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No bugs, but Mexican poverty was hard to take

I had never been anywhere west of the Dakotas before March 11, 2003.
On that date my girlfriend and I travelled to San Diego, California for a week’s long vacation.
We left -40°F windchill factors two days earlier behind and hoped for great weather. Boy were we in for a treat when we arrived there.
With the exception of one little glitch at the San Diego airport (the fire alarms went off just as we debarked from the plane), the entire trip was great, especially the 80°F weather we had four days in a row!
The first thing I really noticed about the place other than the palm trees and ocean everywhere, was the fact that there were no bugs!
Everyone that knows me knows that I hate bugs. I probably have more bug spray, mosquito coils and things like a bug zapper than anyone I know.
Unloading our luggage from the truck to the place we were staying at I kept saying, “Close the door you are going to let the bugs in.”

It took me a day or two really get used to the fact that they do not have mosquitoes in San Diego... yes no mosquitoes!
My girlfriend’s sister was good enough to be our tour guide, taking us all over the place.
One of those places was down to Rosarito Beach, Mexico.
I was overwhelmed by the sheer contrast between the rich neighbourhoods of California and the impoverished residents of Mexico.
It really was sad to see little kids begging in the streets or trying to make a living selling chicklets to you for a quarter.
It really made me thankful for the way we live in this neck of the woods, even if it is a struggle from pay day to pay day for many people.
We are very lucky to live the lifestyles we live here and not to have to beg for a living. Sure we have our own problems with poverty, but I am sure they pale in comparison to the poor of Mexico.
–Until then,