Our first full day in Texas began with the scent of coffee wafting through the heat infused church gathering space. Sleepy eyes blinked away the last of the night and groaning muscles shook off the aches of the 24 hour bus ride. Cheery birds greeted us in the early morning light amidst the sound of early morning life. The work site was located a 20-minute drive from our ‘home base’ and it showed the signs of the past weeks rain and college crew. Muddy footprints tracked around the cement foundation, enticing our eyes and our curiosity to follow. We began with a brief introduction to some of the power tools and a dividing of groups and supplies amongst the team members, a hammer, nails, squaring tool, and measuring tapes being the standard fare. The peculiar smell of sunscreen began to mix with the smell of the dirt as we readied ourselves for a day in the Texas heat. Seven hours later, after several water and snack breaks, we loaded ourselves onto a bus for the next chapter in our adventures. Our day’s work stood out the rear mirrors as we pulled away from the site showing a mostly erected roof, newly landscaped lawn, and styrofoam coated house. With sunburn at a minimum and spirits high, we traveled to the border checkpoint between Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico to wave hello to Mexico. Gray-green water cut a divide between the two neighbors as we stood in the grass along the banks of the Rio Grande. The group was encouraged to ponder the meaning and construction of borders as we gazed at foreign faces across the river. What are their lives like just 5oo yards away from where we stood? It was a powerful exercise as we slowly began to realize the true construct of borders.
Stay tuned for more to come from Laredo!