Ideally we would be writing this first post to describe how unanimously, positively mundane our travel to get to Cusco has been. This post is delivered about 24 hours late however, because this was not the case. But it all makes a great story!
Our flight from Seattle to LAX was about an hour delayed, but this was no sweat because we had a good three-or-so hour cushion for Lima. The problem was that in LAX, LAN Airlines announced a 24-hour delay due to poor equipment maintenance. Fortunately, our friends at LAN put us up in the Hampton with free food and free board. We got to bed around 6 am and spent the following day photographing Sea Lions and geeking out with Dr. Smith watching jet engines launch aircraft into voyage.
To save a buck or two we had arranged the connecting flights as different reservations. This means our flight from Lima to Cusco was not on the same ticket. When LAX to Lima fell through, we were technically missing our connecting flight (Which was not through LAN) and took a half-day of pleading in Lima to iron out. Overall the delay lasted about a day and a half, resulting in at least one postponed meeting, and absolutely foiled our potential for Machu Picchu.
Throughout Thursday night and Friday about 100 passengers from the LAX to Lima flight that had been delayed became familiar. We met each other in airport restaurants, shuttles, ticket counters and delayed (again) baggage claims. This posse spread across languages and cultures and were able to help each other with reserving our connecting flights. We talked and joked and kept each other sane, and in the mean time we were able to spread word of our EWB presence in Walla Walla and the work we are doing in Peru.
Sunday our adventure continues to the ADRA training center to meet with our project partners, but tomorrow we rest, enjoy the Sabbath, and adjust to altitude.
As we do good work with our friends in Peru, prayers and blessing are welcome.
-Michael Slusser