In the past 24 hours, I have used 3 buses, 1 airplane, 2 taxis and 1 boat to make it from the Girasoles home in Ica all the way up to Iquitos and then, Puerto Alegria. This journey was not quite as exciting as the time I traveled on 5 buses, 1 airplane and 2 boats in 36 hours last year, but equally tiring and just as much traveling.
As my group from Dearborn prepared to return to the States, the last few days in Ica were busy with all of the things we wanted to do with the boys, Augusto and Nancy before leaving for the year.
On Saturday afternoon, our last full day at the home, Augusto, the house father, came to me at 3:30 in the afternoon and said, “Let’s all go to Huacachina and rent sand boards. I’ve called the bus driver and he will be here in 10 minutes to take us.” In good Peruvian fashion, we were out the door in 20 minutes and on our way to Huacachina, the nearby oasis in the desert, where the 40 boys and 15 team members would rent sand boards and slide down the huge sand dunes, inevitably covering themselves in sand. This completely unexpected adventure was a blast and was a great way to wrap up a fun week with the boys in Ica.
Alexis with his board.
The line of Girasoles with their sand boards.
Getting ready to go!
Sunday and Monday were consumed with traveling, and quickly blurred into just one long day. We left the home in Ica Sunday afternoon to make the 5 hour journey from Ica to Lima, where we went straight to the airport. The team was flying to Atlanta at midnight, and I was heading north to Iquitos the following morning on a 6am flight. Instead of getting into 2 more taxis and renting a hotel room for just a few hours, I elected to simply stay at the airport, which made for a sleepless night.
My flight, which was scheduled to leave at 6am, did not depart Lima until at 7:30, making my arrival into Iquitos at 9am. But, the journey was not over yet. I had to wait until noon for our boat to be ready with all of the supplies and groceries to take me to the home. Once they were ready to go, it was another 45 minutes before we made it to Puerto Alegria where I was greeted by 40 smiling faces, and a familiar work team from the Philadelphia area.
It was nice to be “home.”