By Tomas Premoli
I’m Tomas, and I was assigned to write this blog post about our journey to Lima after being invited to this incredible opportunity. I was one of the four people who started the trip in Barcelona, along with Bernat, Anna and Mrs. Marta. We all met in the airport at around 10 am on August 1st, where we conversed a bit with our parents about the trip while we checked in.
We then got on the roughly 9 hour long flight to Miami, where I personally just went right to sleep and didn’t wake up for the majority of the flight. The time of arrival was roughly 10 pm in Spanish time and 4 pm in Miami time, but as the airport was incredibly crowded, the security checkpoints took us at least two hours. Once we got past the security, we got on a shuttle bus to our hotel, where we decided what we were going to do, between going to the mall, the beach or the city. We decided we’d go to the mall in the end as it was relatively close and we wanted to be back at the hotel at around 8, as we were exhausted after everything. We quickly left out bags in the hotel and then we headed to the mall. In the mall we mostly just wandered around, occasionally going into stores, and then we ate dinner at a taco place in the food court. At this point we were all practically sleepwalking, so in the end we waited for Marta to finish looking at shoes and we got on the bus back to the hotel, where we passed out almost immediately.
The next day we woke up at around 7:45 am, and we all got ready quickly to go to a nice Cuban restaurant near the hotel to have breakfast. We all ate a large breakfast, and one of the waitresses said how she had always been interested in Spain and how she was going to visit one day. After that we went into a clothes store nearby, then we returned to the hotel in order to receive Abby. We sat around for a short while before she arrived, and then everyone kinda went to do their own thing as we had a couple hours to kill before Joe arrived. I sat around in the lobby resting, Bernat went to the gym, and the all the girls went to the Burlington store nearby. Eventually we all reunited in the hotel, and Joe arrived shortly afterwards. After that we all got on the shuttle bus back to the airport. We got into the gate with no problems, but the plane was apparently massively overbooked. There was roughly eighteen people over the actual capacity of the airplane, and people who volunteered to give up their seat would be given a free upgraded seat the next day and 800 dollars. Out of the six people who were with us at the time, only Abby and Joe actually had seats so we were talking about perhaps flying the next day. We had an incredibly slim chance of all of us getting on the plane.
Fortunately we were lucky enough to get on the plane, as many passengers sold their seats and we were considered a high enough priority. Bernat and Anna sat together right at the back of the plane, Abby and Joe in roughly the middle but seperate, and I got extremely lucky, as I sat next to Marta in some seperate seats that had a massive amount of space and adjustable seats. The plane ride was shorter than the Miami flight, at about 6 hours. It was much more pleasant than the Miami flight, as we talked with the stewardess about Barcelona and the mission in general, and it was nicer because we had much more space than we even needed. During the flight, we had to fill in some papers for them to let us through the security stating what we were doing. Once we landed we went to the security line, where Joe started talking about politics. We had many hours on the plane to get to know one another.
We went through the security and got our bags at around 12 at night, so we were all mostly braindead. Mr. Christian was waiting outside the airport where we went straight into the shuttle to the hotel. We ate a dinner of chicken, fries, mushrooms, and a traditional dish name Papa a la huancaina and we tried a drink named “Inca Kola” which was extremely sweet. Inca Kola is a Peruvian soda that is extremely popular in Peru. We talked for a bit about what we’d be doing the next day and we were told our roommates for the night, and then we went straight to sleep.