This weekend we went on a four day trip to the Sierra Gorda. I had NO idea what to expect in going here, but what I found was better than I could have EVER imagined. We ended up in the middle of this JUNGLE forest where communities had landed and Junipero Serra founded 5 missions. Being from California, and doing an entire project on the California missions, this was SO awesome for me to see the origins! Although, the missions in themselves were 100% more decorated than the ones in California, because they were all in the barroc style! We adventured through the jungle, ended up at unbelievable waterfalls, hiked and swam in these little pools that were naturally flowing through the estate of Edward James, jumped off of high things (which I decided is one of my favorite things to do of all time), ate fish, had four scoops of ice cream for dinner (paid for by Laura!), cooked together and played banana grams, laughed while the boys found scorpions and GIGANTIC spiders in their room, watched the notebook on the bus, laughed, sang and marveled at the wonder of our Creator's hands.
I realized this weekend that I'm not as much of a city girl as I once thought I was... Queretaro is a wonderful place and I am growing to love it with all of my heart. But I hadn't realized how deprived I was of wilderness exploring! I experience God's love and power in nature, and so this weekend was incredibly refreshing for me. Also, it marked our half way point here in the semester, which was PERFECT. After this weekend I feel refreshed and so encouraged that God has us here for a reason. He is in the process of revealing that to me, and the rest of the group aswell. You can be praying for our unity though. We are all finding that it is a fantastic benefit not all living together 24/7 because after this weekend I am convinced that we might kill each other. Love everyone, but I am realizing that I DEFINITELY need my alone time to escape and be refilled. My family comes thrusday, minus Bri which is a SUPER huge bummer, but I totally understand. College apps call, and I will support his work on them over coming here any day. I cannot WAIT to see them and to spend time with them, showing them around the place that has become my home for these four months. The rest of this month is going to fly, and I am well aware of that... SO with that being said, continue to pray that I will be present here and take EVERY opportunity that comes to speak Spanish and be in the culture. I can't believe that I've been here for more days than I have left (does that make sense, not sure, it did in my head). I have one month and 25 days. It's craziness. I CAN DO IT.
Here are some pictures from our awesome adventure this weekend.
Caution: the pictures you are about to see will make you extremely envious of me and my expierence here in Mexico. Also, they absolutely do not do justice to the things that I saw this past weekend, but hopefully you will enjoy them and get a glimpse into the wonder of creation that is the Sierra Gorda.
View from the pyramid
shannon, me, emily and jennifer
Naturally we're riding in the back of a truck in the jungle to a waterfall!!!
Las chicas tan bonitas
This one's for you linds... these are the first missions that junipero serra started in the Sierra Gorda, then he went to California and founded all of the other ones!!!
The surrealist art/house of edward james
coolest tree house ever
jumping spot... top ledge please (go big or go home right dad&mr root??)
Spiral staircase 50 feet in the air, this would never fly in the states! No hand rails! Safety hazard.
Sotano... This massive cave that is 500 meters deep. These sparrows fly from Alcupulco to here in the Sierra Gorda every day to sleep in this gigantic cavern. They all gather around overhead and circle around for about 10 minutes, and then the leader DIVE BOMBS into the cave and they all follow suit. It sounded like a heavy rainstorm. The most amazing exposition of God's power I think I've ever seen.
Our hostel, on the side of the jungle mountains. This was our breakfast table. Yes please.
Lanchas (canoes) that we paddled up this gorgeous river in.
Our final destination. We jumped off of the rock on the right. The top part that's cut off in the picture. It was epic.
Cool tree roots!