The following entires are taken directly from my journal I kept during the week.
Last night my nerves were going strong. I woke up around 2 am and began to PANIC. I tried to calm myself down by breathing slow. I was eventually able to fall back asleep. My alarm went off at 4 am and it was time to get moving. My mind was finally calming down and I was ready for my adventure. I had stayed the night at my parents. Saying goodbye brought back the anxiety, but I knew this trip would be amazing.
Dad drove me to the airport and I met up with the group. Sitting and chatting while we waited for the group helped calm my nerves. We were a group of 9, Gretchen, Maribel, Daniel, Beatriz, Becca, Gracie, Jessica, and Gloria. We all work at different schools in the Diocese. Jessica and I are the lone English Speakers.
the truck we would eventually be riding in
I slept for most of the flight and when we landed, I made it through customs with only one mishap. Maribel and I totally walked past the customs line! whoops! After getting through we met up with Caesar who would be our driver and one of our main contacts. Then we embarked on the world’s longest travel day. We started the day on a lovely air conditioned bus. We rode on this from about 11 am-4 pm, then switched to the back of a truck for another 2 hours.
Before, the truck we stopped at a house where 37 students live. They go to the local high school. After school they come back for English and Math lessons. We ate a late lunch and the kids gave us a tour. One girl N showed us around, she loves Nicholas Spark’s books! We bonded over this! After the tour we climbed on the bus and drove another hour or so. We pulled into a gas station to get water bottles. OF COURSE my bag broke and bottles went everywhere! Thankfully the kind men sitting out front helped me carry them to the truck. Our new ride was the back of a truck. We piled in and got ready for a 2 hour ride up through the mountains. It was spectacular view the entire ride.
driving through the mountains
The drive was very rough. We finally arrived close to 6 pm and my body was past the point of exhaustion. When I got to our little room with bunk beds, my vision got blurry and I began to shake all over. I was worried I was about to pass out. I quickly made my way back through the tiny house racing for some fresh air. Once outside I threw up twice. I literally thought I was going to die (I can be a bit extreme in my thought process) the whole time I was trying to picture how they would get me down the mountain. I calmed down and was able to eat a little bit of dinner.
some of the houses we saw on our way up the mountain
We then met in the little chapel right next to the mission house to go over the plans for the week. We would be training 50 teachers from the mountain schools. We also went over house rules…the small town was in a drought so conserving water was extremely important. “If its yellow let it mellow if its brown flush it down…” and by flush it down I mean put several buckets of water in the toilet tank and then flush. We were all falling asleep at this point and so ready for bed. When I finally crawled into my mosquito net I was OUT.