Today was filled with adventure and new experiences. The “Mexico 12” met at the airport for an early start at 8:30ish. This lead to not much activity from the high schoolers until later. We were blessed with a smooth flight overall filled with extra sleep and video entertainment. When we landed, a lively conversation around the TV show, Friends, rooted in Jean’s choice of inflight entertainment, took place and was a fun way to pass the time while we waited to get off the plane. We met Abby, the leader of Lantern Hill, and Alyssa, the head of education, at baggage claim and began the trek towards the border and Ensenada. It was smooth sailing and many were surprised at the ease at which we passed through the Mexican-American border. For those that don’t know, you don’t need a passport to enter Mexico, or any other form of identification for that matter. There were no checkpoints or border patrol interrogations, we just drove straight through. The first thing that we saw when we crossed the border was the infamous wall, which inspired most of the conversation on the way down. We were also treated with a scenic view of the ocean as we drove along the coast. We got to see the different socioeconomic classes that litter the countryside, from the rich, foreign mansion owners, to the native rural workers that simply made do with what they had. We discussed the generosity of the Mexican natives and how even though they have so little, they are generous with what they have. While long and hot, the car ride was overall fun and interesting. We got to Lantern Hill and found a small complex, but one bustling with activity and in the center of a recently established town. The people were welcoming and gracious and the kiddos that were constantly around were very interested in the new foreigners. Almost no one here speaks Spanish so it was quite the challenge of trying to communicate. I am the only one with a working knowledge of Spanish meaning that I get to use my gifts to benefit the group in a very practical and obvious way. My knowledge of Spanish is extremely lacking but enough that I could translate at a rudimentary level. The locals have helped me immensely and have shown me, as well as the whole group, so much grace as we struggle to try to communicate. The people that live and work here are so wonderful that it is almost difficult to express. They have such a tight knit community full of love and they welcomed us in with open arms. We got to see the new school building and we ate a delicious dinner with them, speaking as much as we could figure out. While today was not so much filled with action as adventure, it was still exhausting and all of us were in our respective rooms by 9. I can only truly speak for myself, however I think that I can accurately say that we are all incredibly excited for whatever happens tomorrow.