Volunteering and traveling in Argentina to proclaim God's great love, and hopefully not getting sick along the way.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Adventure

The plan was to meet Ewout (pronounced eh-vart) at the airport. He would be landing about an hour and a half before us, and we would part from there. I would be landing in the nick of time to take a bus to Retiro, and then another bus to the pueblo 30 de Agosto.

But when we arrived, there was no Ewout waiting. Cletis, feeling a bit rejected, searched the rest of Jorge Newbery Airport to see if his newest aquaintance from Holland was waiting somewhere else. When we checked the tvs we realized it was because his plane had never landed. It was to be another two hours of waiting.

Our plane too, had landed later than I expected, which stopped me from going to Retiro. One more day in la capital, supongo..

I decided to wait with Cletis, playing cards in one of the seating areas. I am not very good at Rook, but it helped to pass the time.

All three of us would finally leave J.B. at one thirty in the morning, waiting just outside at the bus stop for the 145. I need to look into how many bus options there are in this city. There must be thousands. Even looking outside the plane window while we landed I couldn´t stop thinking about the vastness of this great city.

Part of the surprise was coming to a stop just outside of Retiro. I had already made up my mind that I wouldn´t stay in the bus terminal overnight. Taking my chances with the two albeit crazy young men was better than being sola.

Ubicate. I like this verb, ubicar. It means to know where you are. To have a sense of direction. And now that I´ve been to Bs. As. more than thrice, I have a decent idea even at times like 3 in the morning when we finally got off bus 145, number 2. I laughed when I found out that they didn´t know the exact address of the hostel, but Ewut had written it out in his notebook, and we were able to ubicarnos.

"Nossa.. nossa.." lightened up the mood as we finally made it to the dark street where a few were laughing over a shared cigarette. It was a car that had bustled past us, playing the song of the summer. At first, I was rejected at the door without the reservation like the rest, but when the bouncer, as I suppose he is called, saw I was with the two gringos, he let me come in. "I imagine we have ONE bed available," he told me.

I had to wait a bit more. Argentina can be a waiting game as has been accounted many times before. But a bed was found, and I stumbled as quietly as I could into the room, taking one of the three empty beds available. I prayed it was the only technically unoccupied one, and closed my eyes.

The morning came too quickly. Only one eye was willing to open to the sunlight and sounds of young people preparing their equipajes. The other eye finally opened as well, realizing the need to make sure my own suitcase was still accounted for. That was when I noticed it.

Of eight beds, seven were of young men. Oy vey. Thankful this was only for one half night. At least in Germany when we were outnumbered, I had Kendra with me.

Packed up, met up with the boys who were in other, separate rooms. They too, noticed the odd imbalance of male to female. We took care of basic needs. Breakfast and lunch. Internet time to tell the parents that everything was all right. A quick look for English books for Cletis.

I chose to leave for Retiro early, and chanced the subway system instead of a cramped bus. Arrived much earlier than expected, found my overpriced bus ticket, and found a spot to read. It was a lovely couple of hours because the book, Paulo Coehlo´s The Fifth Mountain is a pageturner. I hardly noticed that the sky was pouring in on the city until the ceiling spilled a little on me.

More waiting.

On the bus finally at 10pm and fell asleep upon impact. At two, everyone awoke to find that something was wrong with the bus and we had to get off. In the middle of nowhere, and hardly awake, no one had motivation to argue. I just confirmed with everyone, "I will still make it to 30 de Agosto, right?"

We arrived at another small town and were again told to get off the bus. Menos mal that we were in a station and not the side of a highway this time. We would need to wait another two hours for the final bus to take us the mere 30 km to my destination. I texted my contact person, and she willingly came to get me. Home sweet home at 6 in the morning. I would sleep until about 1pm.

Despite all of this, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had a purpose for this adventure. I will share with you in the next post! Chau!

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