Woke up at 5.30am, left at 6.30am and got to Heathrow around 7am. On the way into the car park I wasn’t paying much attention to the radio, but caught the bit about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes going to have a baby. I turned to look at Mum, and she looked horrified. The story before that – that I didn’t catch – was that there had been a hurricane in Central America that killed 110 people. She wasn’t too impressed when I started laughing about the fact that it had completely passed me by! Oops!

Checked in, got some breakfast, phoned Dad to say ‘bye’. Went to departures and said bye to Mum. That’s when it really hit me, now that I was by myself, that I really was going to the other side of the world. Only lasted til I got through to the shops though! Bought a new memory card for my camera, body spray, and a small alarm clock in case I can’t figure out how to turn my watch back!

Distance to Miami: 4421 miles. That’s a long way. And I still have a fair bit after that! Taking off was pretty cool: I was right over the wing so I could see us jutting through the clouds. And it was so bright above the clouds covering London: brilliant blue skies.

Watched Dark Water, Bewitched and CSI on the plane. CSI was probably my favourite. Only got about 30mins sleep. Irritating couple in front kept messing with their chairs, going down then up then down, and on and on. No need!

Miami sucked. It’s always sunny and gorgeous on the TV. We arrived in rain. There was more cloud in Miami than in London. And the airport’s rubbish: all corridors, not much in the way of shops. Got some food, read more of The Da Vinci Code. Had quite a wait between flights so had a bit of a wash and felt a lot fresher. Still smelled though. Wasn’t really tired which surprised me since I’d been up for 16 hours. Texted Mum to say I’d got that far, and got Gillian’s text too.

Best parts of Miami:

  • the view when we took off: blocks and blocks of houses and hotels, and almost every one with a pool; and it was clear by that time so we could see the Caribbean too.
  • meeting a Chelsea fan at immigration: actually, he was the immigration officer. Said if I’d have been staying in Miami he would’ve shown me the city!

Sat alone on the flight to Guatemala so lay down and fell asleep. Quite disappointed that it was dark when I woke up and we were coming in to land: all I could were twinkling lights below. Dom and Doreen (work for GVI, the company I’m volunteering with) met me at the airport and took me to the Hotel San Jorge in Antigua, Guatemala. Very tired and smelly by this point.

They told me that they weren’t sure if I was going to get there: the whole area was and still is on hurricane alert. By the time I reached Guatemala, there were 200 dead and lots still missing. One of the GVI projects had been completely wiped out. Dom told me that there was a change of plan: the road we’d take to Honduras was impassable, so I would be staying in Guatemala for a week, and then going on to Honduras.

I was in bed by 8.30pm, and very grateful for it.


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