Monday, August 10, 2009

Cax and Bart - Chapter II - Crossing the Border

I had been gone from Guatemala for a month when the day finally came for Cax and Bart to cross the border into Mexico and attend university in UVM – Villahermosa. I wanted one of the volunteers that work at the Ixtatan Foundation to accompany them over there since the kids had never really left the rural mountain town, and had no idea what a university was all about. But guess what, nobody listens to you anymore and its hard to control things when your thousands of miles away. They left strangely in the middle of the night, presumably because they felt like crossing the border was ‘crossing the border’ on Elias’ (the three awesome adventurers are pictured on the right) truck and through La Mesilla-Ciudad Juarez.

I got this email the following day –

Hola Fernando, lo siento intentamos llamarte pero no pasa la llamada, pero lo bueno es que llegamos y encontramos la Universidad, nos paro la migra y nos quitaron de la camioneta, y estuvimos tres horas en la oficina y luego llegamos y hablamos con el rector y todo esta bien ahora estamos en el hotel que tu dijiste y nos vamos de este hotel el Domingo y nos daran donde vivir para el resto del año.. Ahorita ya solo vamos a irnos en la Secretaria de la Educacion para que no agan validez del estudio realizado en Guatebuena y Seguir en UVM. Arriba Mexico.

Llegamos a las tres de la mañana pero esta bien.

Y te damos muchisimas gracias Fernando ya que tu hiciste todo esto y ahora ya solo es cuestion de hecharle ganas.

Bartolo Oswaldo.

Hi Fer, I’m sorry we tried to call but the call won’t go through, the good thing is that we’re here and we found the University, we got stopped by immigration, they got us off the bus we were on and we were at their office for three hours. Then we got here and spoke to the Dean and everything’s ok now. We’re in the hotel you said to go to and we’re leaving the hotel on Sunday when they’ll give us a place to stay for the rest of the year. Now we just have to go to the Secretary of Education to revalidate the high school degree we got in Guatebuena and keep it going at UVM. Arriba Mexico!

We got here at three, but everything’s ok.

Thank you for all you’ve done.

Bart Oswaldo.

After months of negotiation with UVM to have everything go perfectly at the beginning, the kids showed up at 3 in the morning, after being hassled for hours by immigration and thrown off a bus for no reason. We always think about our border here with Mexico, but the one down South with Guatemala is almost more striking in the differences between the two countries. When the Dean arrived at his office, my two kids were sleeping in front of his door all the stuff they brought for a year of studying in a new country was in their backpacks, not a single peso in their wallets – a total disaster. Thank God for good people, they had them come in, joked around with them to make them feel welcome, got them to their hotel, fed them a great lunch, and gave them money for food to spend in the coming days.

(Cash and Bart's first dinner at the hotel)

An organizational disaster and embarrassing, but the kids were at school and ready to go on these Academically Atypical Aventures and hey, its tough to have my way from all the way up here!


  1. Very cute blog
    I folllow u now

  2. And the best news, I guess, is that kids are really adaptable, right?

  3. Nice blog there... a lot of fun to read your blog. I add you to become my Fav...