Apr 30, 2011

Getting lost

A few days ago I was sent with a smaller group of other students to the orphanage to play with the girls and bring some of the donations down to them.  We arrived in a cab, spent a fun few hours playing with them, and then decided we'd walk home to see San Miguel de Allende on the way back.  It was only about a 10 minute cab ride there, so we thought it wouldn't be so hard.  Our teacher even said, "If you get lost, just keep the Parish of San Miguel in your sites because our hotel isn't far from there."

This is our group - very, very lost
Ha, easier said than done.  We found dead end after dead end.  Within the down town area, all the street names are written on the sides of the buildings, this was not the case out there.  We had no idea where we were and our limited Spanish was quite the amusement for the locals that we asked for directions.

We turned one corner and found a little store - bought some pop and tried to ask them how to get back to our street, we just got shrugs.

We walked for about 20 minutes, found a gaggle of children hanging out on their front step and asked them, they laughed and laughed....we asked them where the parish was and got these stares of "you've got to be kidding me" -- they pointed down the street and after two steps, we saw the parish - very far away, but so very obvious that we now understood why we got the looks we did.

We met a man on the side of a street and asked him where we were on our map.  He motioned to us that he didn't have his glasses, so one of my classmates, Gail, pops hers off her head and gave them to him.  He still couldn't find where we were.

Suddenly, I realized that I was missing my camera.  A surge of panic washed over me as I remembered last having it at the place where we bought our now empty pops.  We were torn - do we turn back and try to find it after all those twists and turns, or do we just give it up as a lost cause...that's when I looked at another student, Linda, who had my camera slung over her arm...she even forgot she had it too!  So the hunt to get home was back on.

We knew we were getting close when we went from dirt roads to a new, nicely paved one.  Still nothing looked familiar.  We walked for another 10 minutes or so.  We saw two men holding an adorable little baby on the side of the street chatting away to one another.  We walked up to them, holding out our map and asked, "Donde??"  One of the man looks up and says, "You lost?"  Oh, how sweet it was to hear English!!  He tried to find where we were on the map, told us our map was too old and then said, "You're only about a 10 minute walk from where you want to go....if you know what you're doing."

Right.  We had no idea what we were doing!!  He told us to stay on this road and eventually a cab would come.  He was right.  We all piled into the back of the cab - we were rescued by Alfredo.  With all 5 of us in his car, we made it bottom out on every speed bump (of which there are MANY).  He charged us an extra 10 pesos, but we made it home.

What an adventure!  It ended up taking us more than 45 minutes to get home...but I wouldn't trade in that experience for the world!


Tina S ♥ said...

What a great learning experience!!!!! Sounds like fun and I bet that you seen areas of town that you probably wouldn't have had you taken the cab to begin with!! PLUS aren't the cab rides the BEST!!!

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