I woke up our last day in Mexico covered in mosquito bites. At least 30. How this happened, I have no idea, but Kyle didn’t have any. I must be his mosquito repellant. Despite the fact that I was an itchy mess, I had enjoyed my last night sleeping in the hammock, and resolved to not let the persistent itch bother me as we were enjoying our last day in Mexico.
That day was spent purely enjoying ourselves. After leaving Sam and Ceyla’s house, we walked down to the main street, grabbed some breakfast at a nearby bakery, and proceeded to visit the shopping area. We bought a few trinkets and visited with a few people Kyle knew from his mission that happened to cross our path. Hermano Silvio was one of these. He invited us into his shop and we enjoyed talking to him while looking around. We also saw Daniel and Rebecca, a couple who I had first met at the temple. (Rebecca is American who helped save my sanity on multiple occasions when I had no idea what everyone was saying around me. It was so nice to be able to speak in English.)
Before we came to Mexico, Claudia invited us to their house for lunch with the family. I was a bit nervous to go as I would be the only one there not speaking Spanish, but upon arrival, as Claudia greeted us with the happiest smile, I couldn’t help but feel at ease. She had prepared an amazing enchilada dish, by Kyle’s request. These were no ordinary enchiladas; corn tortillas covered in a mouthwatering verde sauce, loaded with chicken, cilantro, onions, and sour cream with bread on the side. It was probably the best food we had eaten the whole trip.
After enjoying our lunch, we all sat around the table and talked for hours. Well, Kyle talked, I mimed. However, as they were talking, I realized I could understand some of what they were saying. At least enough to get context. We taught them a little English, and in turn they tried to teach me Spanish. Kyle also did his best to translate for me, though sometimes he would get a question in Spanish and then turn to me and repeat it in Spanish. I would just smile at him until he realized what he had done and then we would all laugh.
I can honestly say, that this visit was the highlight of our vacation. Not the beaches, the food, the views, or the shopping, though those were a bonus. It was being able to see this family, and how happy they are. They have come so far from when Kyle first came to their door and you can see what a difference the gospel and the temple have made in their lives. They are incredible people, and I feel blessed to have spent some time with them. Thank you, Cesar, Claudia, Israael, Erick, and Dianney. You are an example to us of true friendship and love.
And then it was time to say goodbye. With hugs and handshakes all around, and extending our departure as long as possible, we rode the family’s scooters back to Sam and Ceyla’s to get our belongings. With more hugs and handshakes, we said goodbye to our wonderful hosts. Rebecca drove us to the dock where we bought our tickets for the ferry and said our last goodbyes to the island of Cozumel.
It was a bittersweet moment. Kyle and I had enjoyed our time on the island, and touring Mexico, but we were ready to go home. That’s when we knew that it was a trip worth our time and money. We had packed in as much as we could see, spent time with as many people as possible, seen a family be joined for eternity, enjoyed seeing things in Mexico most tourists don’t see, and left feeling completely fulfilled. We had a ferry ride, bus trip, and short nights rest before waking up at 3:30am to catch our flight, but as we left Cozumel, that seemed to mark the last chapter of our traveling. And how perfect it was, looking out into the ocean, taking in the sight, smell, and feel of it all. We didn’t say anything, but as we stood there holding hands, taking in the view, our thoughts echoed the same thing, “we’ll be back”.