Well, what can I say? I’m here and I was charmed with awesomely efficient pilots. My flight from Cleveland to Chicago was empty or at least in the back part of the plane which is where I was and we arrived in Chicago about 20 minutes ahead of time. I spent about 4 hours waiting for my next flight and that was my only gripe about my trip down. When you’re headed to the mission field, every item in the airport looks way, way overpriced. So I didn’t buy anything except food. And that was overpriced. At about 930, my flight to Sao Paulo was airborne and I officially was on my way. And really what more can be said for the flight? It was your typical international, through-the-night flight. A lot of short naps in positions that should be illegal for humans to sleep in. Not the greatest meals. The feeling that you will explode if you don’t get some exercise. But I survived.
Arriving in Sao Paulo, I thankfully did not have to claim my bags and recheck them through to Ciudad del Este. Instead, I headed straight to my gate, got my boarding pass and settled in to wait the next 2+ hours. During the waiting process for my flight, I ran into a unique individual. He was a the Paraguayan doctor for the U.S. Peace Corps in Paraguay and spoke excellent English. Even more interesting, he knew exactly where I was headed to and had even spent 2 years at the hospital in Campo Nuevo, the local town. We had a good chat. I love it when stuff like that happens. It brightens the trip, especially in lands of unknown tongues. Brazil speaks Portuguese and the Paraguayans heading to Paraguay spoke Spanish. A microcosm of the way the Tower of Babel was.
Anyway, our plane came and I was on my final leg. This particular flight makes a circuit flight between Asuncion, Sao Paulo and Ciudad del Este. From Sao Paulo, it’s about a hour and a half of flight time to Ciudad del Este. Here, about a third of the passengers disembarked and the rest went on to Asuncion. As I walked across the tarmac, I thought, “EJ, you agreed to work in this heat?“. It was definitely warmer than it was in Chicago where it was snowing the night before. Working my way through customs with virtually no hassle (after all, how many questions can they ask you if you don’t understand spanish?? :) ), I was outside within 30 minutes. A hour and a half later, I was at the clinic.
Here I will terminate for now. I’ve determined not to make this a online diary but only as updates as to my life down here. That being said, I will make some points.
1: I won’t go hungry. The food is great. 2: The weather is amazing! The people down here are saying it’s a cold summer but I’ll take it. 75-80 degrees and blue skies. Great!! 3: Once the language barrier is crossed, I’m going to like this place. Even until then, I will. 4: I’ve started language school and is it ever dichotomous!! On one hand, it looks doable. But does it ever look complex.
All right, enough for now. Be back later with more…..maybe.