Current date:: January, 30th 2003 7:55 p.m. (on plane in MIA)
Current Itenirary: Get my ass to Brazil!!
Subject: the moment the whole thing began

January, 30th 2003
Well, I just got on the plane and we are parked at the terminal. I just want to try to capture the moment and how I am feeling. I must say it is indescribable. I just feel so damn lucky to have this chance to take on such a major adventure. Damn, everything that I have thought about and dreamed about over the past year is now becoming a reality. Some of you may remember a story I told last year about the bus ride to the airport when I was in Sao Paulo (here and ever after referred to as SP) and how difficult it was for me knowing that I was going back. I have thought a lot about that moment over the past hour or so. I remember thinking back then that I was going to have to do whatever I could to be able to get the chance to return...but at that moment...deep down inside, I had NO idea how I was going to make it happen or if it really would. Good God...my dream has become a reality. Somebody wake me up...naaaaaah:) If I'm sleeping, then let it go on forever. It is hard to believe that exactly one year ago tomorrow, I was sitting on a plane, heading for the same destination...but with a much different mindset...that is...not that I was thinking of staying for a long time...but that I was worried about what all of you would think of my doing so. Today, I sit here, knowing that I carry all the love and support of all of you and that makes the experience so much more liberating. I am so happy with how everything has gone over the past two months. Having the chance to say goodby to everyone and spend tim with all my friends/family was truly rewarding. Back at the beginning of the month, I took a second one night to write about how I was feeling:

"I sit here...only 3 days away from leaving Houston. It seems weird to me. I mean, although I know I am the one that is leaving and moving towards a great journey...I somehow feel bad about those that I will be leaving here in Houston. I have felt a very sharp pain this week, knowing I was saying goodbye to some people for the last time...and letís face it, possibly forever. Very scary. So many people here in this chapter of my life have met so much to me. It has been unbelievable. I find it strange that everytime we see our lives going through a drastic change, it is always hard to let go of the previous things we had...even though inside we know that moving forward is the right thing to do. You really feel torn. I remember having a very similar feeling when it was time for me to leave ND. What is different this time though, is that the future seems to be...I donít know...so much less defined. It is very exhilarating to feel that...but I must admit, I am a bit afraid. It really started to hit me this week especially. When (if?)I do return, it will be a VERY difficult process trying to readjust to being back in the States. It will be interesting to see how things pan out. Either way though, Tim from London was right...coming back and telling everyone I was leaving was DEFINITELY the right thing to do. I wouldn't trade the times I've had with all my friends here over the past few weeks for anything."

Damn...we are taxiing (sp?) now so I have to "turn off and stow (is that really a word?) all electronic items..." I just didn't ever want to forget this moment so I decided I had to write RIGHT NOW...thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has been a part of this journey...I carry you all with me as this quest begins...

January 31st, 2003 8:15 a.m. (Sao Paulo airport)
Made it!!!! Here I am at the beginning as I have said many times...I am BACK at the bar in the SP airport called "On the Rocks" Good to see that it's still here:) I had my last drink in this place last year with Adi...I remember it like it was yesterday. I thought it would only be fitting that I return here for my first drink...even if it is only 8:00 a.m. Never too early for a beer!!!
Man, one of the waiters and the bartender are the same from last year...pretty funny. I am also very painfully reminded that this airport has NO AIRCONDITIONING!!! Welcome to Brazil. Luckily it's not too hot out...a little humid. It's overcast today. I got a little cash already to get me to the hostel but I will have to get on that one later. The next order of business is to get to a computer so I can the phone # of Luciana's brother. I guess I'll head for the hostel for now. I need to take a nap. It's only about 4:30 a.m. Houston time and I have only slept about 3 hrs. in the last 48. I gotta go and catch the bus now so I can catch the train to the hostel...just wanted to give a quick shout out...off I go!!!

AC

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