Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bolivia Day 2

Our little delegation had decided that we would meet in the hotel lobby at 6:30 so that we'd have plenty of time to eat and socialize before our car came to get us at 7:30. In an out-of-character fit of punctuality, I headed down at 6:16 only to realize that no one else was down there. That's fine. No big deal. I decide to just head up to the room to spend some time with my roommates. No sooner had I entered the room that the phone rang. Being the only one who wasn't doing hair or make-up, I answered it.

It was our head delegate, Sheila. "Ally, I need you, Cindy, and Brittney to come downstairs right away. I have some disturbing news."

"Right. I will tell them." Because this is what I love to wake up to in the morning. Cindy and Brittney seem to feel the urgency of the situation so we grab our coats, binders and head down to the breakfast room. Of course, everyone is already there, seemingly having appeared out of thin air. They're all wearing the same solemn expression. I drag a chair over to Sheila and, being a bit too nauseous to eat (Thanks altitude sickness), I ask her what's going on. She tells me the sordid tale of how her class ring ($$$) and her roommate's iPhone ($$$) have disappeared. That, paired with the fact that the rooms had no heater/ac and it was WINTER TIME (the room temperature was 60 degrees), the fact that the other girls' room had no electricity whatsoever, the fact that the boys' room didn't have working plumbing and that another room had mold growing in it, led us to make the most obvious choice: we were going to have to leave the hotel.

We finish breakfast in the most awkward way possible and head upstairs to pack our things. We're all a little on edge and of course, feel so uncomfortable. We have our bags packed and are just doing the last sweep when we hear a crashing from the bathroom. We freeze of course because, due to the window in the bathroom, we think someone is breaking in. We cling together as the crashing and shattering glass continue. Finally, it stops long enough for us to poke on over to see what had happened. The bathroom light had fallen out, straight off of the ceiling, and exploded all over the floor.

We call the front desk to let them know what happened and run all the way to the lobby, still shaken from the experience. By then, again, everyone is there, wearing the expression that could only mean: "Is this really happening on our first Bolivian morning? Seriously? Whatever. Just , , , whatever."

Our professor is trying to explain what had happened to the manager, who cryptically alerts us that we should re-check our rooms for our missing items. So fine. The girls who had things taken went upstairs. Their things were still missing. The manager then suggests that we should check ALL of our rooms, just in case. The ring is recovered in the boys' room (strangely enough since none of us had gone into each other's rooms) and the cell phone in another room's safe. The hotel then accuses us of being liars. Our professor's jewelry never shows up. So we leave. We just roll ourselves out of the hotel at 9:00 am, the exact time that our convention is supposed to begin. But we won't be there. Because we're trying to find another place to stay. The hotel charges us for the light and calls the Bolivian police on us, who then proceed to follow us around for the REST OF THE DAY. This post is getting a bit long so I'll split it into two!

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