I am back from my whirlwind trip to Peru with a lot to share! I have decided to break my posts into parts and will post another part every few days. This experience was life changing and I don’t want to forget to tell you anything. So here goes.
Part one: A day of travel
My flight was to leave at 6:00 am on a monday. I was super excited and nervous and pretty much completely ready for my adventure, or so I thought. My dad picked me up to take me to the airport at 4:00am I had barely slept due to my nerves. I had so much going through my head. I do not travel often, so I was very much looking forward to my first flight to Dallas being over because in Dallas I would meet the other blogger Esther from Laugh With us Blog, we would then fly to Miami where we would meet up with every one, fly into Peru, and have plenty of help through immigration and customs.
I arrived at the airport with plenty of time. I went through security and up to my gate fairly smoothly. I remember just thinking in shock how the trip had arrived and all the neat things I was going to be able to see and do. It was time to board. I sat in my seat and was raring to go. The problem was that the plane was not. The captain came on the intercom saying there was a technical issue he would talk to us in 20 minutes and let us know the details. I was a little nervous but figured it was nothing. 20 minutes later the pilot spoke to us again, this time he said it was in fact something. The plane had a mechanical problem and could not fly, we all needed to get off and find other arrangements. This terrified me! I am not a traveler I had no idea what to do, everyone quickly scurried off of the plane. So did I but of course in my hurry had forgotten my carry on under my seat. After finally getting to go back to my seat to grab it I was on my way to figure out what to do.
I immediately called my Operation Christmas Child contact, Amy. She was amazing! She, along with the travel agent got my flights figured out in no time. I was really nervous that I was going to have to miss my trip completely. The good news was I was all set up again to head to Peru, the bad news was that the only other option of flights were quite later in the day. I would be taking the flight to Peru from Miami on the red eye. I would land in Lima at 5:30 am the following morning all by myself to navigate customs and immigration. No more comfy bubble of other people in my group to help me.
My first thought was complete fear. How could I do something I have never done before all by myself!? I don’t speak very much spanish at all either! I will say that deciding to not go on the trip did not occur to me. This was too neat of an experience. I would figure this out. I talked to my husband who had traveled out of the country before. he told me that I was going to be fine he had faith in me and knew I could do it. I felt much calmer after that. The rest of the day and night went as planned. I was surprised at my ability to figure out where to go next at the airports. I was doing it by myself. I know now that this hurdle of delayed flights was a blessing. I learned so much and became stronger for it. Not to say that I did not freak out and panic because I totally did but the fact is I made it!
At 5:30 am on tuesday my flight landed. I was now in Peru. It was surprisingly easy to navigate customs and immigration! PHEW!!! They had told me someone from OCC would be waiting for me outside of customs. I walked outside the airport after everything was done and heard my name called loud and clear! This hard part was over. I was now with my group. I was never so happy to hear my name called!
Joey from OCC was there with a driver to take us to the hotel. He was awesome and so much fun to talk to He had told me everyone was praying for me to arrive safely so I could still participate. I had felt the prayers. I was ready for the rest of my week to start, ready to meet these beautiful children of Peru and ready to experience everything.
A Picture of Joey and I taken on the last day