Thursday, June 24, 2010

Alive and Well!

We made it! We survived near-death turbulence and crazy airport hurdles and sprints, but we are here, it is hot, and we are absolutely exhausted. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, I am the only one of the group who got even a decent night's sleep on the plane (I didn't have anyone sitting next to me so I curled up into a ball and tuned out the crying babies and 8 foot man with his knees in my chair), which was about 6 hours. We are all running on empty. Onto the details...

The poverty here is more severe than I had anticipated, especially for a metropolitan capital. In terms of the American standard of living, we are living in a rustic hostel that goes for about $15 USD a night. It would be intolerable in the states to pay for these conditions, but I am absolutely loving it. How better than to understand wealth inequality and cultural differences and social norms than to be right in the thick of it. Today, we arrived at about 8am and had a good, full breakfast with ample supply of Nescafe coffee (the one part of Europe I missed most) and came to the hostel. First observation is the dirt roads and crazy city driving (even compared with NYC or Chi). Everyone is everywhere. We settled in and the group and I are exploring. We found water and internet cheap (.50 USD per 30 minutes for internet), so its very affordable. We also wandered over to the kindergarten school and the children were so playful and loved to touch my hair and have us take pictures, I think they loved the pictures most. I wish we could post those, maybe later on. We have a full schedule, but we are going to try and get back to the children ASAP. It is hot, it is rainy, it is very lush, and it is very exciting to be here! More tomorrow or when I get the next chance. Miss you all, hope everything is going well,


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