≡ Menu



The target destination of the week was our district convention in Queretaro.

See a map of our road trip

Queretaro is a pretty city with a colonial feel to it.  The historic downtown area offers over 460 years of history through it’s aqueduct, temples, mansions, and palaces.  We did not get to spend much time in the centro (downtown) area but we did drive by this beautiful aqueduct.

The aqueduct has 74 beautiful arches.  It was built between 1726 and 1735 in order to bring drinking water to the city from the springs outside.  It has a maximum height of 75 feet and is 3840 feet long.  This was an ambitious undertaking and you can see it from all through town.  Just beautiful.  Love the stonework.

It capped off a wonderful week for us …amusement park, bethel and finally convention.  We have been anticipating the convention all summer.  After gleaning little tidbits here and there our appetite was whet for the program.  And it did not disappoint!

If you have been reading about our escapades (how was that Becca?) here in Mexico you know that we have come to expect the unexpected… a couple weeks ago we received a letter in the cong that there is a concert scheduled for the Thursday night before convention and that we are not able to get inside to clean and set up until 11pm.  Once the kiddos heard this letter they wanted to help!  We talked it over and knew it would be difficult because everyone would be so tired.  But it’s an opportunity to help out.  And if you were a kid and had this opportunity, wouldn’t you think it was cool?  We told the kiddos that they could only do this if they rested on Thursday afternoon.  Well, they did!  (a very unusual thing for our kiddos to do)  They worked very hard and had a wonderful time.  These pictures are taken around midnight.  There were plenty of volunteers to get things taken care of so it went pretty quickly.  The sound guys stayed the latest -around 2:30am.  But the work got done and everything was ready for Friday morning.

Sleeping cuties

Waiting to get to work with our girlfriend Blanca

Mikee and Austin putting together the convention banner for the stage

India and Ginger Kitty sweeping up glitter from the stage

Dwight and Joy have been serving in Ecuador and Mexico for over 20 years

The sound team finished around 2:30am

[youtube Vd2BXPseYos]

[youtube 4cKXSqPIwug]

Here are some things we noticed that are above and beyond the printed program…

  • There was no one in the halls during the session.  I know this since having little girls means we need to hit the restroom frequently.  There were not even the normal signs we are used to (Please be seated) because they are not necessary.  —That was interesting.
  • There are a lot of families who have moved to help out here in Mexico.  Mikee and I were surprised to see how many in attendance had families ranging in age from new babies right up to teens.  —That is interesting.
  • Every single person wore their name badge.  The only exceptions were studies.  Even before and after convention.  —That was interesting.
  • No matter where you go on this earth, you will feel at home with brothers and sisters.  That is just the truth.


This was not an easy destination.  Many congregations arrange buses.  Those who do not travel by bus or plane usually travel with a group and the roads are very nice but they come at a cost and the tolls are not cheap.  A lot of saving had been done in advance to cover the expenses of transportation, hotel, food, taxi, contributions.  Still, there are a large number of Bible students in attendance who see the importance of the special occasion.  And these costs include the day before and after convention -not just the Friday through Sunday.

We met friends who had to fly from Huatulco to Mexico City and take a bus for a couple hours to Queretaro.

Our new friend Kiai who traveled all the way from Huatulco

In true “small world” fashion we had some super cool experiences…

When we were in Rhode Island, a friend asked me to look out for her friend Ari who was living somewhere near Mexico City.  The country of Mexico is HUGE and Mexico City is 6 hours away.  Even if we happened to be at the same convention what are the chances our paths would cross.  Guess what?  I was chatting with the sister sitting behind us and …you guessed it… SHE WAS ARI!!!  Not only is that wonderful but she is so sweet and we have an instant bond.  She sends a special hello to Mickie.  🙂

[youtube CYxtBSPjhb8]

Ruby, Camille & Ari

India’s friend Brooke is visiting from Oregon and was at the convention along with her mom and dad.  Many years ago they had a good friend, Javier, who was in their congregation but had to leave the US and move back to Mexico.  They had lost contact and never expected to see each other again.  Brooke’s dad, Jim, was in the restroom and said hi to someone.  Javier was in the stall (I know, kind of TMI) 😉 and recognized the voice even though he had not heard it in years and came out to find a very good old long lost friend.

It is amazing that you can be somewhere full of people you may have known for ages and they all feel like strangers OR you can be somewhere that is brand new and feel like you are among old friends.

An experience that was shared at the end of convention:  a brother was walking to get a taxi and a man approached and asked, “Are you one of Jehovah’s Witnesses?” to which the brother replied, “Yes.”  This man said, “I have been looking for you.  I lived in Texas and studied 2 times but now I live in Queretaro.  Thanks to your name badge I found you!”  The brother asked what the man liked about his study and the man said, “I like the hope of God’s Kingdom.”  Which is the theme of our convention.

This was an especially memorable convention for our family since Austin was one of the 22 that were baptized.

Ginger Kitty getting "all comfy"

Setting up the screen to view Saturday's baptism

Checking out the pool

Watching Dad rehearse on stage

Can you say soliloquy?

Chicitas bonitas

Boys boys boys

Paying attention in the front row

Roman, Ruben, Jehu, Austin, Mikee

Austin and Moss

Gary and Austin

Austin and Aaron

Darren, Brycen, Larissa, Dylan, Austin


Aren't they cute when they pay attention?

The family team

Ginger Kitty and Yaya

Do you have favorite memories of conventions?  Do they usually include working hard?

Not only did Austin, India and Selena help out with the midnight crew on the Thursday before convention, they also had assisted with the take-down on Sunday afternoon.  Gotta love hard working kids.  Austin helped the sound guys with wires and equipment.  India and Selena cleared the stage and surrounding area of every single piece of duct tape -which they made balls out of.  There are opportunities here to share in theocratic activity that are not available to the kids back in the States because of age restrictions.  Along with great need comes great privileges.  These moments added to the very special week and they unanimously voted this the best convention ever!

India helped make these "rocks" that were used in the drama

Carrying equipment with Andy

Disassembling stage equipment

Duct tape juggling balls

Joe and the boys

Miles and miles of cords & cables

We stayed up way too late each evening but just couldn’t tear ourselves away from time spent getting to know new friends.  Finally on Monday we were able to sleep in a little later before enjoying a delicious breakfast.

Loved this common area off the main lobby

Kitty is ready for breakfast in the dining room

Making your own waffles -super popular

Getting a sneak peak at a Bethel application

And here are some pictures of friends.  Do you see anyone you know?



{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Rebecca and George Duarte August 26, 2011, 12:16 pm

    What a beautiful post(love the new verbiage, although I loved it before to0) To see all of you having such a full share in the theocratic activity, really beautiful.
    Love you all.

    PS Hearing your interview on Wednesday really hit home how much we miss you ALL so MUCH. Your sacrifice that you have made to step over into Macedonia not only does Jehovah see and brings his heart joy, but it really makes our heart happy and brim over with love for your family.
    Love you all Becca

  • nicole August 26, 2011, 5:36 pm

    Thanks for the many beautiful picture, we appreciate them. Congratulations Austin, good work mom and dad.

  • DAD August 27, 2011, 9:38 am


  • Alison August 29, 2011, 10:01 am

    Congrats to Austin!
    Can I just say he is a spitting image of Mike in the picture w/ Selena leaning on Cami’s shoulder! Miss you guys!!!

  • Ellice Skretvedt August 31, 2011, 7:42 am

    Wow – these were great photos! But it has made me hurting to be there! Looked like great fun as always! Our favorite conventions in our memories are right there in Queretaro. Thank you SO much for posting these. I just loved seeing everybody – including Alejandra! I am so happy for her that she made that trip!
    What hotel did you guys stay at? Looks great!
    Miss your family so much!!!

  • Claire Janvary September 1, 2011, 6:16 pm

    Hi Camille – I have been in the U.S. since early June and was looking forward to meeting you at the D.C. But in July I became ill and was not able to come down with my husband – he flew down (had a part on Friday) and then returned to Atlanta. We are still here and expect to return to Acapulco in a week or so – my health issues have detained us. By the way, Val is in one of your photos! The one captioned “boys, boys, boys”…. he’s on the right side with a white haired sister taking his photo. So I’ll look forward to another opportunity to meet you and your family. Even though I got to see many friends when I attended the D.C. in Atlanta, I still missed the friends, the spirit and excitement of our Mexico English convention. And we share in your happiness in seeing your son baptized! I dare you not to cry at every baptism after this! When the song starts and the candidates file out, I always remember seeing my son and….sniff….sniff….can’t help it even though it was 17 years ago! Tears of happiness…

  • Tamar and Tom September 4, 2011, 9:20 pm

    Hello dear family! It was so exciting to read your comments and of course we feel very proud of Austin too! How happy Jehovah must be! Keep making Jehovah happy –Austin!! our love, Tamar and Tom

  • Lori Borys September 9, 2011, 8:13 am

    Gorgeous pictures as always.

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: