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Monday, March 13, 2006
Hey everybody, I found a quick moment to update this while here in mexico.

Friday 10th 2006
Friday was pretty hectic. I still had to work friday so I had to make sure all my stuff was packed before I left in the morning. I was going to have to leave work early, but we would meet at 4:00 in the keyhole so I wouldn't have another chance to go to my dorm. So before going to work I loaded up my car with my suitcases and stuff. Work on friday went pretty smoothly but it was hard to concentrate because I was so excited to leave and get headed out. It felt like it took forever for 3:45 to hit as thats when I was going to leave. Finally I left and we met in the keyhole for some final trip keeping items and prayer. Then we got directions and headed out to Wash DC to catch our plane the next morning. I took 6 people up in my van following a couple other cars. It got crazy in a few places and I almost lost the person I was following, but we survived and we all made it to our meeting place at a mexican restaraunt for dinner. (I guess they wanted to prepare thier tastebuds for mexico). The meal was really good though. After eating we all went to drop the girls off at thier place they were staying for the night. Once they got settled us guys still had to drive another 30 minutes to get to where we were staying for the night. We had to drive around from place to place before that though to drop off a few guys that just hitched rides home with us as they lived close by. By the time we got to our host home it was roughly 11:30ish. We organized all our bags and found our rooms and stuff. Then I had to go park my van in thier back yard field. It was pretty cool because as I drove out there, there was 5 deer laying in the grass sleeping. Three of them stayed there as I stopped and got out of the car. I was withing feet of them as I left my car and walked back to the house. I asked out of curiosity if they were allowed to hunt in thier own backyard. They said they could but they couldn't shoot a firearm in that county so it would have to be bow & arrow and they would need to get special permission from the ajacent neighbors incase it wandered off in thier yard while wounded before falling. Anyway, that was cool to be that close to a group of them. We finally got organized at the house and I headed to bed between 12:30 and 1:00. I set my alarm for 3:00 so I would be able to get ready and we could be at the airport by 4:00. It was really a short night.

Saturday 11th 2006
We ended up running a little late satuday morning as some of the guys slept in a few extra minutes. But we were able to get to the airport by 4:30 still. Mikes dad (the host parent) ended up driving us all to the airport in the morning in thier 15 passenger van. Once we got there the girls had already been thier since 3:45 and they said they were the first ones at the airport. The line had already grown behind them fairly long, but we got in place at the back. Being the large airport that it was, once they opened up the check-in lines we all moved through pretty quickly. The girls were the first up and they checked in as a group. By the time us guys got to check in, the girls were still there finishing up thier checkin. So it worked out well and we didn't have to wait for each other too much there. I ended up going to a check out register and the ticket printer thing got a paper jam. I ended up having to talk to the lady and she had to print them for me. The first time though she printed me a ticket for another person, not sure how that happended. Then the next time she printed me a ticket she printed me two tickets for the same flight and not one for my connecting flight. I didn't notice at first but found out as I was looking at them going through security. So I just took care of that problem at the gate. Security for me went smoothly. I got cut off from the rest of the group though and I went through alone. I'm not sure how it happend though but after getting through security, riding the tram, and walking to our gate I ended up beating the rest of them there by about 10 minutes. I used the extra time before boarding to get my devotions done. There was defenantly excitment in the air as we all boarded the plane. That morning Allie wasn't feeling very good and she was kind of quesy. It was probably due to lack of sleep and food but it was really bothering her. After getting on the plane though she and I both napped most of the trip and she felt better after that. we both kind of woke up randomly through the whole flight but for the most part we probably slept may three of the six hours. As we were getting close to LA we flew over Las Vegas and we could see the strip and the city and everything. It was cool, but a lot smaller then I would have thought. Then as we got closer to Cali, the clouds were thick and low. We didn't get to see the ground after that until about 8 minutes from landing as we decended through them. Once we arrived in California the weather was cloudy and a fridgid 45 degrees. It was a lot warmer back in vA and it was pretty strange and somewhat disappointing. Anyway, we then deplaned, regrouped, and headed to our next gate. Our next gate (of course) was all the way on the other side of the airport. (That always happends). But we got there in time for other people in our group to get thier boarding pass as some of them also didn't get one from checkin at DC. The plane ended up being delayed for about 10 minutes but it worked out well. Because of the low clouds and the incoming storm they took this flight at a low 5000 feet. It was really cool because we flew right along the coast the whole time and because we were so low you could make out all the stuff on the ground the whole trip. Allie was sitting a couple rows behind me for this trip, but I knew she was very excited about that. It was really beautiful. The flight lasted about 25 minutes and we landed in Carlsbad (A small hole in the wall airport with one gate). After getting there and everybody getting luggage, we found out that one of Allie's bags and another girls bag were both missing. So we had to get that taken care of with United. It was kind of funny because when we told the lady that we were missing to bags she was like. "Only two.. thats pretty good." She was completely serious too.. So apparently that happends quite often. Anyway she tracked down the bags for us and determined they were left in LA. So she had them rushed on the next flight to carls bad about an hour and a half later. So we couldn't leave Carlsbad until those arrived. Ashley and the missionary that met us there decided we would all go out to lunch in carlsbad while we waited for the bags to show up. There was a little strip mall area with a bunch of places to eat. I ended up going to a little subshop place for my lunch. It was really good too. After lunch we made the quick stop back by the airport to pick up the missing bags (which arrived safetly!) and then hit the road for Mexico. It was a fun little trip and going from cali to mex across the border was quick and painless. We arrived at the orphanage saturday around 2:30 and we had the rest of the day to get ourselfs settled and relax from the day. It was cool to see all the kids once we got there, but there were a lot less then I expected at first. There were almost more of us college student then there were orphans. (I heard that would change later though). But anyway, now that we were there during these first few hours of hanging around I kind of had an attitude of "Now what?" It was weird aimlessly sitting around for 5 hours until something happend. It was very cold and windy too so that made it hard to just sit outside and enjoy the fact we were there. I did have some fun playing with a few of the kids for awhile but for the most part they did things on thier own and didn't really "need" us persay. (at least thats the feeling I had the first day) After dinner though - which was really good authentic mexican by the way - things picked up. We went to a little college age youth group type thing at the mexican church. That was kind of cool and there are actually quite a few of the people there that speak english quite well. It was fun, the music was good and the message was even good (heard through a translator). After the meetign some of the people in the group invited our group out for tacos at a side of the road open sidewalk restaruant. The food was really really good actually and we hung out there for a good long while. After finishing eating though I didn't expect to stay for as long as we did. The tempurature was still cold and it even hailed some while we were there. I was ready to leave quite awhile before we actually did. I am glad I went with the group though instead of just going back to the orphanage to go to sleep like some of the rest of the group did. Both Allie and I were pretty tired at this point and we had basicly been up 24 hours at that point. I think we finally got back to the orphanage around 12:00 or so. It turned out to be a really long day and I was so ready to go to sleep. The room that I slept in was still extremly cold and the door didn't shut all the way. I had a hard time staying warm that night, but since I was so tired, I slept fairly well still.
posted by Jeremy Dillinger @ 6:32 AM 

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