We Finally Made It!
Hola! We have arrived safe and sound, with a few minor speed bumps.Friday started out with an all too familiar ferry ride to Vancouver followed by an unfamiliar ride down to the border crossing and then on to Seattle. From SeaTac we endured a three hour long flight, no movies mind you, to San Diego. Upon arrival, we were greeted by our Hero Holiday leader, Charles, who gave us a brief introduction of what we were getting ourselves into. After our 12 hour travels, we mobbed the local supermarket for late night snacks, ranging from veggies to cold canned soup. Finally, we arrived at the hotel and crawled into our beds by 12 am. However, our deep sleeps were rudely interrupted by a 5 am wake up call (prank courtesy of an unknown mischievous caller.) Little did we know, that was not going to be our only problem.Morning came all to soon for some of us, but thankfully after a kick start of caffeine we were out the door…Maybe a little too quickly. Upon boarding the bus Charles asked for everyone to have their passports on hand for our arrival into Mexico. So here I was, settled into the bus and ready to go when I realized my passport was not on hand. Not only was my passport not on hand, it wasn’t anywhere in my hotel room, nor was it in my bag, Sam’s or Emily’s. After a mild panic attack and belongings sprawled across the Best Western parking lot, Brett (our driver and other facilitator) called the airport to track down my missing identification. A quick phone call later we were informed the Alaska Airways staff wouldn’t be able to look around for about an hour. Not taking no for an answer off we went to the airport, and thankfully along the way we got a phone call and YES my passport had been found on the plane. Turns out I did return my tray table to the upright and locked position but however I did not check the seat pocket in front of me. Lesson learned. (Sorry mom and dad, lots of love…Greer)After the morning mishap, the bus full of tired travelers started the journey to the Mexican border crossing. San Diego had clean streets and structured houses, giving no foresight into what we would encounter on the other side of the border. At the crossing we were unloaded from our bus for a random bag search, initiated from a button that picked the lucky travelers to be investigated by armed military forces. After the border we finally saw the poverty that we were expecting. Dirt roads, broken down houses and rusty cars were the beginnings to this huge eye-opening experience. In one case, the fences in Tijuana were bordered with makeshift glass in place of wire. The bus ride was both fascinating and saddening. Our home here is in divvied into a girls and boys dorm which we should probably be heading to sleep soon in. It is 10:20 p.m. which means lights out! We will report more tomorrow, about the families and constructing of the houses.Hasta Manana!Layla, Britny, Greer and Angela