Saturday, January 26, 2008

back in the saddle (halfway)

Hi folks, I hope everyone had a great Christmas and
have hope for this coming year.
Brian and I have a sense of anticipation wondering
what opportunities God will open up for us this year.
Already, Brian is learning and preparing to work with
his best friend Sean on a computer appliance Sean has
created for small to medium businesses to manage
customer and human resources. Feel free to ask us
about it. Even though we haven't been in computer
industry before we can see how much more useful,
economical, and powerful it is than the systems we've
used in our various workplaces. In that light, Brian
is transitioning to a different land based email
address Our boat address
is the same.

Brian is in Abreojos eating abalone ceviche, lobster
etc. with our local friends. Poor fellow. He's also
replenishing fuel, water, and staple items on the boat
and taking the above mentioned locals out for sails.
It's such a warm, welcoming community that it will be
sad to leave. In fact, they don't have the kind of
poverty issues that mainland Mexico deals with so we
have saved most of the clothes and school supplies to
hand out when we get further south.

I will leave on Monday the 4th to fly to Loreto where
Brian will meet me YAY and we'll head back to Abreojos
and then head south. It's whale and baby season right
now and we'll be sailing through the exact best places
to see them. I"m looking forward to that.

At this point our plan is to continue south with
certain stops in La Paz Mexico and Zihuatenejo (around
March since that's a good time for surf), and on
toward Guatamala possibly arriving in Costa Rica for
the summer. During the summer we'll head back to the
US for more visiting, working, etc. Throughout all of
this we have our ears open for organizations and
children's programs where we can jump in and see what
they're doing and lend a hand.

Well thanks for all of your emails over the past
months. It is important to us to stay connected with
our friends!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I just got back from a "Theology of Social Justice" class at Vintage Faith Church. There was good discussion and one of the facilitators gave a lightning quick history of the nation of Israelfrom its inception. They were birthed in oppression (Egypt) and God used a man (Moses) to lead them out of the oppression so they could become a powerful nation that was different-a model of what a healthy society could be. Instead, in less than a hundred years, this "different" nation was enslaving its own people and treating its weaker citizens cruelly. Despite their legacy, they forgot about justice and mercy, without which they would have never existed. So, God allowed them to be overpowered and they got a taste of their own evil, on the receiving end. This led to great repentance and promises to be good if only they could have a nice life again. So they got to be free again until they forgot and again the powerful Israelites abused and oppressed the helpless ones.

Sounds a lot like modern times to me. We prosper and our prosperity leads to power imbalances which leads to ease of oppression. (In my thinking, power imbalances could just as easily lead to great demonstrations of compassion and generousity. . . but that's a tangent) We the people are enslaved by the search for the American Life and our owners are mortgage companies, Visa, and Social Security. We are enslaved by our need to be perfect or comfortable and our owners are L'oreal and Day Spas and the Doubletree. Or, are our owners the media that tells us to be uncomfortable until we have the perfect complexion or the perfect pair of jeans or the perfect vacation that we "deserve"? And so, in our enslavement we've allowed outside interests to own our energies and our lives, instead of pursuing the things of the Spirit. I'm not saying that specific products or goals are evil. But when Anything causes me to put my needs/wants over the life of any other human being, I need to rethink my priorities.

The irony of being owned by our dissatisfaction is that it permits us to enslave other people. Where else do sweatshops and 11-year old sex slaves, destitute Mexican tomato farmers, and 6-year old cigarette rollers come from? The rights of millions of people to a decent livelihood are consumed by our consumerism.

It is irresponsible for me, for you, for our country to allow the status quo to be an excuse for these evil systems to continue.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor during the 1930s and 1940s said,

"Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility."

He was sent to a concentration camp and eventually executed for attempting (with a group of other people) to assassinate Hitler. Bonhoeffer was willing to take responsibility for his own actions. He knew an evil that was being done and chose not to ignore it ...or to say that he had no idea what to do....or say that it was too large a problem to face. He did what he could with the resources available to him. If more of the churchmembers of his time had been willing to do the same, history would have been incredibly different. The same is true of many other historical agonies. The same is true of today's agonies. IF I'm responsible to do what I can do, I will act however I'm able. (learn, educate others, boycott products and stores, vote, write letters, start small organizations, go on fact-finding vacations, purchase wisely, maintain dissatisfaction for the status quo, pray, etc),

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Here are some observations and questions from our time in Baja...

Why does food cost the same, or more, in Mexico than in the U.S.? Does this have something to do with NAFTA? Who benefits from trade agreements? Doesn't seem to be the regular people. In 2003 the per capita in come in Mexico was 9,300 per year. In U.S. and Canada, respectively, it was 37,000 and 31,000 per year. At the same time, Mexico's infant mortality rate was 24.9 kids per 1000 live births and U.S. and Canada, respectively were 6.7 and 5.2 deaths per live birth. ( Something's not working, and it isn't the Mexican people who aren't working. The communities we've entered on the Baja peninsula have been full of hard working, family minded people that don't mind helping each other out. Many of the homes have "cottage industries" in front. From taco stands to small hardware stores these people are using their resources to make their living.

Not only are the Mexicans we've met industrious and personable, they care about their communities. Two villages we've visited have had outside interests attempt to enter and take over property in the towns that was dedicated to their fishing occupations. One fishing coop was able to fight the hotel and a huge cruise ship dock that was slated to be built by outside investors. The other fishing coop fought and lost the marina and shipyard plans that are now being built along part the beach where they used to catch lobster.

We don't presume to know all of the variables or solutions in the situations mentioned above but we are committed to making known injustices as we see them. We are also committed to learning about the lives of the people we encounter and seeing them as equal members of our giant community, and taking action if it is appropriate. If any of our readers have relevant verifiable information about Mexico and its economics, we would love to hear your comments.

P.S. just found this in the article I referenced in the first paragraph of this post:

"Poverty is very strongly related to race and ethnicity in the US and to indigenous
status in Mexico. In the US, racial stigma and racial segregation continue to
affect the African American population, with seriously harmful results. In
Mexico, the indigenous population is isolated by geography, language, and
education level, and presents a serious challenge for poverty alleviation efforts.
Both countries need to be vigorous in combating discrimination and in making
opportunities available for the disadvantaged." This is a very good study and comparative analysis of the causes/indicators of poverty in the U.S. and in Mexico. It has many eye-opening statistics as well.

In the U.S.

We have been back in the U.S. for about 2 weeks. We
got a ride in a car with local friends in Abre, then
took a bus, a taxi, another bus, another taxi, and
then a rental car (26 hours total) to get back to
Santa Cruz from Abreojos. It was kind of weird to
have taken 2 months to get from Santa Cruz to Abreojos
and then be back in a relatively quick manner. We
have spent the last couple of weeks with family and
are currently in Kansas for another couple of days.
After this, we fly back to San Jose and Brian will be
in Santa Cruz till around January 15th when he will
head down to the boat while I stick around for another
week or two to work in even more visiting and detail
arranging (like filing taxes).

Have a happy New Year and may we all be so overwhelmed
with God's Grace in its many forms that we can't help
spreading it to people around us.
Brian and Megan

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


This is our favorite Dolphin picture. The water was soooo glassy (translate: zero wind) we could see the dolphins long after they surfaced and dove.

Punta Blanca-an attempt to get a shot of a perfect little wave. Also, the spot where we traded a 2liter bottle of Pepsi for 3 tasty lobsters eaten at our Thanksgiving meal. View the panga (fishing boat) next to our boat.

Punta Maria-where we met Fernanda and her family at her 4th birthday party. That's here with the cake on her face :)

Erica, Joe, and Grace with Brian in Abreojos.