Mexico City Mission Trip Part 2: The Arrival

We left MSBC at 6:30pm on Monday night to head down to Charlotte. Amy G. was nice enough to hook us up with some rooms at the Hyatt Place. Our flight was schedule to leave at 6:00am on Tuesday so unless we spent the night we'd be leaving Kernersville at 3am.

We woke up at 3:30 and was on the road by 4:00am. We were anticipating customs taking some time to get through but it really wasn't much more difficult then any other flight. As we stood in line I noticed the guy behind Timmy and I looked very familiar. After several glances I was 90% sure the man was noe other than Morgan Spurlock, the guy who made the hit documentary "Super Size Me". After checking with Timmy, who was no help at all, I knew my only option to find out for sure who he was would be to do the old "yell out his name and see if he looks up" strategy. Once we made it through the security check point we waited a few seconds to let "Morgan" pass us. Once he was about 100 feet from us I yelled out, "Morgan". He didn't even budge. Then in once last ditch effort I said, "Mr. Spurlock". He then stopped, turned and answered yes with a "do i know you" kind of look. We greeted him with a hand shake and told him how much we enjoyed "Super Size me." He was very friendly and cordial, unlike that Jared guy from Subway I once saw in the Chicago airport.

Our flight took us to Detroit then to Mexico City. Why fly 90 minutes north to fly 4 1/2 hours south is beyond me.
We arrived in Mexico City at 1:00pm and were greeted by two soon to be good friends named Angie and Kathy who work for Enfoque, a division of Campus Crusade. They helped us exchange our money, eat lunch, then grab a cab. If you have never ridden in a taxi in Mexico before just imagine the video game "Crazy taxi" except in real life. The drivers have no fear and will weave their vehicles in and out of traffic much like my 5 year old when he plays with his Hotwheels.
We soon arrived , scared to death from the ride but in one piece, at the Casa Gonzalez. A beautiful family owned bed and breakfast surrounded by a 12 foot concrete wall to keep any undesirables out. The rooms were very charming and included a home cooked Mexican breakfast each morning. Here are a few pics of where we stayed. The cool part was it only cost us $32 (US dollars) a night per person.

After moving in, we made our way to a local coffee shop via the metro (Mexico City's subway system) to meet the rest of the Enfoque group for a city/culture briefing. Basically a lesson in how: what to say, what not to do, and how to stay alive on our trip. After our chat we headed off to explore the city and journey to the top of the Latin American Tower (Their equivalent to our Empire States Building)

I've ridden in metro like systems before but never like the one in Mexico City. You literally had to fight and plow your way into a subway car our you'd be left behind. Some folks would stay just outside the car until the doors were about to shut then jump in knowing that there would be no way they could be pushed back out. During rush hour (5pm-8pm) women and kids had to ride separate train cars from the men so they wouldn't be "touched" in such tight quarters. The metro rides were my least favorite part of the trip. I need my personal space.

Mexico City is the 2nd largest city in the world at 28 million people. To put it in some kind of perspective, imagine a city with over 3 times has many people as NY City or over three times the population of the entire state of NC. You never really grasp the sheer size of the city until you are on top of the Latin American Tower.

After the city and tower tour we ate at a place that is owned by the richest man in Mexico. The food was ok but it was no Don Juan's. (My favorite Mexican place in Kernersville)

After dinner we headed back to the Casa Gonzalez and finally got in bed around midnight. As I laid in bed and tried to fall asleep, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed with the task in front of us. The different culture, different language, and massive city all made for what seemed to be insurmountable obstacles not to mention the fact that the next day we would be heading to Tepito, the most dangerous part of Mexico City. What had I gotten our mission team into.


Jeremy said…
The metro is awesome!

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