Grasshoppers and Texas Hospitality
Howdy Ya’ll! We are just starting our fourth week in Texas and it has been a blast. I will admit that when I first read the schedule and saw that we would be spending over three weeks in Texas I was less than thrilled. I figured by the end of the second week here we would all be itching to cross the border and reach our next boarder breakfast; But I could not be more wrong! After our less then enjoyable stay in New Mexico, Texas has been a breath of fresh air. Don’t get me wrong, we met some amazing people in New Mexico, but in general that state strongly disliked our team and the feeling was mutual. From the minute we crossed the Texas boarder we could all feel we had started a new chapter in our journey.
We are walking along the 380 highway which is mostly a back-road highway filled with hunting trucks and oversized loads. Not a day goes by though that at least 5 people will stop us and ask if we need a ride; not if we need anything or if we are okay, but they offer two sweaty smelly strangers a spot in their 3 seater truck. We have also been handed countless bottles of water and the occasional Gatorade. When we explain our mission the response is always a wide eyed grin and a big old “God Bless!” To make things even better our host families have been an absolute joy! Every family we share a meal with or who open up their homes to us, our response as a group is the same, “Can we please stay here forever?!”
We spent three weeks without an RV and it has been quite the adventure. Each of our host families (especially our New Mexican family who let us leave our RV leftovers sitting in their spare bedroom) haven’t even thought twice about letting our messy, loud, joyous, constantly singing team of 12 over run their homes. They each welcome us into their homes with joy and excitement. But more importantly then giving us a place to rest our heads and wash the sweat off our bodies, they have welcomed us into their families. We were not just house guests, but extended family. Family and friends were invited over to meet the new extended family and break bread with us. Endless meals were prepared and people were gathered to spend a few hours in community with us. The feeling of people’s pure excitement and joy is overwhelming and sends shivers down my spine even now thinking about it. People’s kindness and generosity has honestly been the only fuel getting any of us through some of the tougher days. The random hugs and kisses at parishes that we receive from woman so excited about our mission is worth any amount of money they could put into our baskets.
Now here in Texas, not only are the people extra friendly, but so are the grasshoppers! If I could only share with the amount of “hugs” I have been given by grasshoppers while walking. Today I had one jump onto my sunglasses and not let go! He was extra friendly ; ) With only a few more days to go in Texas before we say our goodbye to this great state we all eagerly look forward to what adventures are to come and who we are going to meet next.