...back to El Alto, that is. Another 6 weeks and I`ll be back HOME.
Many of you received my latest prayer letter in which I shared some of my raw, honest thoughts about returning to this city. I was hoping my next visit to the Internet would be a chance for me to be a little more upbeat, but I´m afraid I`m still not feeling too enthusiastic. I didn`t sleep well last night and woke up with nausea and the ¨D-train,¨ which quickly lowered my spirits about being back.
The first part of our retreat was with the WMF Peru staff. Their community offered us much refreshment and rest - almost too much, I´m afraid. I could see myself returning to Lima over El Alto. It felt so...normal. Comfortable. Liveable. El Alto, in comparison, is so drab, difficult, and dull, leaving much to be desired. The more I saw in Lima, the more I dreaded returning to El Alto. It doesn´t help that as I told people where I was living, they wrinkled their nose. I`m hoping my experiences will be a stepping-stone for me as I consider more intense culture shock as I re-enter the USA.
26 hours on a bus:
A dirty diaper change in the seat behind me during the middle of the night, so the air lingered with the scent of baby poo. The family got off at their stop and conveniently stashed the nasty diaper behind the curtain, so it continued on the journey with me.
Intense heater action which left me dripping with sweat as I tried to sleep.
Several movies played at incredible volume from the speaker above my head with a good mix of English-Spanish subtitles (Flika, School for Scoundrels, Night at the Museum... quite the variety)
Frat boys at the front of the bus - I declined a beer but did enjoy some of their Oreos.
My iPod made things bearable... :)
About Peru: trees, sea level, shorts & flip-flops, beach, normal restaurants, daily HOT showers in which to shave my legs, dreamy mattress, relief, culture shock, even an episode of ¨The Office¨ on tv - (in English and a break from The Simpsons that my B-family is obsessed with)
The lovely Copacabana: hippies, beautiful jewlery, world travelers, altitude, live music, good food, hotel room with a view, Passion Fruit juice, a couple games of ¨Truth or Dare Jenga¨with creamy hot chocolate, bartering at the shops with my improved Spanish. Our time here was what I had been craving...quality time with the girls on my team, an awesome group devotion, laughter.
I did my laundry today in the bright, beautiful sun - I couldn`t possibly go another day without washing my clothes. Patricia kept telling me I needed to add more water and more soap. I watched the dark clouds roll in from my view at La Casa, and when I returned home...it had rained. I may be wearing the same outfit tomorrow...what`s new?
My stomach hurts, so I`m off for now...
I miiiiissssss yooooouuuuu