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For the Love of Mexico

White Chedda

Chapter 10

Omar & The De-Cobbers

The walk to Aguacate was short.

3 hours.


That's because stretching further to Mosco

would have created a goal too lofty and

practically unacheivable before dark.

The trick to a journey like this is the constant mental conditioning that time & distance really don't matter.

The experiences matter. And managing

what you can and cannot do.

Adaptability. Improvisation.

My feet weren't healed. There was pain in every step. but Go was strong. I leaned on him and dug forward.

At one point I thought about the pros and cons of switching to sandals. Jesus walked in sandals.


I made the switch.

Rubber base with plastic thongs.

It was a suprise to find that so relieving.

Open air on the toes and no heels grinding

on shoe backs. Plus wiggleability.

tI found some comfort in the earth beneath me. This path had some fine and pillowy dust. Like flour.

First pure white. Then some North Carolina red.

I would bury my feet in the powder and pretend

it was healing me. Like an ancient remedy.

I even spit and made clay to patch my blisters.

It didn't matter if it wasn't real.

The thought of it working eased the pain.

I arrived at a house. I was below. It was above.

I shouted up to see if anyone was home and

to ask if I was far from Aguacate.

It was Aguacate.

How pleasant! 

The young man above was happy to see me. I realized he was Omar, someone I had just met at the meeting and someone had mentioned to me that he was the son of Miguel who I was supposed to be looking for.

It is so nice to have your arrival anticipated!


I turned the bend and followed the dirt driveway up a small hill to a coral of a yard with a home full of life.

Omar greeted me.

A 19-year old with a big , friendly smile.

Someone that age is at the precipe of imagining their own greatness and they tend to be very enthusiastic about meeting someone actually

doing something epic.


And this was not a town.

This was 2 or 3 ranches with a name.

So Omar hadn't yet seen much of the world.


It was Maria and Miguel, Omar's parents, who I had been sent to find and they gave me their blessing to stay. I sat gleefully on the couch getting to know them and their family in the shade of a long, extended porch.


Miguel was papa.

He's not 68 years old.

He's almost 70.


And admitted that he was feeling his age.

Maria was mama.

She had birthed 10 children.

My favorite thing was how much joy that brought her

and a humility and gratitude to God that her body was still very much intact. She had never suffered from the weight  of that huge responsibility.

She was proud of her legacy.

This has been a major theme on the walk.

Large families.

We are losing that.

And it makes me sad.

Many women don't think it's cool anymore

to have a bunch of kids. When, in reality, being a

parent is the most joyful thing a person can do.

Omar had a wife and a daughter who was past 0

and into 1. It was impossible to not find joy in

watching her waddle about. It made me think

of my own cubs back home.

It's so fun to watch them play

and get it all figured out.

Jose was Omar's older brother. He was a mover

and a shaker. He told me he took a lot of trips to

Vallarta and he was building his own house of

beautiful brick across the way. 

It was hard to not feel a bit like I should have

tried to put in more kilometers because

we were all just super-chillin'.

But then more people arrived.

A band of men with some sort of heavy machinery strapped into the back of an old pickup.

There was a big black tarp covering something in the coral and at one moment, the boys lowered the machine from the pickup and pulled back the covering to expose about 10,000 ears of corn!

There was organization afoot.

These guys were preparing for a job.

All I knew was that the corn was going in that machine

and I walked over to offer my services

in whatever task they  needed me for.

Once of the guys joked,

We already planned on putting you to work.

The machine separated the kernels from the cob.

They fired it up. It was loud. And each of us had a role.

Henry Ford's Assembly line in Aguacate, Jalisco.

Some collected the whole corn from the pile

Some put it into the machine

One guy threw the cobs into a new pile.

And another scooped buckets of the grain shooting

out at an amazing pace from a wide spiget.

My job has to have been one of the hardest.

I wonder if they did that on purpose.

I was responsible for sacking and moving the huge bags that would store the finished  product.

Miguel and I took turns visiting the bucket man until the bag was full and then shimmied it with all our might away from the work. These things were super heavy.

Miguel kept joking that I was gonna feel it in the morning. A thought I didn't like since I had to walk!

But there was no complaining here.

Only yes. And my spirit to assist was genuine.

We sacked about 30 bags and I asked what they would do with all those kernels. I thought it was feed maybe to sell and that I had helped in the family's revenue generation.

Turns out, all that corn was for the family. For the rest of the year. Chicken feed and tortillas from scratch.

After we were done, we all sat around in a big circle with chickens pecking around, dogs playing and the spirit of accomplishment lingering in the dusk. A job well done.

We passed a bottle of Coca Cola and Fresca

around to fight the heat of our labor.

The boys were jovial.

And I was the elephant in the yard.


In those circumstances I am not quiet. I made an attempt to be an active engager, not a fly on the wall observer.

I had realized that I should start asking specific questions to help guide the writing of this book. With a specific emphasis on the relationship between our two peoples.

I asked them to describe the Mexican people.

They said, El Mexicano es Cabron

Badass. Tough.

I agreed.

Then I asked them a deeper question.

Something a bit more critical to the future of Mexico

And  something that leads to a powerful dialogue about something wee need to change in the US if we are to show a true love an accountability to our neighbors in the south.

To Be Continued


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