A Little Bit of Venice... in Mexico
|Every year with Adventures in Life Ministry, I have the chance to travel with some incredible young people who have made a decision in their lives to devote part of their year to serving Jesus and His people in Mexico.|
Most of their summer is spent getting up early, going to bed late, and putting their wants, and in many cases, needs, on hold so that others can experience what God has for them.
At a time when we frequently hear complaints about the quality of young people, I can tell you from personal experience, that there are some great young folks ready to take the place of us old codgers.
So... at the end of our time together, I try to make sure my team sees a little bit of Mexico that is not evident in the villages and areas in which we serve. I believe that seeing those other areas, some would call it sightseeing, are just as important in developing a well rounded world view of the people of Mexico, lest our participants get the mistaken impression that all of Mexico is a poor village or barrio.
This year we finished up in Mexico City. A beast of a city with almost 30 million inhabitants. One of the places we got to experience was Xochimilco. This area of floating gardens is the Venice of Mexico. Except our gondolas are a little more colorful.
The area is really an eclectic blend of stuff. As you are on a boat, you are sort of captive. To the food boats, the music boats, the souvenir boats, the Pepsi boats, the booze boats, and on and on. We had Mariachi music, great Mexican food, bought a few rugs, and otherwise had a great day on the water. All for around about $150.00, lunch included, for 10 people.
The other place we went was the Mexico City Zoo in Chapultepec Park. I will just tell you, this zoo is great. And the price, free, is even better. But there were two highlights for me. One was getting to see the giraffes. I love these animals, perhaps because they look so majestic.
The other highlight was the bird aviary. Now I have been in a few of these in the states, but this one was fantastic because of the variety of birds. Also, they limit the number of people allowed in the aviary to 20 at a time so as to keep human impact as low as possible while still allowing access.
It is the only time in my life I have ever been so close to such beautiful birds. One of these is a toucan, but if you can identify the one on the right for me, I'd sure appreciate it.
So if you ever find yourself in Mexico City, take a day and go to the zoo, and if you are really adventurous, get yourself out to Xochimilco. You'll have a great time, it won't break the bank, and you'll get to experience just a little of the incredible Mexican culture.