The first part of our journey today began with a four-hour drive to Falfurrias (with the bad weather it actually took closer to five). While I’ve heard about how hot and dry this part of the state can be, it was instead overcast and rainy most of our drive south. Once we arrived to our hotel, we stopped for lunch at an unlikely place for tacos, a gas station. While I was nervous at first, the tacos were actually delicious and the tortillas there were hand made, exceeding my gas station expectations.
After lunch we made our way to Sister Pam’s apartment. It was wonderful to get to see her again and catch-up on what she’s been up to. After working at the South Texas Human Rights Center for a year and a half, she’s now been focusing on helping at the Humanitarian Respite Center at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Another way in which she’s been helping with this humanitarian endeavor is by creating bags made out of T-shirts. Before we left Indianapolis, our program had donated over 20 shirts for this project. Today we were able to help Sister Pam make the bags while chatting about what was new with each of us. These bags are created by tying the ends of the shirts together and cutting off the sleeves and neckline to create the handles of the bag. The purpose of these bags is for families to be able to store clothes, personal items, food, and water as they continue on their path after their time at the respite center. While they’re usually given plastic bags, these bags made from T-shirts are much sturdier and hold more items. I was happy to be able to help make the journey for these individuals a little easier by making a few bags. Hopefully, we’ll be able to create more bags and donate them in the future.
Once we finished making the T-shirt bags, we watched a documentary that was made 2 years ago called, The Real Death Valley. It’s a really great documentary highlighting some of the issues surrounding this humanitarian crisis and shows some of the excavations that the team from UIndy has participated in. After discussing the film for a bit, we said our good byes and headed to Stickland’s for dinner. We had some delicious Southern and Mexican food, as well as some tasty pie. While most our day consisted of traveling, it was really rewarding being able to create bags that will be helpful to migrants on their journey, as well as re-connect with Sister Pam. Hopefully, the rain ceases by tomorrow and doesn’t inhibit our next adventure to map the cemeteries tomorrow.