Back from GCH and Still on Track
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I’ve been home for a few days now from a visit to Grace Children’s Home (GCH), a place that is a second home to me. GCH is a home in Tijuana, Mexico for children that have either been removed from their parents’ care or are orphans or abandoned. I spent two months there in 2009 and have been back twice now, once in May 2010 and again last week. This time I had the opportunity to bring my sister with me and introduce her to the girl that she sponsors. It was definitely a highlight of my trip.
Despite the anticipation I felt, I was also worried about maintaining my weight and my knee. My asthma was also a worry, although a minor one. I knew that at Grace I would be tempted with lots of yummy food (I love Mexican cooking), however Mexican food is not low-fat or overly healthy. A common breakfast down there is tortillas or bread with beans and cheese. Not exactly my idea of a good breakfast (especially since I find that carbs make me sick in the morning). However, there’s lots of cheap fruit in the market, and I love to wander the market and practice my Spanish. Through watching my portions this time and making sure that I got enough fruits and veggies (which can be difficult as they are considered expensive and therefore looked at as dessert for the most part. The extra exercise I got chasing and playing with the kids, as well as walking on the beach or around the neighbourhood with the older girls, replaced most of my workout regimen that I normally follow, although I took everything I needed to continue doing my physio. Through this I managed not to put on weight for the first vacation in many years!
Praise the Lord my knee did not bother me either. One day I was asked if I’d like to go for a walk with some of the kids and one of the house moms. I said yes without asking how long/far or where. Not so smart. At about 5 miles my asthma decided to flare up. As it is exercised induced it did not like the exercise I was getting, nor did it like the dusty air apparently. Thankfully the Spanish word for asthma is almost the same as the English word. I walked the last mile home, got my medication, and after 30 minutes my asthma calmed down and did not cause me any more problems. Shockingly, my knee did not cause me any problems that day or the next (when I returned home). I have not walked that far in the last year because of my knee. However, the days since then have been filled with pain. It’s been all I can do to get through my daily physio exercises, cardio has been out of the question. Maybe tonight after work I’ll get 10 minutes of cardio in.
All-in-all the trip was great. Despite everything I got to spend lots of time enjoying playing with the kids. One of the girls down there is five and my special buddy. She pretty much attached herself to me for the week, taking every opportunity to sit on my lap and get hugs. I love it! I have missed snuggling with her during staff Bible study or a movie. I also had the chance to help an American team to introduce her and the other kids to S’mores. I was good, I only had one and I’m sure I wore it off within ten minutes as I chased the five year old up and down the play yard.