Its been eight months in the planning but the time has finally arrived for the next group of student ambassadors to begin their journey to discover Europe. During this time of preparation there has been funds to raise, travel documents to submit, packing lists to prepare, and picking up those items before now. Let the adventure begin!
And begin it did. Not the way we were hoping though. Finally it was time to leave for the airport. Everybody was nervous as this new experience was beginning. Parents watching as their child meets with their delegation and passes through security. Delegates leaving their families behind for several weeks uncertain of what to expect in Europe. Siblings both sad to see their brother or sister leave for so long and jealous that they were not the ones going. As this group of student ambassadors walked out of sight for the last time, their families, already missing them, slowly dispersed back to their vehicles and returned home anxious to here any small amount of information about their voyage.
Soon the text messages began: “the flight is delayed”, “we should be boarding about an hour and a half late”. Since this flight was already an overnight flight, we decided to head to bed with the mobile phone close by. As the night progressed, more texts came describing a later and later boarding time. Finally the phone rang “Come pick me up. Our flight has been cancelled due to mechanical problems and we can’t get another one for two days!” all said with anger, sadness, and exhaustion. These student ambassadors returned home weeks before they were expecting to uncertain of what to do or think. Only knowing that they would miss part of their trip – London – a very important destination on their itinerary.
After getting some sleep and making phone calls and sending emails, the new flight details came along with an updated itinerary which included most of the landmarks that would be missed due to the change in the departing date. This information brought many sighs of relief and a renewed excitement among the delegation. Now the waiting game begins again, watching the hours slowly tick by, anxiously wanting that trip to the airport to arrive again.
Finally it was time to board the vehicle providing transportation to the airport that was the site of so much angst days ago. Again families joined their child as they re-joined their delegation, passed through security, and reluctantly left the airport. Not again! Here come the texts “the plane is delayed.” THIS CAN’T POSSIBLY HAPPEN AGAIN! Can it? This time it was due to the arrival of President Obama. Once he landed and was safely at his hanger, planes began taking off again and this group of Student Ambassadors was in flight. Although this time is was in three separate groups, one headed for Detroit before going to London and the other two headed for Atlanta first. All eventually met up again in London safely to begin their European adventure.