Aug 24 10:00am
All of my attempts to call the U.S. and my family have thus far failed. I am more or less on my own until 7:00 tonight when the program crew will arrive and take us out to dinner. Since I am 3rd to arrive and have not met the others, I ventured out on my own this morning. Everyone looks very bundled up, but I am quite comfortable in my jeans and sweatshirt. Breakfast was included with the little place we are staying in for a few days, and I am amused that although they stop serving at 9:30, everything else seems to just be getting started at that time.
It is amazing how many little shops and hostals and tiny restraunts are here. My hostal is very charming, and my little room on the thrid floor has a tiny new-looking bathroom with hot water. Which seems out of place after watching a little girl squat and urinate on the sidewalk just a few moments ago. This event occured while a short, middle-aged lady tried to convince me to buy some of her hand-carved figurines. They were pretty, but I kept my hand in my pockets non-commitally and decided my stop to rest was actually a bad idea.
Ah, I have yet to describe my arrival. The fiasco with the airline continued to harry my morning, but I finally received my ticket, got to the correct gate, and walked n to a tiny plane that was running about 45 minutes late. I was worried that the seats were so close and that I would be crowded, but it was not even half full in the end, and the three seats I had to myself provided the most comfortable sleep I have had the entire trip!