I know what you are thinking–no, not that type of mission.
I mentioned on my other blog that a Thanksgiving weekend road/ field/ edu-fun trip seems to be becoming a family tradition for us. A series of now-comic mishaps with a local co-op found us on a one-family field trip in Waco, TX, on last year, and this year took us on the San Antonio missions trail, through some of the oldest architectural sites in the state.
These were the dwelling places of the Spanish priests, nuns, and other travelers as they sought to bring Christianity to the Native Americans inhabiting the area.
When we have come to this point in our history studies before, we trekked down to Goliad, TX and visited some gorgeous missions in that area. I dare say, though, that these felt a bit more authentic on the inside to what was in place 300 years ago, even though this area has undergone its renovations, too. Here, as one example, was the quarters for the would-be converted Native Americans, which looks just a tad bit different than the church and parish that housed the priests.
It was easy enough for us to find these places and simply stroll. For those wishing to travel and trade here, however, it was a very different story all those years ago.
According to the narrative above, all travelers were scrutinized heavily by a gatekeeper who actually lived at the gate (see the cell-like window to the left). Travelers came from places that were, in some cases, weeks away by horse or on foot.
Amazingly enough, as in Goliad, several of these missions are now operating churches (we were not allowed to take many pictures out of respect for the place of worship).
What an opportunity to take in life as it was for some of the earliest settlers of this particular area. I cannot wait to see where life finds us at this time on next year.