Winter 2007 -            January, page 1

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Tuesday, Jan 02

Last month, we had signed up for two SOWER projects in the Rio Grande Valley (southernmost part of Texas, on the Mexican border) - one at Calvary Commission in Hidalgo, just south of McAllen, the other at Way of the Cross in Harlingen.  Both ministries serve the Hispanics in the valley and the Mexican poor across the border.  We hooked up our fifth wheel trailer to the truck and made our way to San Antonio, stopping for two nights stay at Braunig Lake campground, so we could spend some time with Derek, Verr and the two granddaughters, Amelia and Eleanor.

Wednesday, Jan 03

We asked Amelia (age 7 on Nov 25, 2006) where she would like to spend the day, and she chose the San Antonio Children's Museum.  We had a lot of fun there, as a matter of fact stayed there most of the afternoon.  We had brought several Christmas presents from home (from other members of the family who knew we were stopping in San Antonio), so we had another Christmas present opening time. 

Thursday, Jan 04 - Pharr

Made our way to Pharr, about 10 miles from Calvary Commission.  According to the SOWER guidelines, we were not permitted to come to our project until Friday morning, and this would give us an early start the next morning. 

The campground we stayed in was an older one (in business for over 40 years!), but very clean.  Patty noticed some grapefruit on the ground next to our campsite, and she soon discovered that we were under a Ruby Red grapefruit tree!  ripe grapefruit!  This was an interesting welcome to the valley for us. 


Friday, Jan 05 - Calvary Commission

The SOWER project is for Calvary Commission and for the sister church, Christian Worship Center. Calvary Commission here is related to Calvary Commission in Lindale Texas, just less than 10 miles from home. The facility in Hidalgo is just about a half-mile from the bridge over the Rio Grande to Reynosa, Mexico.  We were surprised to find that Reynosa was a city of over 500,000 people!

The church has services in Spanish.  SOWERS have been working on the church building for several years, and our job this project month was to further complete the apartments on the second floor of the church building.  Patty and I were joined by two other SOWER couples, Don and Charlie Carlberg, and Rob and Elizabeth Frank.    

Ed found out he was to be the electrician and A/C repairman on the job.


Weekend, Jan 06-07 - Quinta Mazatlan







We hit it off very well, and had several walks and a trip to a local bird sanctuary, the Quinta Mazatlan on the road from Hidalgo to McAllen.

That's a drawing of the beautiful house on the property, and a sign that tells of the many bird species that were seen in the past TWO WEEKS!  We got to see a green jay (but too fast to take a picture) and a "flock" of chachalacas.  That's the bird shown here on the right.

We got to see other things, though...


Several butterflies...






An enormous ant nest, and bougainvilleas everywhere (like weeds!).





On Sunday, we went to the services at Grace Community Church in Pharr.


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