What you see there is a cup of rich, cinnamon-spiked hot chocolate in a cafe in Oaxaca, Mexico. I’m sure it only sat there just long enough to cool. That chocolate was one of the highlights of our trip to Oaxaca last year, the details of which I wrote about here.
Little did I know then that I’d be back there almost exactly a year to the day we visited last December. Only this time, it’s just me and my middle daughter, Rosie, who are going, boarding a plane later today.
When I last wrote about Oaxaca, I focused on its magic — the beauty, culture, and food. I only touched on the heartbreaking part: The poverty, and most especially, the sight of children in the streets, begging, often late into the night, sometimes with their parents, sometimes alone. We were all moved, but nobody more than Rosie.
Every night Rosie asked if we could go into the street to visit the kids. She bought toys in the marketplace. We’d stop at one of the many bake shops to buy bread and pastries and pick up bottles of water and fresh fruit.
It never felt like enough. But then the trip was over. And we left Oaxaca, thinking, maybe, some day, we’d get back there.
And then last summer after attending a girl’s soccer/leadership camp, Rosie decided that indeed, it wasn’t enough. A big emphasis at the camp was empowering girls to do something meaningful in the community. To make a difference. Rosie set her sights on Oaxaca. Through a friend who had lived there, we identified a charity that cares for children whose parents cannot. A testament to how one person can make an impact, it started when one woman, Doña Coco, took in one child. She now houses, feeds, clothes, and loves 52 children.
Rosie started a fundraising campaign. She wrote a letter to her circle of 7th and 8th grade friends, their parents, other friends, and extended family. She also held a couple of bake sales. Through these combined efforts, Rosie will arrive in Oaxaca tonight with nearly $6000. We are both looking forward to meeting Doña Coco, to bringing her the donation, and to spending time with the kids.
We’re packing light, but my camera will be along for the journey. I hope to report back with images from our trip and a little about the experience. I’ll also be posting updates on Instagram, so you can follow along there.
To be honest, I’m a little scared to get on that plane. I’m not accustomed to traveling to foreign places without my whole crew, and certainly not without Mr. Mom’s Kitchen. But the jitters are drowned out by the thrill of an adventure and the excitement of being with Rosie as she comes full circle with the kids in Oaxaca.
Wish us well.
I wish you well, too.
Happy New Year.