I made it! I’ve officially been in Cochabamba for two days now, and man, it’s hotter than I remembered!
Getting here was no easy feat. The travel day was nuts to say the least and I feel like there are so many things I could tell you about it.
Like I could tell you about how we sat on the plane in Seattle for over an hour waiting for the baggage to get loaded since American Airlines only had one baggage crew.
I could tell you about all of the awesome people I got to sit by on the way down, from the two middle aged men I sat between on my way to Dallas, to the Microsoft marketing pro I sat by on the flight to Miami, we had some great conversations.
I could tell you about how both domestic American Airlines planes I flew on were nicer than the one to Bolivia. That thing was seriously a dinosaur, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the oldest plane in the American fleet.
I could tell you about how we had already taxied onto the runway for my flight from Miami to La Paz when the Captain came on the speakers letting us know that the center fuel pump had stopped registering so we had to return to the gate so that maintenance could look at it, and how an hour and a half later he comes on again to tell us they only had to flip a switch and the problem was fixed (ya right *).
Or how about the fact that I’m pretty sure I’m the only person on that flight that didn’t speak Spanish fluently, even the cabin crew was from Buenos Aires, so I found myself having to answer questions and give my drink/meal orders in Spanish a lot earlier than I expected.
I could tell you about how after about three hours of sleep I woke up to sunrise over Lake Titicaca and snowcapped Andes Mountains. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. God is an incredible artist!
Or about how on the “full” flight to La Paz the middle seat in my row happened to be open, allowing me to stretch out more (praise Jesus!), and how on the next flight from La Paz to Santa Cruz my whole row was empty so I was able to scoot over to the window seat and stare in awe at La Paz and the high Andes as we flew over them.
Oh, and then I could tell you about the point, in the Santa Cruz airport when I went to call my contact, Neco, and I noticed a long line at the American Airlines counter, then I heard a woman talking on the phone in english next to me (I wasn’t eavesdropping I promise! I was just so caught off guard to hear english), she was telling her friend that there was some sort of *maintenance issue with the plane that they couldn’t fix immediately and the flight to Miami had been cancelled. Ya, that’s the plane I just got off of. Hallelujah that I made it to Santa Cruz in one piece, and my bags made it too!
Or how about the time I had to wait, with all my bags for 6 hours before I could check in to my flight to Cochabamba, which meant no bathroom for 6 hours, man that sucked.
But when all was said and done I finally made it to my new home in the countryside outside of Cochabamba. It’s been a quiet weekend. The first night everyone was gone except for Elma, Necos mother (Neco and his wife Rose are the guesthouse hosts). She only speaks Spanish so getting settledled in was an experience. Yesterday Neco, Rose and their two boys came back from visiting family, and sometime today all the volunteers should get back, so things should liven up!
Things are definitely different around here compared to last time, but I’m excited. This year I’m going to be stretched a lot, but I know God has good things in store!