My trip to La Paz, Bolivia began on Sunday, July 5, when I first took a flight out of Cleveland to Chicago. I arrived in Chicago at around 4,00 in the afternoon. In Chicago, I had what began as a 2 hour layover and what turned into a 5 hour layover before heading to Miami, Florida. What seemed to be a problem at first turned into the beginning of my learning experience because of the people that I met throughout the day. The first person whom I met was a young guy from Argentina. He was standing in line behind me, waiting for assitance with flight arangments. (It was a very long line). He asked where I was going and when I told him Bolivia, he first corrected me on my pronunciation continued with a long description of how much I would love my stay there. He talked about the unique culture and the bread, which I have heard from three people now that it is better than anything in America. By the time he had finished, the line had decreased significantly. The next people that I met were by far my favorite encounter. They were a family of 5, two very cute girls, their parents, and the mom’s mother. The parents were only a few years older than me and after they were aware of my trip to Bolivia, they were eager to give me as many tips as possible. The family was from Latin America, but they were now living in Miami. The dad started speaking to me in Spanish to see how well I knew the language and the first question that he asked was “¿Cómo te llamas?” I replied, “Me llamo Emilie.” I said Emilie just as I would always say it, but they told me to go with “Emilia.” They said that I had enough working against me without even speaking and so I could not forfeit my speech as well. They were of course pointing out that I am blonde, very white, and have blue eyes. Their excellent Spanish put my feeble attempts to shame, but they were very encouraging. They taught me several of what they called essential phrases including, “I have nothing,” “I have no money,” and “No, I will not marry you.” I had a lot of fun with them as we waited patiently for our flight. By the time I reached Miami, it was a few minutes past midnight and I had missed my connecting flight to La Paz by 1 1/2 hours. Thankfully, the airline paid for a hotel for me and provided me with food vouchers for the next day because it would not be until 11,05 pm before I would get on a flight heading to La Paz. Before the day was over though, I met one more couple from Brazil. They spoke Portuguese, but they seemed to understand my broken Spanish pretty well, which was encouraging. They even asked if I was from Bolivia, which was satisfying, but I did not let it go to my head because I knew that I would receive a different reaction when I would arrive in Bolivia. All in all, it was the best day that I had spent in an airport. I could only imagine the greater amount of learning that I would experience in Boliva.