Leaving On A Trip Of A Lifetime

We are t-minus 60 days until I leave for the greatest adventure of my life. In 62 days, I will be leaving the U.S. for the very first time and embarking on a journey to Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Holy. Moly.

Coast of Ecuador

I feel completely unprepared and unequipped, but at the same time, I feel completely ready to go. How is that possible?

I have my passport.

I felt like a real live grown up when it came in the mail. I even called my mom out of pure excitement. My husband looked at me like I was insane.

I know most people wouldn’t think a passport is a big deal, but I grew up in Moweaqua, Illinois, people. It’s a small town and I still hold on to that small town mentality.

I got all of my immunizations.

That hurt. I had to get a tetanus shot and vaccines for Hep A, Hep B and Typhoid. Thankfully, the Typhoid vaccine is just a pill. The others, however, are shots (duh).

Now, when the nurse says, “The tetanus is going to hurt pretty bad, so do you want it in a different arm than the other two?” The natural reaction would be, “Yes, please.”

My reaction? If my arm is going to hurt anyway, why not get it over with and put them all in the same one? At least then I will have one fully functional arm.


So, for the last three days, I have not been able to lift my left arm above a 15° angle. To add insult to injury, I was sick as a dog all weekend (fever, body aches, nausea, and general unpleasantness) because I apparently got every side effect the immunizations offered.

I am being a general pain in the rear to the trip organizers.

I have emailed them with every little question I can think of and probably some that I haven’t even thought of yet. I hate feeling unprepared and even though we have 62 days until we’re on our way, I want itineraries, a list of who’s going with me and so on and so forth.

I’m a psycho. I know.

I am reading the letters from my sponsored child over and over again.

I’ve been lucky in this regard. I have received three letters from my sponsored child this year. The requirement is that the child only has to send two letters to the sponsor, so to know that the center in Manta, Ecuador is taking such care with their children that I should get three letters in just seven months warms my heart.

I can’t wait to meet these wonderful people who are helping Jaleska to grow in Christ and in herself into the young lady she is meant to be. I can’t wait to see her sweet little face. Mostly, though (and this might be weird), I can’t wait to meet her mother.

Oh, please let me meet her mother!

From the letters I have received from Jaleska and her tutor, her mother Liliana sounds like a wonderful woman. As a matter of fact, I hope I get to meet her entire family. I want to hug each and every one of them. I want to get to know them so that I can not only send small little gifts to Jaleska, but also to her siblings and parents.


To be honest, I’m scared to death. But in the most excited and wonderful sort of way. I’m scared to be doing something so huge on my own (there will be others in the group, but since I don’t know who they are, I am on my own for now), but I’m so excited to be doing it at all.

I’m sure this won’t be the last of it you hear from me. I can’t wait!

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