I journaled 14 pages this morning while waiting for my flight from Lima to Pucallpa (it was delayed about 3 hours). Since my brain is basically covered in a large layer of fog right now, I’m just going to copy some of what I journaled here. It’s slightly edited from my personal journal, but the grammar probably isn’t all correct, as I was just scribbling down thoughts. I know for a fact that my verb tense changes several times. Proceed with caution 🙂 -Sincerely, an English nerd.
Early wakeup. Standing in the security line alone, looking back one last time and seeing they’re gone. Honeymooning couple next to me on the plane; the wife is a “nervous flyer.” Empty exit row behind me. Sweet sleep. Miami forever. Airport Chinese for breakfast. Last conversations with friends. Talking to Nana Baker.
Sandwiched between two men on the flight, I only get up once. Cramped, bored, allergies running rampant, I attempt sleep. No such like. Finally! Landing! And the panic sets in. What if Rosa’s not there? What if my bag is gone. Deep breaths. Found the immigration station. Okay. You’re okay. Found my bag. Good. More breathing. Breathing is good. 3 more steps to complete. Exchanged money- at the official station, not the shady “no commission here!” stand. Step One- done. The customs line was massive, a chaotic mess of weary travelers. A cacophony of Spanish settled my heartbeat, then suddenly, sharply, English broke through. Tourists, talking louder to try to make the poor Peruvian woman understand. Here to hike or visit Machu Pichu, no doubt. I sigh, move forward a little, humming Blessed Assurance. Finally my turn. Push the button, deep breath. A sigh of relief as the green arrow lights up and I’m able to pass through without having a customs officer go through my bag.
I pause in the median area, a calm between two seas of chaos. In this moment, for a moment, I feel utterly alone. I can’t text anyone except my parents (which I’ve already done), I have no earthly way to contact anyone in Peru, and I know no one around me. Then it’s as if someone taps me on the shoulder. Right. “Okay, Jesus, it’s just You and me. You’ve got this. Please. Please. Let her be here.”
A few more deep breaths and I walk through the doors to the pick up area. Immediately the sounds of mispronounced names of businessmen, taxi drivers desperate for business, and reunited loved ones assault my ears, each fighting for my attention. Breathe in. Breathe out. Good. I scan the crowd slowly. As my eyes sweep right, I see the most beautiful sight. Rosa Ramirez, holding a sign that reads “Alyssa Hobson.” Ay, Gracias Dios, No puedo creerlo
Quick embraces. I wait while she pays the airport tax. I’m alone again, but I can see Rosa across the parking lot. Oh, the smell of the air. Politely declining a few taxi offers. Then a few more. Finally Rosa returns and we get in the car.