paradise lost

The trip was phenomenal.  It was six months in the making and worth every penny.  Yes, my Visa balance is a tad higher than it was pre-vacation, but the memories will last a lifetime.  My biggest fear as the day approached was the flight.  Due to my fear of flying I had spent the extra money for  non-stop tickets.  As it turned out, the 1mg of Ativan that I had 1 hour prior to each flight worked like a charm.  I not only felt relaxed, but my body didn’t seem to respond to the motion and altitude changes the way it had done in the past.Tom on the other hand, felt off kilter for the remainder of the day after arriving in Cancun.  He loved the flight especially the take off, but his head did not appreciate the descent.

Since God indeed has a sense of humor, I sat next to a charming 6 year old boy on the flight down.  His name was Carter and he delighted in telling me that this was his second trip to Cancun.  He was a talker.  He was traveling with his parents and two siblings.

I was amazed at the number of people traveling with children.  Given the entrance fees to the tourist attractions such as Chichen Itza I don’t know how families afford it.  At our hotel there were a number of families traveling with grand parents. These were young grandparents capable of watching the kids while mom and dad slept in. Given this scenario I would have considered traveling with young children as well.

The heartbreaking aspect of the trip was seeing the extreme poverty.  Vendors lined the walkways as we traveled from our hotel to restaurants.  Most were young women with small children in tow.  I wanted desperately to buy something from all of them, but it would have been impossible.  As we passed through towns and saw the living conditions of the natives, I didn’t have to wonder why so many make the dangerous border crossing each year. Below are some images of the reality that is daily life for so many.

Although I often reflect on how fortunate I was to be born in the US, seeing  the way others live helps me to count my continued blessings even more.

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