We are off and running again, back to my second home Peru. Only this time I have 11 amazing kids for our 2011 Globetrotter trip. This morning started early, 6am, putting all of our baggage together, 18 laptops, monitors and keyboards. Several duffle bags full of give a gallon donations. It was a smooth start to what I know will be a life changing experience for all of our Globetrotters. Even though some of the kids have never been on an airplane before they all acted like old pros. Tori got stopped by security because she had too many bottles of shampoo. Jess and I stepped in and took a couple of them so Tori will have clean hair but even then there still too many so some got left behind, sorry Tori. As the plane took off it was really cute to watch Kierra put her hands up in the air like she was on a roller coaster. I can tell this is going to be a really great group.
The plane touched down inLimaat 8:32pm and the adventure is on. One of the first things we realize is that our bus will fit all the kids and our luggage but it is too small to fit all the donations we brought so we jumped to plan B.
Two people stayed with the luggage and we made a run to the hotel, dropped everybody off and then back to pick up the donated items. We thought we would take a shot at just dropping the computer monitors and give a gallon bags off at the cargo office to be shipped toIquitos. Seemed like a good plan until the people in the cargo office asked what was in the boxes. When we told them computer equipment the cost to ship the items doubled, the Peruvian stickup.
We had already unloaded all the boxes but decided not to be ripped off and loaded everything up again. Time for plan B again, we went over to Paul’s friend, Isabell’s house and dropped the stuff there. By this time it is after 12am and we have loaded and unloaded the bus 3 times, I’m beat. All the kids were having a blast because the hotel had a big game room with ping pong and pool tables. I hit the sack as they we enjoying their first night inPeru.
The morning started out early for half our group because half were flying to Cusco on a 10am flight, the rest of us were on a 2pm flight, as the first group headed to the airport, the rest of us headed into downtownLima. Everything was going smooth as planned. We walked the kids aroundLima, stopped in a grocery store and bought stuff to make sandwiches and just had a nice relaxing morning. Then our peaceful morning started falling apart.
We had told our taxi driver to pick us up at 11am but he was a no show. It was easy enough to flag down another taxi but none of us knew the street the hotel was on. Like most Peruvians, the new taxi driver told us he knew where it was but when he drove up to the airport I knew we had been boondoggled. His memory magically evaporated. He jumped out and asked another guy who said he knew where it was but he was also pure Peruvian, he had no idea.
It’s time for us to be back at the hotel to pick up our luggage and head towards the airport but nobody seems to know where the hotel is. Finally we find a taxi driver who says he knows where it is and this time we were golden. He drove us right up to the front door.
Now it’s time for the next piece of bad news, Tori put her passport and all her other ID’s in a computer bag that went toCuscowith the early group. Oh no! We quickly concocted a plan to get her through security with no ID.
We knew there were two check points we would have to get her through, the check in desk and security so we used some old “seat surfing” techniques, storm the gate. We hit the front desk in mass, 10 people all at once. The lady starts checking off passports one by one. She finally realizes we are one passport short. Ashlie’s quick thinking comes through as she slips me her passport for a second go round. The lady didn’t realize that she had already checked Ashlie off and accepts it and off we go. Now for the hard part, security.
Again we storm the gate. As we dazzle and confuse the gate agent I try to scootVictoriathrough but the agent sees her and tells her to get back in line. Oh no. We continue the confusion act and finally he waves our whole group through without checking the rest of the passports. We just accomplished something that I would have said was impossible in this day and age, getting someone on a plane with no ID and no explanation. It’s off toCusco, the adventure continues.