I just got home from an experience that is not all that familiar or common for me. I took a load of things into Mexico. Only this trip across the border I had planned to leave our pick up truck down there for some repair. Our ministry trucks are 20 & 31 years old so that is certainly to be expected from time to time. But my experience, I would like to share, is along the lines of taking public transportation to return home. What normally is a 30 minute drive in my truck, started like this: I first walked about 15 minutes to cross the pedestrian USA border crossing. Then another 15 minutes to a bus stop, where I then took a 45 minute city bus ride, to the trolley stop. On the trolley, I would continue another hour, coasting back to my neighborhood, where Carol would collect me. End to end, this took a little over 3 hours. This included a slight delay, with a couple of trolley changes to make sure I was on the right north bound track.
Over all, it was somewhat amusing, in an adventure kind of way. But as I studied the process among the other passengers, I really began to realize this was a way of life for so many. Not that I was unaware that many take public transportation, of course, and this was not the first time I had made a similar trip. But the good folks I was encountering, were not just carpooling, or thinking about the environment. Many would not have an automobile, and many, many folks travel very far to make a living for their family. This includes some who live in Tijuana, and have a work visa in the US. I just could not stop thinking about how much my “entertaining” adventure ride, was a very long, tiring, every day process, to incorporate into their schedule. Less time with their families, less time for rest, less time to do all the things that we all have to do on a daily basis. What a huge sacrifice.
I was rather worn from all the walking and hopping, and aggravating some of my personal ailments. But I saw many with physical limitations, who clearly endured this often. I had a small bag of some personal items, I did not want to leave in my truck which weighed me down a bit. But several others, had multiple shopping bags, tools, back packs. Keeping up with all of that is a task, let alone carrying it along. I thought about how much more vulnerable many daily public transport travelers were, through this recent pandemic, or even just to the common cold and flu when exposed to so many who sit in that space all day every day. There were many elderly folks. Also, some who appeared homeless, and, sadly, some who were mentally ill and not even supposed to be on the trolley, without a ticket. This led me to also think about vulnerable women and children, those whose safety would be in question depending on where their trolley stop ended. In fact, when I had to change trolleys, an elderly hispanic woman got off with me and started asking me questions in broken English about making sure she was on the right train to schedule. We stood there waiting on the transfer train in a rather sketchy part of downtown San Diego, and I was just glad she was not alone.
This experience brought a greater reflection on my abundance, and the many things I am grateful for. It is always good to have a perspective outside our normal day to day lives. The greater population around the world, endures challenges and hardships that few of us may know or experience in our lifetime. Selah love Wayne & Carol
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