Life Quilt – row 1, square 4 – Northwest Medical Teams, Part 1, Wild Bill in Mexico

I told you earlier how my wife and I got connected to Northwest Medical Teams (now Medical Teams International).

My memories with NWMT are linked to three men that went with me: Wild Bill (Mexico), Ben (Peru 1), and Jeff (Peru 2).

(Let me pause here to show you the awesome quilting talent Joanne exhibits. Watch the background fabric, how she worked to match it in concept to the tee shirt square.)

Wild Bill

The first mission I went on with them was to Mexico on a Gift of Hope mission for families living in the city dumps at Oaxaca and Mexico City. My roomate came to be known as Wild Bill, not because he was wild, but because he looked the part. Wild Bill was from Laramie, WY and he had just returned from a trip to the Amazon with his daughter. His working life was in Chille where he worked in the forest.  When he was through he drove the Pan American highway all the way home in a VW bus. He told me he spoke passable spanish.


Oaxaca dump

In Oaxaca we had christmas presents for the children.  Bill and I went door to door with bags of presents with family names and children’s ages on the outside, provided by our incountry agency Manos de Vida. We were to tell them these presents came in nombre Jesus Christo. (NWMT is a faith based organization which is a major reason why i love them and ultimately led me from the Episcopal church to the First Congregational UCC church I now attend and where my spiritual journey began)  I kept bugging Bill to. remember to say that and finally he had to. Ask me to stop.


Later in the week we laid concrete floors in two huts  for families that live in the Oaxaca dump.


Mexico City dump

In each site Manos de Vida took us to the Children’s club. And then we went out among the homes from there.


We walked and walked till I grew tired and had to have a ride back to the. Children’s Club house. The dogs kept us company as we went door to door.

This trip was after Thanksgiving 2003 and into December.  We were sad to leave, but glad to return home.


Wild Bill was the oldest volunteer to travel with NWMT at age 85.  He has since passed away. Bless your heart and thanks for helping me understand.

– Small town boy

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