Before Perú Bus Life

The 1st Very Cold Day.

November 11, 2014

The temperature hit six degrees at around ten o’clock in the evening tonight. Everything was fun up until then. Bear’s parents were kind enough to drop my mother off at the airport to head back home. I went with. On the way home, his parents were kind enough to drop me off at the place that Packs of Hope stores all of their stuff for stuffing packs. So, I went and spent some time building backpacks for transitioning kids in the foster care system. Fortunately, I spent that same quality time with Lovely (the fabulous woman who started this fabulous organization a few years ago.) We organized and dreamed up ideas for the layout of the area (i.e. how to fit as many pants, shirts, sweaters and PJ’s for all ages in one area.) We had a great time! (Or I know I did! Ha.)

Toward the end of our time together it was time for me to meet my Aunt at a fair trade bazaar she was involved in down in the south part of Denver. Do you know how long it takes to get about 25 miles on public transportation in Denver on a snowy day? Ha! About three hours. Lovely graciously insisted she drive me to my next destination. I didn’t feel good about it, but she said she couldn’t in good conscience let me take the bus in the current weather conditions. And that was that. I’ve learned to be a different kind of appreciative when people change their plans to give you a ride somewhere. It’s a humbling thing.

My Aunt had a successful time running her booth selling fair trade scarves from Guatemala at the Bazaar. It was nice to see her and shop around at some of these booths. It’s awesome to see the efforts happening all around Denver that are connected with small communities abroad. I left with a carry-on bag and one of those make-up travel bags that unfold a few times. I purchased them from a fair trade organization called Sak Saum. The money raised through their fair trade goods goes toward freeing people from the cycles of poverty, trafficking, etc. I’m all about freeing people.

We helped tear down the bazaar and then layered up to face the cold.

Walking to the bus stop in freezing temp.

Walking to the bus stop in freezing temp.

When we first started waiting it was easier.

When we first started waiting it was easier.

The thing about waiting for the bus in freezing temperatures is this: You don’t want to get there too close to the bus’ arrival time where you may miss the bus and have to wait for the next one, but you don’t want to get there too early to where you are waiting for it for too long either. Both suck beyond belief. I don’t think I mentioned that Bear had met me at the fair trade bazaar, so we had each other to keep company in the cold. We headed out to make it ten minutes early to the stop, and on top of that, the bus was five minutes late.

Every waiting moment felt awful.

Every minute that passed by felt like ten minutes. It was so cold. The wind was SO cold. There was nothing romantic about the snow. There were no positive thoughts that came to my mind about how we were edging closer to our goal of no debt by waiting for this bus. Every possible negative word that came into my mind was said quietly  under my breath even though it didn’t keep me any warmer. My alpaca socks were wet from the holes in my boots. The wind seemed to pierce right through my  jacket. I may as well have been naked; although, I’m insanely glad I wasn’t.

Feeling a bit miserable.

Feeling a bit miserable.

One extremely disappointing thing about waiting on a bus is when the wrong one comes over the hill and you have the false hope that maybe it’s yours. You psych yourself out to realize it was always going to drive right past you. Oh gosh. That night was terrible. Okay, that fifteen minutes was terrible but it felt like an entire night.

And then, from around the corner, there it was. The bus. I just remember thinking over and over, “Oh my gosh, I did it. We did it!” Sounds terribly first world, home owner of me but it’s all I knew to think at the time.

It took us four hours to get home that night, but every other bus stop seemed easy in comparison to the first one for the rest of the night. My body had a new realization of what was actually ‘really cold’ compared to what it used to think was ‘really cold.’

I was very grateful when we arrived at the main station during one of our layovers. You can wait INSIDE!

I was very grateful when we arrived at the main station during one of our layovers. You can wait INSIDE!

That night I posted on Facebook something about how only people who take public transportation are allowed to complain about being cold, and what was funny was the next morning when Bear’s mom almost let out the words “It’s so cold” but instead she caught herself in honor of my “new rule.” Haha. Cute.

 

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