December 26, 2015
What a day. It’s 1 in the morning here in Oaxaca and I am sitting here reflecting on everything that happened realizing how blessed I am that I am only tired and cranky instead of tired, cranky, lost, and in the middle of a nervous breakdown. Starting with a flight from DIA everything seemed like an exciting adventure until I realized I had about 3 hours to kill before my flight…what was I going to do? By God’s hand I met my soon to be life saver Manny, a Spanish speaking professional baseball player (who played for the Colorado Rockies and knows Carlos Gonzalez!!!) who not only entertained me, but basically saved my life. The flight was in Spanish, which I was able to understand for the most part. Manny and I passed the time by discussing how my time in Mexico was going to pan out. Finally on the landing strip in Mexico I found out the true meaning of taking your time as we sat and waited for about an hour just to connect our plane to the terminal thing. Then arriving in the first place where basically nobody speaks Spanish we began to scramble through the Mexico City airport so we wouldn’t miss our last flight. Thankfully Manny took care of me and we made it through immigration and security which was some of the scariest Spanish I have ever heard, and we had to book it to our next gates. Manny’s parting works to me were “Tranquila amiga.” Tranquility did not last for me as I heard la ultima llamada for my flight over the intercom yet I didn’t know where my gate was. This was my first independent Spanish encounter and I was able to ask an airport worker to help me and we were able to sprint to where I needed to be before they closed the gate. The flight to Oaxaca was blissfully short as I fell asleep in record time. When I finally arrived 2 hours later than I expected of course I started to panic as I searched the airport for whomever came to pick me up. One of my program directors, Erika, was there with a sign and an encouraging voice to let me know I had finally arrived. Taking me to my host mom’s house while having comforting Spanish conversations that I was able to keep up with, I was able to watch the night life with all it’s pretty lights, warm weather, palm trees, and all the people just enjoying life outside the little taquerias…and that’s when it hit me. Even though it was one of the hardest days of travel I had ever experienced and I felt walked on, crushed and useless…I had made it. I was finally where I had been waiting to be.