By Ken and Bea
Those of us from yesteryear will remember “Bob’s Magic Jeep.” Ken and I have assisted in the back-roads adventure trips to needy villages since 2004. The work Bob and Vicky started continues through volunteer drivers, donations and volunteers to assist Vicky get help to where it is needed the most.
Bill Hlatky (Bazooka Bill) is a longtime volunteer driver. In fact, we take 8-10 suitcases and boxes of clothing and school supplies to Winnipeg (we drive there from Cobourg about 1300 KMS as Ken’s mom lives in Winnipeg) and Bill brings them down here to Nurse Vicky when he drives down to Mexico in the fall.
Last week he chauffeured Vicky, Ken and I, and our friend Eira, visiting from Saskatoon, to Tequila and Ixtlán del Rio. The purpose of the excursion was to visit two “asilos de ancianos” (seniors’ homes).
We loaded Bill’s truck with donations at Vicky’s bodega, and we were on our way. About an hour into the trip, before we entered the toll road (cuota) to Tequila, we stopped for a tailgate coffee break.
About 3 ½ hours after leaving la Peñita, we arrived at Casa Hogar del Anciano in Tequila which had about 16 residents. The staff gratefully received donations of bedding, towels, toothbrushes and toothpaste, knitted slippers, magnifying glass cards, walking canes–and candy canes.
They gave us a tour of the facility–spacious bedrooms, each with a bathroom, dining room and modern kitchen facilities. We interacted with the residents in the shady courtyard.
Being a Saturday, Tequila was very busy. We opted to drive the free road (libre) as far as Magdalena, where we ate the lunch I had packed in the central square under orange trees. Magdalena bills itself as the “Tierra de opales y obsidiana.” There are opal mines nearby and volcanic activity has left a legacy of the black glass.
Our next stop was at Casa Hogar Reina de los Angeles in Ixtlán del Rio. We were greeted by the staff, and we delivered donations similar to the first seniors’ home. After a short tour of the facilities, we were on our way back to La Peñita.
The trip on the free road took longer as the road was winding. We drove past fields of agave, sugar cane, which was now in bloom, “oragnos” cacti, It was a trip of changing landscapes.
As we drove the last few kilometres into la Peñita and “home”, the sun was setting. Vicky said “Misión Cumplida.” That pretty well summed up our sentiments: a good day with friends and doing our small part to help those in need.