Wow so much to cover in this blog post! 🙂 This is indeed my last week here in Argentina, actually we are under a week right now. I spent this last weekend in La Falda and saying goodbye has not been easy! I have made some really good friends at my La Falda church and really like my family there as well! Tomorrow, Tuesday I will be working at my morning project here in the city, serving breakfast, then I will go looking for a few more things for the horse farm in the city center. My last day at the city project will be Wednesday morning. I will say goodbyes both days as not everyone works every day. Wednesday early afternoon I plan to meet up with a couple girls from my Cordoba church for mate (local drink) & card games in the plaza a couple blocks from my house. Also, I possibly have a couple friends from La Falda coming into town on Wednesday evening to meet up one last time. Thursday, will be taking any supplies I am able to purchase tomorrow to El Jaguel, getting the supplies organized, and making videos for the future volunteers. Friday will be saying goodbye to my mom here in Cordoba with lunch before heading to the horse farm, finishing anything that isn’t done at the farm and saying goodbye to everyone there. When I return home Friday night, my mom may or may not still be here, she has to leave at night to catch a bus to another city for work and will not return till Sunday, so I have to say goodbye on Friday afternoon. When I get back, after I shower and eat, I will try to finalize my last packing things and make sure I am ready for leaving on Saturday. Saturday mid afternoon I will need to get to the airport and will likely have to pay for a taxi to do so. I will give details of my flights at the end of this post. 😉
Last week I was finally able to purchase some of the big items, the farm really needed! I am very happy about that. In fact, I’ve never been so happy to buy a good quality wheelbarrow in my life! Anyway, I still have some funds left because the items I purchased we found at pretty good rates for here. I plan to go tomorrow afternoon, after my morning project serving breakfast, in search of a garden hose with a sprayer end. That is another item I figured I would not have sufficient funds to purchase, but thankfully I have extra. I am unsure if I will be able to find this item, but I am hoping so because they could really benefit from not wasting water every time the turn the hose on. The current hose is a mixture of several parts of hoses that leak and spray out in random places. It also does not currently have a sprayer end so it’s constantly running even when you don’t need it to be when washing a horse for example. It would be a good upgrade for sure. This week I will also be making a video for future volunteers on Thursday provided it doesn’t rain and hopefully getting the rest of tools organized and arranged in their “permanent” homes. I know the Lord can help me impress upon the folks that work there, that it is important to keep things organized so that they last for a long time and are there for future workers. I am going to post some pictures for you of most of the tools I was able to buy. There are a few things I realized I don’t have pictures of, such as the hoof picks, but I will try to take some more pictures this week when I have my camera at the farm for the video.
Hopefully, I will have an opportunity to update once more with how the remaining funds were able to be spent, or what I am able to leave them to be towards. Please pray the Lord makes it clear to me, what is the best way to use the remaining funds to be most beneficial to the horses as well as future volunteers! I want to take this time to again thank those that did send funds as well as those who have been praying for me! This has been a group effort, I’ve been blessed to be the hands and feet of the work, but I couldn’t do it without those behind me supporting and providing for the needs, so thank you!
Now on to the travel schedule for my route home. I am still in the process of figuring out exactly how I will get to the airport. If I have to take a taxi, it is the most expensive way and although it would be direct it is not necessarily my preference. Because my “mom” will be gone she cannot take me to the airport. I keep asking around to see if anyone I know, knows someone with a car that could just bring me to the airport for a smaller amount, but currently that hasn’t come through. There is one city bus that goes into the airport, however it is unclear if I would be able to take my bags with me, as city buses do not have spaces or compartments for bags, they are strictly designed for moving people. Also, if I took the city bus I would have to get myself and luggage to the bus stop which most likely means I would at least have to get a taxi that far. I am also seeking if any of the other companies for travel city to city have buses that enter the airport. Several have buses that go past the airport, but not that go inside. The Lord will open the right door even if that means paying for a taxi, but I at least want to have researched all the options first. 😉
As for flight times and path, originally my flight was to leave on Saturday, April 25 around 5:15 pm (4:15 pm EST) from Cordoba, but that was changed to 7:50 pm (6:50 pm EST). Here they recommend being at the airport about 3 hours before an international flight. I am going to try to arrive around 4:30 (3:30 EST) or 4:45 (3:45 EST). Depending on what type of transportation I take to the airport I may need to leave the house as early as 3 (2 EST) pm or as late as 4(3 EST) pm, but time will tell. My first flight is from Cordoba, Argentina to Santiago, Chile and should last a little over an hour and half. The time is an hour behind us in Chile so it is the same as the time in Eastern US. I will arrive at 8:25 pm (EST) in Chile. Because my flight is leaving later from Cordoba I have much less time for my connection out of Santiago. It is doable, but I will need to be on my toes in case there are any snags or if I need to switch terminals. I will leave from Santiago, Chile at 9:45 pm (EST) headed to Miami, Florida. This flight will last 8 1/2 – 9 hours. I will arrive at 6:10 am EST on Sunday, April 26. I will need to pick up my luggage here, go through customs & security, etc. and switch terminals to take a domestic flight. I have a little over 3 hours to do that, but any of you who have been in Miami airport know it’s a big one, so I would appreciate prayers for quick processing and no snags that keep me from completing all tasks so I can be at the right gate on time! It will be nice to be back in the country and be able to use my cell phone regularly, etc., but it won’t be time to relax either. I am to fly out of Miami at 9:39 am and arrive in Philadelphia around 12:32 pm. This flight should be just under 3 hours and the nice thing is that I will have already done all the nasty customs and hard things in Miami so I can just head to pick up my luggage and meet family and friends for some hugs! After greetings we will get some food and then have the 2.5 hour drive home. I imagine early to mid evening I’ll arrive back in DE at my house. I will be sure to post an update whenever possible along the way to let folks know I’ve made it safely to the next leg and ultimately when I get home to DE. If however you don’t hear from me, assume things are going well and I am with family and friends because if I was stuck I’d have time on my hands to update. 😉 Most likely I will not get any messages out until I get to Miami, provided I have time, as my time is limited in Chile and when I was there before there were not alot of wifi options for internet. I ask for prayer that I can make all connections because sometimes transition time is short and my alternatives for missed flights are very limited. At any rate I know the Lord will be with me and I’ll be exactly where He wants me at the right time! 🙂
It seems crazy 6 and 1/2 months are already over. In some ways, it has been a long journey, but in others it truly does not seem as though I could possibly have lived that time away already. I am grateful for all the Lord has been teaching me during this trip and that He has been faithfully by my side, guiding & directing me the whole way!
I hope to post once more later this week if possible before I get on my way, maybe Saturday early afternoon before heading to the airport, so everyone will know how things went with this busy week and how I was able to leave the horse farm for the future volunteers, etc. I hope you have been enjoying the posts and have also been able to glean some of the amazing things the Lord has been teaching me during my time away! I have been blessed and continue to be blessed by all of you who read my posts and who have given words of encouragement, prayers, and more along the way! I’ll be in touch! 🙂