The second day of my trip was much less eventful, but I did get to spend the day in Miami. I decided to find a way to get to South Beach, which turned into splitting a cab with two other women who had been on my flight to Miami from Chicago. When I reached South Beach, I was not quite sure how I would get back to the airport, but I decided not to worry about it until it was necessary. The one problem that I did have was that I was dressed in such a way that I would be prepared for the 30*F weather that awaited me in Bolivia, which I knew would not be appropriate for Miami’s very hot and humid air. I embarked on the adventure anyway. To paint a picture, I was wearing cargo pants, a sweater, and tennis shoes (thick socks underneath), and I had a backpack filled with books, a jacket, and thankfully SPF 30 sunscreen. I wish I could have taken a picture of myself amongst the other people walking the streets, whose clothing options next to mine looked like next to nothing. In fact, when I finally reached the beach, there were people with nothing on. Needless to say, I did not stay very long after wetting my feet and taking a couple pictures of the ocean. I ended up catching a few bus rides back to the airport from South Beach after finding a few unique shops on my way to the bus stop. When I was waiting to catch the third bus that would finally take me to Miami International Airport, there was a man around 40-years-old sitting on a bench at the bus stop waiting for bus J, the one that I also needed to get on. He looked me over, laughed and said, “No offense or anythin’, but you’re white and blond so I’d encourage you to sit in the front of the bus ’cause we’ll be goin’ through the hood…Me, I look the part and you just don’t.” I thought that was pretty funny, but I took his advice and arrived to the airport with everything that I began the trip with, which I would assume to be a success in the bus-stop-guy’s book.
I finally was on the plane to Bolivia in no time and after 5 hours, I was cleared through immigration and customs in La Paz. My host parents, Kep and Debbie brought me to their house and after a satisfying breakfast and some coca tea to help with altitude sickness, I slept most of the day, only waking up to eat. I would have my first day at the boys homes the following day and I could not wait.