The last month since I turned 26 has been a little rough. Right after my birthay I cut my right hand badly, and it is only very slowly that I've been able to start to use it again. Still no brushing my teeth or picking up heavy things. And my 2 fingers above the cut are still half-numb and swollen. But at this point I've talked to 4 different Peruvian doctors and 2 American medical students, and they all say the hand looks good and that the nerve recovery takes a long time.
Then there was getting robbed on the bus, then a sketchy incident with people I thought were my friends, then a bus breaking down and being stranded for hours on the desolate highway, then harsh Bolivian border people...
Oh, then the WORST bus experience of my life from La Paz. It was supposed to leave at 8pm, but they wouldn't tell me a gate where to catch it, though they had already loaded my backpack. They said instead, "follow this guy!" So I ran to keep up with this guy, through the lobby, to the dark back bowels of the station, then outside... and across the street. What? The point of buying your ticket at the station is safely boarding there. But luckily, other people I had seen buying tickets were all waiting on the corner, so at least I was with a group. Then they said the bus couldn't stop there, so we should walk to the next curve. So the whole group of maybe 30 or 40 starts tromping down side of the HIGHWAY in a procession, indigenous women with bright woven bags on their backs, mestizos with sacks of fruit and plastic woven luggage, and a few foreigners with backpacks. It was quite a sight. We stopped after about a mile and waited. I was worried I would never see my backpack again. Finally around 9:30 the bus arrives! It's an overnight bus and my seat is broken- to the point that if I lean back at all, I go all the way to the lap of the person behind me! And then the window is broken and doesn't close all the way- remember it's night and around 12,000 feet, like being on top of Mount Baker. I am so cold I can't sleep. Then the bus breaks down. 3 times. And there is no bathroom. The bus stops in the middle of this random town, and I get off to pee, in the middle of the street like everyone else. Anyway, I find out later that there had been protests in La Paz, and people were blocking the highway, which was why the bus couldn't get to us.
And on top of it all is a broken heart, and having to say goodbye to Ata. I already stayed in Peru much longer than planned, and had to get moving south. But then again, life is full of those things that you don't plan.