I got my travel itinerary. What I thought was going to be a Monday-Thursday trip is in actuality a Sunday through Saturday jaunt south of the border. We fly out the evening of Mother's Day and are back the following Saturday evening.
In addition to the filming of the surgery (the actual point of the documentary), we will also have some time in San Diego and we will also have a day or so at the Mission in Tijuana. This is the mission that ICC is going to be partnering with this summer when we send people down there for ICC's first ever out of the country missions trip.
I have been getting mixed reactions when people learn why I am going down there. The first is "Do you KNOW what's going on in Mexico right now?!?!" Followed by "Why's he going down there to get surgery?!?!" The short answer is-wait for the documentary-that's one of the reasons we're making it. (well it answers the second question, not so much the first...which, yes, I know what's going on down there and I'll keep my ass out of jail and bullet-free....I promise!).
What's cool is that in addition to the strange looks (varying from 'WTF, mate?' to 'WTF, dude?!') is that I've been getting a plethora of sage advice for my trip. I thought I'd share some here:
- Don't get thrown in jail.
- Don't get caught in cross-fire.
- Don't go down side streets at night.
- Carry cash to pay off the cops instead of spending ANY amount of time in a Tijuana jail
- Go to Puerto Nuevo for some good authentic lobster (I hate seafood, don't see this happening)
- Know where the US Embassy is and always have a good exit strategy
- Have a taco with meat 'of questionable origin and pedigree' as you walk across the border
- Watch out for the white Russian with the bloody forehead at the border-he's a scam artist
- Never put the wallet in a loose pocket (money belt is best)
- Don't drink the water (how could I forget this one)
- Don't open my mouth in the shower.
- Don't eat salad
- Eat salad
- Drink bottled beverages
- Teen hoodlums come out at night
- NEVER ask about a 'Donkey Show'...EVER.
That's about all I've got for now. I'm sure I'll gather more along the way before the trip (roughly 8 weeks away).
I took my passport (card) application to the Post-Office today and got that ball rolling. The last time I had a passport I was 12. That was 27 years ago. But STILL the lady at the post-office made me fill out a 'lost passport' form. "It's not lost." I said. Doesn't matter, apparently. Even though the State Department web site said that if I was under 16 and something like 15 years had passed, then it's basically like starting over, like I never had a passport. On the form when they asked 'Did you report it stolen?' (no) 'If not, why not?' (because it's not lost, it's in a box at my parents). Hope that doesn't slow things up. But anyway, that's done.
Another piece to confirm the reality of the trip.
It truly is going to be exiting!
I can't hardly wait!!