San Diego Citadel Corps Cadets Head to Mexico City
from a report
by C.C. Michael Opina –
Twenty strong, a team went forth from San Diego Citadel to Mexico City to teach vacation Bible school and do God’s will. Right off, the group found that Mexico City was far different from their expectations. Led by Captain Harryette Raihl, Corps Cadet leader Nancy Metz, Home League Secretary Rosalie Doom, and Tommy Torres, the group included only four veterans of the 1997 trip to Alaska.
Flexibility was the keynote as they found nothing going exactly as planned. They taught a VBS, prepared to make it more like a camp. Doom did the crafts, Raihl played her guitar, and the quartet (Richie, J.J., Christian, and Michael) would play a few numbers. One frustration came in having to teach through translators, though they did a good job.
The children asked a lot of questions, and a few coveted the visitors’ jackets. They enjoyed the cadets’ “funny” way of talking, and taught them a dance called the “Choo-choo wah.”
They had had little experience with soccer, the kids’ favorite sport. When it came to basketball, the kids played the cadets to a “sort of tie.” Next stop: the orphanage, for some heavy cleaning punctuated by water balloon fights.
A sightseeing trip took them to the Aztec Pyramids, about 45 miles east of Mexico City, as they passed the opera house and the ’86 Olympics stadium. Climbing the pyramids turned out to be harder than it looked. Afterwards, there was time for shopping and a real Mexican restaurant meal.
The next day brought lessons and games at a local corps and the Good Friday service at DHQ. There was time for some joking and pranks between the boys and the girls–all in good fun.
When leaving, the group presented a parting gift to the Sanchezes, who had become good friends as well as great hosts. After a flight that was delayed six hours, the group arrived in San Diego with hugs from each other and the waiting families.