Missionary Shenanigans,  Uncategorized

Cow Tongues, Colostomy Bags & The Donut Man


They’ve made me wonder, empathize, laugh and sigh. Cultural differences that aren’t right and aren’t wrong, just different.

It was a common phrase we challenged every Ventana student over the years. Just because something is different than what we’re used to doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It might look strange to our American eyes, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t work.

After living here for a decade I thought I’d seen almost every quirky cultural thing Mexico had to offer. Then I started looking for the unusual and taking pictures.

You might think selling boots, eggs and honey on the same table is weird. Locals would call it convenient.

Not right, not wrong, just different.

I felt like such a tourist taking these. But with you in mind, it was worth it.

Beach sign

Rule #1: Spanish doesn’t usually translate word for word. Hence this fabulous sign at the beach:               “If you are on risk. Rise up your hand like a signal help.”

Bird cage at tortilleria

Looking for a bird cage? Check the tortilla factory first.

Boats on cliff

When installing boats on your cliff, make sure one is anchored with a telephone pole.

Boots, eggs, honey

Boots on a wagon, eggs by the dozens and honey in wine bottles. Eat your heart out, Super Walmart.

Brock & horse

If you don’t have a stable, your front yard will do.

campfire in drum

When you can warm your feet without getting burned, bonfires make more sense in old washing machine drums.

Chair in church

When the seats at church rip, you give thanks it’s just the back and move on.

Chicken prints

Why do the chickens cross the same road every day?

Roosters on blocks

Maybe to get away from these guys. Five in a row, tic tac whoa.

Chio's puppies

When your friend brings her new babies in a front pack, try not to laugh while meeting them.

Church rain bucket

You know it’s been raining hard when the greeter at church is replaced by a water-catching bucket.

Churros Locos

How sweet it is when boys use math skills to realize they could pool their pesos, buy ingredients for Churros Locos, make their own concoctions and save some coin.

Cow stomach & tongue

Praise God they didn’t choose to buy these. Cow stomach or tongue for dinner? #costco

Craisins are candy

See? I knew Craisins had a lot of sugar. #candyaisle


Australian guy marries Chinese girl. They move to Baja, buy product from a gringo missionary in board shorts and call it a day. Makes sense to us.

Dessert on a door

When preparing desserts at a fancy outdoor restaurant, two barrels and a door do wonders.

Diagonal crosswalk

Diagonal crosswalks in Ensenada = no pedestrians getting mowed. #takenotesamerica

Donas man

Setting up your donut crate across from the elementary school at 3pm? Brilliant marketing.

Doctor waiting

When your doctor’s late to your appointment, be thankful you brought something to do.

Dog in school meeting

Middle school meetings aren’t just for moms and preschoolers. #straydog

Dog in trash can

Speaking of dogs, our neighbor prefers to get in the can instead of tipping it.

Double-decker bike

Second double-decker bike in town. First old guy on one.

Doug, Luke, Josefina, Carrie

When your friends treat you to lunch and the wife is deaf, be thankful she brought her husband.

Feather on eggs

Proof they’re real. Buy local, eat feathers.

Flags at church

If you, the white man, get recruited to rep the U.S. at church, don’t forget your cowboy hat.

Flooded driveway

When it rains it floods.


So if you can’t beat it, floor it. #mudboggin

Fort at school

To you it’s a trash pile. To my 4th-grader it’s the beginning of a fort at recess. #tetanus

Goats and tour bus

When walking your goats, watch out for the new tour buses. #welcome! #gohome

Hippo crossing

Hippo crossing in the wine valley. Because that’s normal. #kidpark #zooahead

Hole in sidewalk

The city sidewalks have tons of holes. Be thankful for the ones with wood.

Horse at church

When riding your horse to church, make sure to arrive early for a good spot in the shade.

Horse behind truck


Ladies eat for less

Sometimes it’s financially beneficial to be a lady. #allyoucaneat

Larry, Carrie, Cindy

When new gringos move to town, you break them in with your kids’ Mexican Revolution Parade.

Truck in parade

And then you remember your truck’s carrying the local queen. #mustache

Micah & Claudia

The day you realize your favorite hairdresser is pretty short. #claudia

Micah holding power line

When the delivery truck can’t fit under your power lines, leave it to the tallest guy to figure it out.


Fresh octopus and distant cousins. #p.u.

Old man and chicken

Cane in one hand, dead chicken in the other. Feelin’ spry.

Phone on face

Sometimes sticking your phone to your face is easier than holding it. #handsfree

Police leading horse

If your horse gets arrested and tied to the police bumper, don’t be surprised if he’s a little depressed.


How our water and propane get delivered: through the neighbor’s lot.


Proud of them for trying to recycle. Now what? #cokeforbreakfast

Road flags

Volatile underground pipes call for warning markers.

Salty water

After two weeks of a leaky shower, I finally have proof our water is salty.

Selling hay

Buying and selling hay is more fun when you shoot the breeze with a fellow cowboy for 30 minutes.

Sheep & pee bag

I wanted a picture of the sheep. Then the owner stepped out and I got a whole lot more than I bargained for. #tuckinyourbag #porfavor

Skulls at restaurant

Don’t be nervous when your favorite restaurant specializes in goat and then hangs these outside.

Track win

When you’re the only white kid, you throw signs and hope the W stands for “Win.”

Tree in truck

I’m guessing this guy down the street hasn’t driven his truck since the ’80s. Maybe the ’70s.

Water pipes in street

Now I understand why getting water to our house is occasionally an issue. One-inch PVC.

Wires in laundry room

Sometimes we have to hire people. Hope he knew what he was doing. #zap

Wedding cake flop

When your friend’s wedding cake falls over in the truck, her mother teaches you a lot without saying a word.  #attitude #keepsmiling

You’re still with me? Lucky you–I’ve saved the best for last. I had to hide behind our palm tree like a creeper to get this, but yes–it was worth it.

Behold, the Donut Man. Five o’clock. Every day. #donas

” D o n a a a a a s ! “

Not right, not wrong, just different.


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