Friday, July 7, 2017

[In] Security

[Context: The day before Addy's flight she is sitting at her favorite cafe, enjoying dinner with her friends, where her purse gets stolen. Below is her internal dialogue throughout the final 24 hours in Lima, Peru]. 

This gnocchi is so good. Everyone is already done, but I don't care, I am gonna savor every single bite. [The bill comes and she reaches for her purse] My purse, it's gone! Holy s**t, oh my gosh. The man behind me, he took it. My hands are shaking. Addy, don not cry. Don't cry. Breath, just breath deeply. Everyone is talking, but I can't hear them. Just focus. My cards! Call Chase bank and cancel your cards now. My passport. My ray bans. My chapstick. My Peruvian purse!... It's just stuff, it's just stuff. Goodness, at least I have my phone, it could be worse. [Brooklyn, her roommate, arrives, and soon after, so do the Police.The waiter, she and her friends give a statement] Brooklyn is here, ok, I can cry now. She wants to come with me to the police station?! Don't burden her, this happened to you not her. Gosh, she's insisting as always...I love her for saying no to me. 

Miraflores Police Office writing her Police Report 
[It is 11 pm and they arrive at the Police station] I just want to go home. F**K YOU [Out of anger she curses, thinking of no one in particular, just life in general]. Addy, you're upset, it's going to be ok. Just breath. Call mom. Pity and comfort are the last things I need right now, I need her rational brain [She calls her mom and instantly feels better]. Brooklyn is so sweet to come, I'd be so bored if I were her. Gosh, this is taking FOREVER [It took 20 minutes]. 

[They arrive home and broke Peace Corps Volunteer Brooklyn gives her cash] I'm lucky to have her. This is so awkward but I'll pay her back. I need to go to bed. I am so exhausted. I need wake up early to head to the Embassy. It's all going to be ok, stay positive. [She could not fall asleep for another hour; she spends it watching funny cat memes to lower hear heart rate and calm down]. 

[Early morning she arrives at the United States Embassy] Wow, this place is massive! [She gets through security] That was easy to go through, but why am I so emotional? adrenaline? frustration? because this is not how I wanted to spend my last day in Peru? The Passport lady is pretty nice. WHAT, It's going to cost $135 dollars!! But I have no cash! no cards [As she stands facing the Passport lady, tears start to flood] ...but wait... [She suddenly remembers] DAVE RAMSEY! My In-Case-Of-Emergency envelope at the apartment in my travel safe. He's so smart. 

[She travels back to Miraflores which is roughly 35 minutes and returns back to the Embassy with cash tightly hidden in her belt buckle, under her clothes. She protects it with her life]. The guards recognize me, probably because of my desperate and helpless look. Just smile, be grateful they are being so delicate with you. There are others who got their passport stolen and fly out tonight, like me?! [Her and the other two passport-less people bond. Hours later, at 3 pm, her and the other two receive their emergency passports but are told that they need the entrance stamp, which is accessible 45 minutes away, and they close at 4 pm, Addy's anxiety resurges with force]. Please universe, get me home. I know I'll make it. I' have to make it. [The Embassy calls the airport, and like guardian angels sent from the heavens, they report the good news that they might be able to receive the entrance stamp at the airport]. 

[Addy arrives at her apartment around 5 pm, she packs, writes her thank you cards to UNLIREC and her roommates]. I don't have time to shower. It's ok, I smell alright. Where are my essential oils?... Solved. Am I forgetting anything? Why do I have so much stuff?! I need to become a minimalist. Yep, this is a sign, I should become a minimalist, AND never let my guard down in a developing country. Ever.  

[She arrives at the airport] OK, my bags are checked in and thank goodness they aren't over the weight that's allowed. Ok, hopefully, please, PLEASE let immigration let me through. Addy, stop thinking out loud, people are looking at you. I don't care. I do. No, not right now I don't. 

[Addy gets through immigration with no problem and sits at her gate in disbelief] Wow that was intense. I'm so blessed, blessed to be American, blessed I have people back home willing to wire me money if I needed, blessed for all the love and support, blessed that I wasn't robbed at gunpoint, blessed I have a safe home to go to, blessed for this internship, blessed it was in Peru, blessed that I am here, now, alive. Yes, I endured constant health issues, the Lima theft, the always waiting, the heartaches... [She sighs deeply] it was all worth it because I LOVE PERU. I LOVED MY JOB.[Addy experiences a massive wave of relief and gratitude.  She remains seated for a few minutes in peace, present to her beautiful life and good fortune before sharing the good news. This small obstacle was a reminder to be grateful for the now, and for what's real. After contacting her family, friends, and colleagues, she laughs uncontrollably] Oh, this life. Addy, you know you love it, despite its downfalls. What the heck, Lima, give me a break. Are you testing my worthiness for this type of work? Cause I'll thrive. It all worked out. The day before I leave I get robbed, I can't believe it. Is this a sign? A  sign I shouldn't come back? A sign Peru wants me to stay?  [She Inhales deeply, smiling as she thinks about her home in California, where she will be in a few hours]. 

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