I guess the hair cut really does make me look a little less American because today at the airport, I was asked for my passport by an undercover cop. It was a little scary, since no one has ever picked me out of a crowd like that. It wasn't a problem, as soon as I was on the plane to Odessa, everyone had crazy looking bangs, so I now feel right at home! As we were preparing for landing, I got really excited that I was going to see my boyfriend, Nat. I must have been really tired, because that is six weeks from now. For some reason, my mind was totally ready to be on a plane back to Austin, Texas. I had to pull it together for a minute and remember that before I know it I will be jetting through the terminals and leaping into Nat's arms! Until then, I need to focus on what I came here to do: make a small difference in the world, learn as much as possible, and have the adventure of a lifetime. What do you guys think? Am I getting there?
After getting off the plane and successfully fending off the taxi drivers, I hoped on a 25 cent bus that would lead me to the center of Odessa. I found my way back to the hostel I had orginally stayed in and guess what, it's my new home away from home! It is now under new management, the owners are clean and efficient, devoted to safety and they offered me a place to stay for under $4 a night. I couldn't really argue with that! That just means more travel money for Erica! I am thinking of visiting Katryna and the rest of her program in Bosnia in a couple of weekends if I can find a cheap enough flight. They are going for some seminars, but said that we would have a great time running around together at night. I would love to see as much as I can over my last few weeks here. From hearing about the experience of my friends who studied abroad for a semester, one of the most rewarding parts was the weekend trips to different cities and foreign countries.
Tomorrow I am meeting my program's volunteer coordinator and will be debriefed on what exactly I will be doing here with The Way Home. I am excited to finally be able to help the homeless kids here. This might be the most emotionally stressful and rewarding part of my journey this far. I will keep you all updated on what happens!