Monday December 25th (two days before program start)
My flight was at 8:30 in the morning, and I ended up staying up until 2am, too excited, and then had to wake up at 4am to get ready to go to the airport! My parents got me there and checked in by like 7:30, so thankful to the both of them for driving me so early on Christmas morning. I finally said bye to my parents, passed through security, and was walking to my gate.
I realized this when I went to Africa last year, but I absolutely love traveling by myself. Its so scary, but also so thrilling. And I feel and absorb so much more. I got on the plane and as I waswalking back I saw a couple of Rutgers people (i think?) but just went by and sat in my seat (window!). Going in and out of consciousness, I tried to get some sleep on the plane. After agood 4 hour flight, I finally walked though customs and got my bag and went outside to the sunny warm weather!!!!! Is it winter??
I was outside for a while, our flight got in early, and I saw a bunch of taxi people and others holding signs and lots of tourists. It was a small airport true, but with a beautiful background. Lot of palm trees and just greenery. Seeing the country as we were descending on the plane, there is so much that is not inhabited and its beautiful. Untouched and green and beautiful. Finally a big white van/bus that said global village hotel pulls up and a small hispanic girl jumps out with a CELA sign. I hurried up to her and another girl showed up there too. While we waited in the van, the small hispanic girl, who I find out later to be our wonderful TA Lorena!, was seeing if any other flights were to come in. They were all delayed so we drove to the hotel 5 minutes away and got into our rooms. I tried to watch some of New Girl in my big room after showering and facetiming my parents, but then just passed out. I then woke up, hurriedly, thinking I was late for food, which I was lol, and then went and ate some. I had talked to the other girl from Rutgers, Michelle, who is in the wildlife program, on the bus for a little, but we were both tired then. I ate with her for dinner, and we had rice and beans and chicken, which was SO delicious omg.
A woman came by with her husband and brought us some “black cake” and rumpopo? kinda like eggnog but WAY stronger lol. It was cute and nice, and then we all went back to sleep and knocked out yet again after a long day of travel.