January 31st: Day 2
Portland – La – Lima,Peru – Cusco!!!
3 planes later….. and I’ve made it! I asked myself about a billion times today “what am I doing??” because I honestly have no idea.
It was my first solo plane ride, my first solo baggage claim, my first time clearing customs, first ti
me getting an immigration card, and first time traveling internationally. I can now say forsure that my airplane/airport virginity has been lost! Also: apparently I look like a terrorist. I have been “randomly” screened twice, set off every security alarm when walking through, and was told in Lima that me (and only me) had to take off my shoes. The security guard then laughed at me while I took my shoes off, but then he told me I was a beautiful american, so I think that makes up for it? My biggest struggle of today was definitely my lack of ability to speak Spanish. I think I heard about 3 people in Lima speak English and none of the workers in the house in Cusco speak English so it has been interesting communicating to say the least. The worst of it all was my layover in Lima. I managed to get through baggage claim, customs, immigration, etc (which was a miracle). Although once at my flight terminal I could not understand ANYTHING the fight attendant announced on the intercom. Thank God I made a friend who translated for me: explaining that the flight was delayed, then explaining it was delayed some more, then he let me use his phone to call my parents (who I was supposed to check in with 4 hours earlier but I couldn’t tap into WiFi- I think they thought I was dead), then he translated that our terminal gate was changed, then helped me find the bus we had to take to the plane. Thank God for my pal Humberto because there’s no way I would’ve figured it out on my own. By the end of this journey I am proud to announce that I have made my first Peruvian Facebook/real life friend.
As far as Cusco goes: it is beautiful! Some parts are also fairly sketchy so I definitely need to be very aware at all times. I’m a little bit freaked out right now because all of the volunteers went away for a weekend trip so the house is a ghost town consisting of just me and temporary cook who speaks zero English. So I don’t really have anyone to talk to or ask questions to or befriend …all is new and definitely scary. I’m fairly exhausted and disoriented and confused as to what I’m supposed to be doing and when and where I’m supposed to be places but all should (hopefully) be clear in good time. Viva el Peru (as the saying carved in the mountain goes).