Saturday, November 7, 2009

the crazy things that happen on halloween

Oct 31 09
Today was a ridiculously crazy day. Justin and I had been in Mindo, the cloud forest, for two days which was absolutely amazing. We rode four wheelers in the jungle for a few hours went to really amazing dinners (the best Italian food I have had in my life) and the day he left we went zip lining through the canopy. Justins flight was at 7 so we ran back after the zipline, grabbed our stuff and got on the 2 o’clock buss back to Quito which takes about 2 hours. We got to quito, grabbed a quick dinner at KFC and then took justin to the airport.
At this point I should explain that I had forgotten my wallet with my bank card in it back at pimampiro. I started out my journey with 20 dollars for 3 nights and 4 days traveling around Ecuador. Thankfully I have a fabulous boyfriend who paid for just about everything but by this point I was down to a 5 dollar bill. Justin gave me an extra 5 to make sure I could get back alright (the three hour buss ride from Quito to juncal is 3 dollars and the car from juncal to pimampiro is also 3 dollars). After taking justin to the airport I took the taxi back to the bus station and that cost me 5 dollars. I was not expecting to pay so much for the taxi. I showed up at the terminal with 5 dollars and 50 cents and no way of getting money. I was aware, but had forgotten, that this weekend was a holiday weekend for “dia de los difuntos” or day of the dead, where they bring flowers to the cemetery and honor their dead relatives. Anyway, the buss terminal was not selling tickets because the busses up till 7:30 were full (it was now 5:45) and they would open at 7:30 to buy tickets up till the last 12 o clock bus out. There were hundreds of people and the busses fun to tulcan ever half hour. I was pretty sure I was not going to make it on a bus that night. To make matters worse Quito at night is freezing, almost cold enough to snow at times, and it started pouring down rain like I have never seen it rain in Ecuador. I stood shaking at the back of the line for two hours and had not moved even an inch. I had my visa with me but hostels don’t take credit cards. I could take a taxi to a hotel and pay 50 for the night but then I would not have any money to get back to the train station or to get a buss back to pimampiro. I had to wait and hope that somehow I would get on a buss, which was looking next to impossible.
At this point Im standing in the POURING down rain and im starting to get a bit scared because I realize I am freezing, soaked, have no money and cant sleep in the buss terminal in these conditions for the night. So I did the only thing I could and started praying. I knew God couldn’t leave me in this terminal because I would have frozen to death that night. I started thinking about Gods promises about how he clothes the flowers in the field and so how will he not also take care of our needs. I immediately felt my anxiety leave me and I just told God “Well, I don’t believe you will leave me here so Im excited to see what you do with this.” I was expecting that by some miracle I would make the last 12 o’clock bus and have only standing room and have to stand for till 3 am or something like that… which would have been incredibly kind of God to allow seeing as my only need was to be out of the rain and get home before morning. I love when God works in ways I can not even imagine. I could not have even imagined how blessed I would be that night.
Literally 5 minutes after praying that, at about 7:15 (2 hours of standing in line) a man takes the place of his cousin who had been waiting in line in front of me and decided to go home and try again the next day to get a buss. He kindly offers to share his umbrella with me as it is still raining unbelievably hard and we begin to talk. He tells me his wife and two boys, 4 and 6, are waiting for him in his car and they are going to go to Ibarra. He did not want to take the car in the rain but after about 5 minutes of waiting he realized he would not get a buss. There were two girls standing behind me in line who looked about my age and he offered the three of us a ride to Ibarra.
The problem with this is that busses do not leave Ibarra after 7 so I knew id be stuck there for the night. At least id be two hours closer to home and staying where I was was not getting me anywhere. If im going to be stuck, I should at least be stuck closer to home. Diana, 24, Tania, 22 and I talked and laughed the whole ride to Ibarra. Tania gave me an extra jacket she had so I could take off my soaking wet sweater. I had never been so thankful for something warm! We played with Javier and jose the whole ride and held them on our laps. We played thumb wrestling and also the “curve” game when you go limp around curves and squish each other. Tania had lived in florida for 6 months for an exchange program and was thrilled to practice her English which was pretty good. Diana and Tania called their parents to drive two hours to get them in tulcan. They kindly offered to drive me home, but not only to juncal (which was not out of their way) but to pimampiro which would have added another hallf hour to their trip. When we got to Ibarra their dad took us all out for dinner and we arranged for me to go visit them in tulcan for the holidays. Tulcan is known for is georgeous cemetery that is more like a sculpture garden. People travel all over to go visit this cemetery and I get to go spend the day of the dead with them at this gorgeous cemetery tomorrow. We got back at 11 pm, an hour before i would have even left quito, had I made it onto the buss at all.

I was stranded quito with no money and God just provided not only a ride home but he fed me dinner, gave me something warm to wear, gave me some really great friends and a place to hang out for the holidays. I was pretty amazed and excited. It ended up being such a fun little adventure and I felt so thankful!

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