I’m now flying over the Gulf of Mexico on a tiny plane on our way to the Tuxtla, Mexico Airport. It was so hot and humid as soon as we got to Texas. There were trees all over from my plane window. I guess I didn’t realize how far south Houston is and how close to the coast it is. I kind of expected to see cactus everywhere. We rode on this tram thing to get to our next gate. The Houston airport was HUGE! I thought that the Salt Lake Airpot was big because it was an international one, but it’s nothing compared to others I now know. We found bathrooms and a drinking fountain, which took forever. You’d think you would be able to find drinking fountains easily in an airport. Not the case. Micadyn said, “They don’t have drinking fountains because you just need to drink the air.” It was SO humid. I’m glad we’re not going to the humid part of Mexico. We’ll be up 9,000 ft.

We met our fellow teammates who flew in from Minnesota. Montana, Melissa, and Chris. Chris gave us all chocolate mooses. It was so good. Especially because we weren’t getting dinner. I’m now slowly sipping my iced apple juice again.

This morning we were having a battle with the airport because there was some miscommunication about how many bags we could check in for free. We ended up having to pay $25 for 25 bags. Ridiculous. So then we get to the gate of this little 50 passenger plane and they made an announcement that there were 85 bags for 50 passengers, and the plane was too heavy. They needed 3 or 4 passengers to fly on a different flight the next day, and would offer a $300 flight certificate. Angie, one of our team leaders, designated the Dibbles and Wises (Steve and Kathleen, Steve and Sue, construction, cultural, education, and health committee leaders) to stay behind. But it ended up all working out and everyone is on the plane, though our baggage is questionable.

This is definitely one of the smallest planes I’ve ever been on, with only 18 or so rows, one side with one seat, the other with two seats. Originally I was going to sit by Jenessa, younger sister of Tiffani, our alumni leader, but I switched Tiffani spots so they could share their dinner, and ended up to sit next to a Hispanic girl. But then she asked if I would switch her mom places. And I was fine with that because it’s on the side with only one seat, so both window and aisle! And I’m the second seat back of the whole plane. If there was first class on this flight, I would be it.

We had to fill out an Immigration form and a Customs Declaration just barely. I’ve never traveled out of the country without my family before, so I assume my dad just filled this out if we needed.

I’ve been looking at the clouds. Clouds are so amazing to me. How they condense with millions of droplets of water, and all the cool shapes and types of clouds there are.

Well that’s the update for now. I think this flight is about two hours long. Then we bus from Tuxtla to San Cristobal in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. The small village we will be working in is called Bautista Grande. If you look it up on Google maps it’s basically just a few houses on a country road. I wish I knew more Spanish. Listening to the little bit on this flight from the pre-flight instructions in English and Spanish, I can pick out words here and there from their similarities to English. I brought a Spanish dictionary Colton lent me that might come in handy. It already did before I left when I used it to figure out the Spanish words for the emotions that Micadyn and I are going to teach there. We’re teaching the emotions in English, but I also put the Spanish words above the smileys that I printed out to maybe help the older kids who read to learn better. We’re going to a Mayan village. Their first language is  Tzotzil, a Mayan dialect. How cool is that? Mayans! Their second language is Spanish, then we teach then English words and phrases.

The sun is starting to set, and the clouds are increasing. It’s the rainy season in Mexico right now. But in Chiapas it’s not rainy season like India’s monsoons. Just rain every day at about three o’clock (what I looked up online, which ended up being the case). I’m so glad it will be much cooler in Mexico. And higher. Maybe I’ll take a nap now.

      -Miara

Yes, There are actually shoe-shines. And yes, people actually do use them.

Yes, There are actually shoe-shines. And yes, people actually do use them.

Melissa, Jessi, and Jamie eating their chocolate mooses

Melissa, Jessi, and Jamie eating their chocolate mooses

Me, Micadyn and Shilo

Me, Micadyn and Shilo

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Whoohoo! First class!

Whoohoo! First class!

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