January 28, 2008
To some of you it will come as a surprise that I am now in the country of Peru. My dear sister-friend Musi has been inviting me for years to join her and Bernarr on their trip to her homeland, Peru. This is the first year I am able to say yes, and travel with her. The timing is good as she just lost her 33-year traveling companion, Bernarr this summer to the angels. So she is happy to have me as a new angel traveling companion.
My flight reservation was for January 25 at 12:30 am. The first clever thing I had to do was to realize that I had to go to the airport on Jan. 24 in order to catch my flight leaving just after midnight.
Debora Bone was kind enough to be willing to drive me to the Oakland airport. We were aiming for 6:30 and actually made it out the door about an hour after that. I was in the process of installing some programs on my new travel computer.* The progress bar kept creeping across the screen promising to be done "any moment now." After I finished trying to get the "kitchen sink" into my backpack and checking off as many of the "to do" items from my lists as I could feasibly do before walking out the door, I found that the computer was STILL installing software.
Deb and I carried my backpack, duffle bag, cup of tea, water bottle in it's leather case, and day pack down and loaded the car. (I went on a trip and I took a...).
I went back up to my room and scooped up *"Heart" my new (old) travel 12" laptopa G4 I found through Craig's List. Carefully carrying it down to the car, I kept the lid open so that it could finish with the software install. About half way to the airport it finished successfully and I was able to shut it down and pack it up.
Deb left me off at the curb. I put on the daypack, strapped the large travel backpack to a set of "wheels" grabbed the duffle and set off. I checked the bags in and continued on to an uneventful pass through the security checkpoint.
Found my gate, found a power socket and found a wall to lean against. I opened up "Heart" and proceeded to work on the Women's Herbal Symposium Website. It was part of my plan to start preparations to get the site ready for the 2008 web info while I waited for the plane. Unexpectedly, I had more thyme that I was counting on as our departure plane was late in arriving to pick us up. At one point it was announced that the plane was delayed due to an unexpected detour to an LA airport for a passenger health emergency. They informed us that we would still make our connecting flights in San Salvador.
I worked till the Symposium site was archived, poised and ready for new info, and till my eyes were closing of their own accord. About that time it was finally our time to board. I was happy that I paid the airport internet access fee and was able to upload web files and email Musi in Lima to keep her informed.
Just after departure, I downed some California Poppy tincture as suggested by Raven, to encourage rest on my midnight to morn flight. To my good fortune, the 2 seats next to me never filled. At first I stretched over 2 seats and eventually, I sprawled across all 3 and fit exactly head to foot. I missed the meal that was served in the middle of the night (my luck again) and woke up and sat up with just a short time left in the flight.
Some time before we landed we found out that our connecting flight in San Salvador couldn't wait and had left without us.
In the San Salvador airport I checked email and got a response from Musi entitled: "Solutions" in which she let me know she was checking in with the airport to know what to expect. She sent the phone number and address of the place we are staying with her friendsand that she would try to be there to meet me.
Stranded in El Salvador! I was getting ready for a long night in the airport. Not so. After serving us a breakfast in a box, they shuttled us to a Hotel in downtown San Salvador. The people that were delayed with me took me under their wing. A couple of the younger women spoke English as well as Spanish and let me know what was happening step by step. I also connected with Calloway, a woman who was on her way to visit her homeland, Belize. The whole group became as family.
After checking into the hotel, I signed up for internet access. It didn't work. I turned on my compuer, launched Safari, andno internet.
Called the front desk and they send up Ivan to help. He was familiar with pc's but not macs. I poked around looking for a solution. We even went to another room for a test. Still, no internet.
Ivan called tech support and we finally connected with an english speaker familiar with macs. After some time of checking this and that, my tech support fellow finally found out that both rooms were in a group of units in the system that were being worked on.
On to another room, I moved to 510, plugged in, turned on and it WORKED! Ah, perseverance futhers.
I was able to text Jody on her cell phone and have almost instant communication. I then had the brilliant idea of downloading skype and Jody and I continued to chat. I then emailed Pablo to sign up with Skype and within an unbelievably short time, there was Pablo calling me on Skype. Not only did I get ot hear his voice, but soon came video. There he was, in another country, and on my computer screen. Wow!
Next morning the shuttle picked us up and returned us to the airport in San Salvador. Everything went smoothly and soon we were on our way. About 4 hours later we landed in Lima.
Passing thru customs was quick and easy. And there waiting on the other side was Musi. What a relief! She picked a taxi and soon we were on our way to the casa de Jorje, Ana, Carmela (Anna's mama) and Jasminlongtime friends of Musi.
During high school I took 4 years of Spanish and even with all of that I started in Spanish I at UCSC in 1979. All I can say is that it is coming back muy rapido. I decided to be brave and try to talk to people. I pay attention to conversations some times and understand once in a while. I say simple things and when talking to me, they say simple things backand I am learning. I am enjoying this language learning and of course, Musi is happy that I am trying and I'm delighted.
More about Lima and pictures to come.