Monday, February 25, 2008

The International Meeting in Mexico

A couple weeks ago I left for Cuernavaca, Mexico to be present for NPH's International Meeting. It is a time for the directors of the different homes to get together to coordinate and share, but it is also a time for NPH to share with many of its donors and supporters who come to see what has happened in the previous year.

From the moment we touched down, it felt different than when I was there last year.

First, we had a congressman from Nicaragua in our little group, so we were escorted through customs (a fun, but surprisingly time consuming diversion). Secondly, I actually understood what was being said this time around (I have learned something in the last year, spanish!).

And third, Mexico is so developed! And expensive! After getting used to Nicaragua, it has become completely obvious why Mexico is no longer considered third world. There are places where there aren't horses dragging carts behind them. If you try, you can find just about anything you need (I wanted to try for some construction project scheduling software at the well established black market, which I heard I would have a good chance of finding, but we didn't have time). The opportunities for higher education are very well developed.

We took some time to visit the home of a long time NPH supporter that lived near the Cathedral and has a nice view of it from her patio (photos above). She also has one of the most incredible examples I've ever seen of blending indoors with the outdoors with virtually every room of the house open to indoor courtyards through large archways. So possible in a climate like Cuernavaca, the city of "eternal spring."

The kids of NPH Mexico danced, jump roped and generally put on a great show. They have nearly 1,000 kids living with them this year, and next year will be the 55th anniversary of the home.

The Memory Project was included as part of the general presentation. Ben's first experience with NPH was the kids in Nicaragua, but his project's reach is now much farther.

It was a good time, meetings and all, now back to Nicaragua!

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