny bone. 
"Donate here and feed my family for the next year!" It is hard to know who is legit and who is just taking advantage of a dire situation.

I have a friend here in Puebla that I met when I was seven years old. Her name is Lisset. Her brothers were in Elder Wakefield's English class where he taught Search for Truth in English and Spanish. 
Her and I became instant friends. I didn't speak Spanish and she did not speak a lick of English. My mom was our translator. I don't remember actually learning the language, but after a while we didn't need someone translating our words. We were hooked at the hip! My family was always at their house or they were at ours. 

This is Lisset's house - 
We had a huge earthquake back in '99 and one of her older brothers jumped out the second story window to escape. LOL.

Lisset called me the day after the earthquake. She travels a lot for her job and had received news from several friends that the villages they live in are completely destroyed. She and some friends were getting together supplies to take up to these communities in need. 
Lisset sent me these pictures and asked if we could put out a plea to our church people to donate provisions to these people that have suffered so terribly due to the quake. 
We felt much more confident about this avenue of giving. Lisset and her friends were going directly to the people in need and giving them these supplies with no strings attached!

 She said what these people are wanting most are tarps so they can make temporary roofs over their heads to sleep under. They are too scared to go back into their houses because they are so badly damaged and could cave in.

There was a house on the side of this hill. Now the family is living in these two trucks. 

We took over a load of supplies on Friday to my friend's house. Many other people had made donations as well - Lisset's living room, kitchen and guest bedroom were full of supplies!
They took all this stuff over yesterday morning and will be going again this next week to take more things to a different village. 

Lisset said they made this sign for them while they were there. It says - 
"Santa Cruz thanks you. 
Please come back when we have something to offer back to you...May God give you more. 
Village of Santa Cruz. 
We are grateful!!!"

I will have update on this again maybe next week. In the meantime...get ready for a couple more posts this week about other happenings! I'm excited to blog this week.


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