Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 1 - Travel Day - Wednesday

I've decided to blog my Peru trip by days. I don't want to miss anything. Even if no one else reads it, it will be a good way for me to remember the trip in the future.

In all honesty, I wasn't that excited about the trip. I've done TONS of traveling this summer and I was (and still am) exhausted. The thought of going on another trip with a really long flight was not appealing to me. I had missed the last team meeting and just felt really unprepared for the trip. Also, I didn't really know anyone on the team. Our team meetings had been pretty quiet and a little bit awkward. It seemed like a really random group of people to me and I wasn't sure if I would really connect with any of them. The morning of the trip, I was really nervous and wondered what would happen if I just didn't show up.

We met at Elim at 7:45am to load the van and change into our matching shirts. After all, it wouldn't be a short-term missions trip without matching shirts! (I guess that's what I get for laughing at all the other matching-shirt-groups I had seen in the airport all summer.) We said a prayer and headed out. It was pretty quiet in the bus and I continued to be super-nervous.

Everything went smoothly at O'Hare and we were soon on our way to Houston. In Houston, we found out that the man from Food for the Hungry that was going to accompany us had a family emergency and had to back out. This concerned Jenna a little bit but didn't seem to affect the trip from my experience.

From Houston, we boarded a 6 1/2 hour flight to Lima, Peru. The plane was huge! I had no idea so many people flew to Lima. We all got to know each other a little bit better during the flight. (Sitting so close to each other for so long has that effect!) By the time we landed in Lima, it was 10:30pm. We cleared immigration and customs and were exhausted by the time we met up with Pilar. (She is the groups coordinator for FH and an amazing woman.)

We piled into our bus and met our driver--Roni. We learned a lot that night about driving in Peru. It involves a lot of near-death experiences and very few rules. Stop signs are optional and the first person to honk gets the right-of-way. We only saw one accident during the week so it seems to work for them. I will say that they all have an amazing knowledge of the dimensions of their vehicles. They routinely come within inches of each other but very few cars showed signs of being hit or side swiped. It was pretty crazy!

By the time we got to our guesthouse (kind of like a bed and breakfast), we gladly took the rooms assigned to us and fell into bed. Traveling is exhausting!

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