View from the hill!

View from the hill!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Up in the Air

4:30 am wake up call.
5 minute quick change into yesterdays clothes (I didnt want to unpack backpack!).
30 minute drive to Miami International Airport.
1 hour standing in the wrong Copa Airline check in line.
3 hour flight to Panama.

And here I am sitting in the Panama City Airport surrounding by a much too familiar smell- a smell that made me loath going to Greetings & Readings when I was a kid, a smell that causes me to go out of the way to get my morning Starbucks in Baltimore- the smell of Subway!

Besides this familiar smell I feel pretty far removed from home and from my comfort zone. This feeling started before I even left the States, in the Miami airport I was the only native English speaker in the Copa Airline check in line. While standing in that line I realized I better get used to being surrounded by an unfamiliar language. But now as I sit in Panama I feel a little bit further from home, now English is not the second language spoken, it is the only language spoken.

I am camped out at gate 19 next to a snoring man whose feet keep getting closer and closer to my lap. Across from me is a native Andean family in traditional dress. The men have long pony tails of black hair, calf-length white pants, rope sandals, navy blue poncho's and dark felt top hats. The women have beautifully wrinkled skin, embroidered blouses, folded head scarves, long black skirts, layered beads around their necks and red string bracelets line their wrists. These are just the type of people I have read about in my guide book and that I hoped to see when I visit Otavalo.

Time to board the flight, let the adventure begin!

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