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I'm back

It's been almost two years since my last post, detailing my adventures in Latin America. Since then, Tony Blair stepped down as Prime Minister, Facebook became a big thing and more recently Capitalism was brought to its knees. But I'm back, and looking to see where to take this site next.

To round up the past two years in a nut shell, in the months following my last post my projects with Milamex in Mexico and Unela in Costa Rica drew to a close. I got engaged to a Mexican girl in the Summer of that year, and was tasked with finding employment here in Mexico. Since November 2007 I have been working as a web application interface developer for the Mexican technology company Arena Premier (whose new website I designed should launch in the next couple of weeks). The November of 2008 proved even more memorable, as we married in a beautiful garden along the canals of Xochimilco.

My new family

Photo of Tim, Mirna and Arely

The wedding was a very emotional and exciting day, and afforded me the opportunity to invite my family from England so they could meet the new in-laws and experience first-hand a part of the world which has shaped me so much in these past three years.

My wife Mirna brings with her a 9-year-old daughter Arely, thus over night I went from being young free and single to responsible dad and head of family. It's an exciting new life but full of challenges.

Another overnight change that took place is that now in the region of ninety percent of my family live in Guadalajara, Mexico. Mirna has 20-something aunties and uncles, all with large families of their own. I really can't put a date on when I'll know all their names!

The future

It's been on the cards since the day we met - the possibility of a return to England.

It's a sad fact of life, but whilst we both remain employees of Mexican companies, we will never have the opportunities that a life somewhere else might afford us. This is a subject I may expand upon in a future post, but I'm going to cite just one example of the difficulties which Mexicans face.

The great majority of companies here offer the legal minimum of holiday (vacation) days as stated by Mexican law. An employee here must work their first year without a single day of holiday (with the exception of bank holidays - of which I'm taking advantage of today) so to earn in their second year just 6 days. The third year 8 days, and so on. When you move employer, you start from scratch. The company for whom I work have been very gracious with me and gave me three weeks paid holiday so I could enjoy a honeymoon and show my family around, but this is quite an exceptional case. Together with longer working hours and significantly lower salaries, were we to hope to even visit England, it could almost certainly never be achieved.

So, as I begin a new life with my new family, I am seeking new foundation upon which we can grow, that is both economically secure and can offer us both adventure and new opportunities.

As a Christian, I look back over these past three and a half years since first coming out to Mexico, and can see more than ever now the importance of the work which Christians do here - working in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions to see a new 'politic' of the love of Christ work throughout this society for change. I would hope that God can still use me as an instrument for change too in the years ahead.

The two-year new year's resolution: revisited

As a final point of reflection, I am reminded of the first blog post I published back in the December of 2005, The two-year new year's resolution - written just over three years ago. In the post I pondered on where I might be in two years. It doesn't matter that we're three years down the line (see Steve's comment at the bottom!), perhaps now is the right time to look back as I seek to put some closure on the past few years and look ahead to the new. At the time I was embarking on a new adventure and was uncertain what the future would hold. In many ways I'm in the same boat now. Just as I can see now how my future eventually unfolded and how God protected and guided me at that time, I rest in the belief that God still accompanies me in those same travels today. I faced over the years that followed some great challenges and emotional trials, and now I must seek to trust God as the next chapter is written, not knowing what lies ahead.

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