Thursday, 9 p.m.
So we’re sitting at SFO waiting for our flight to Greece to take off. And waiting. And waiting. Who knows, we might still be waiting when you read this. Actually, I think it’s miraculous we’re still planning to board the plane for Mykonos and a week-long spay/neuter mission for abandoned animals on the island.
It’s almost comical what we’ve been through so far. But we’re on a mission, literally and figuratively. Nothing will deter us. Besides, when 4 strong-willed women get their minds made up, it’s a losing proposition to think those minds can be changed.
Still, we are definitely getting a hint that we’d best stay home. We’re preferring to believe it’s a test of our devotion to our cause and not that this plane will vanish into the ocean minutes after take off. No, I’m afraid we have other plans.
Here’s what’s testing us:
All our printers stopped working this week except Pat’s, but her cell phone wouldn’t receive texts; Pat’s toilet broke, then mine too; Lisa was late arriving to my house for a ride to the airport because of an accident on the bridge; our area has 55 mph winds so our plane is delayed 4 hours; I bought an $18 sandwich moments before Air France gave us meal vouchers.
This morning, customs in Athens rejected all our medical supplies we mailed weeks ago and are being sent back as we sit here. So we have no surgery kits. We ordered them today from Athens at double the price. It’s a mystery whether we’ll get them by Monday. Then we learned air traffic controllers are on strike in Paris where we’ll be changing planes. Oh joy.
Friday, 11:30 p.m.
Made it to Paris 22 hours after leaving home. Now don’t get me wrong; it gets better. The ATM appeared to accept my card (twice) but I received no cash. Who knows, I could be out $1200 at this point. We then waited 2 hours in line at the airport to get a connecting flight but instead got vouchers for a hotel stay. Trouble was, 3 of us were sent to one hotel and Lisa to another, which we flatly refused.
We have no change of clothes, as they couldn’t locate all our bags, so we received t-shirts and toiletries. Had to call the front desk when the lights in my room wouldn’t work. Turns out I’m supposed to insert my key card into a slot on an inside wall. Being it was pitch black, how was I supposed to see the slot? I’m dizzy, dead tired and not wearing glasses. I was lucky to still know my name.
Saturday, 8:00 a.m.
Slept a couple hours then snuck Lisa into the hotel restaurant for the complimentary breakfast. Tried boarding the plane at 7:00 a.m. for Athens but my ticket was repeatedly refused at the kiosk. Turns out they’d changed my seat, which the computer didn’t recognize. So now I’m writing this on our 3 hour flight, which will be followed by a 3 hour boat ride to Mykonos.
It’s been a challenging 33 hours so far and the thought did pass my mind that we’re somehow being tested on this trip. But we’re all still smiling and haven’t wavered in our goal to help as many unaltered and starving animals as we can, no matter the challenge in finally reaching them.
After all, we are 4 strong-willed women on a mission.
Landed 5 hours ago. Pat’s luggage still hasn’t arrived.
Stuck at the Paris airport 22 hours after takeoff