Three Tickets Later…

It seems crazy to think this was not that long ago. More of my new/old posts.

Things have been pretty hectic since I last posted. At this moment I am still in Rwanda. It is my last day in Kigali (for the third time) and I am just relaxing a bit. I already went ahead and checked in my luggage this morning, for the second time now.

I was supposed to depart on May 31st as originally planned in order to meet my boyfriend in Brussels to start our tour of Europe. However, when I went to go check in on the morning of the 31st I discovered that my ticket had been cancelled. My original flight back to America on the 31st that I purchased as part of my entire round trip ticket to Rwanda was comprised of three parts. I had a flight to Brussels, a flight to New York and then finally a flight to Austin. When I decided to go to Europe contacted the airline and told them that I wanted to cancel two of my three tickets that made up the entire trip. This seemed simple enough to me and I thought the fact that I used the ticket numbers specific to the segments that I wanted to cancel and even included messages stating that I wanted to cancel only the last two legs of my flight that the airline would proceed as I wanted them to. Not surprisingly, this did not happen. I checked with the Brussels Airlines office in Kigali to confirm that the parts of my flight I wanted to cancel were cancelled and discovered that the entire flight was cancelled instead. Although this was frustrating simply because I had to purchase another ticket out of Kigali I cannot say that I was upset about spending a few more days in Rwanda.

I arranged a flight for Saturday night and used my last two more days to say goodbye to people without having to rush. My days were more or less booked with appointments. Staying for one last Friday night also meant that I got to go to Sundowner one more time! One of my classmates let me stay with her at her homestay family’s house for these extra nights so I did not have to find anywhere to hole up as I extended my stay.

Saturday evening rolls around and I was hanging out with some of my closest friends, eating my last brochette & chips and drinking my last Primus. It was about three hours before my flight so about an hour before I had to go to the airport and get checked in. My boyfriend texted me and asked me to call him and I quickly learned that there had been an emergency back in Texas that caused him to not get on the plane. Naturally I was concerned considering that I was supposed to check-in for my flight in an hour and was not prepared to go travel around Europe on my own at that moment. I freaked out a bit and had no idea what I was going to do. I already spent quite a bit of money on the trip to Europe and did not want to lose most or all of it but I also did not want to do it alone. I told him how much time I had before I was supposed to leave Rwanda and asked him to figure something out within that time frame so I could adjust my plans accordingly.

I went back to freaking out while my friends tried to comfort me. Before my boyfriend confirmed that he would not be coming to Europe I decided to call my best friend in America and see if her parents and her schedule would allow her to join me. Needless to say she was caught a little off guard. I don’t think anyone sits around waiting for calls from their friends asking if they can hop on a flight overseas and travel with them for close to three months as soon as possible. I told her about my time crunch and she went about to try to evaluate the reality of her traveling Europe with me. As I was still stressing despite potentially having someone new to join me on my adventure my friends advised that I should try to push my ticket back a couple of days so I would have some time to figure things out and I would be able to do it somewhere that I knew and not in a foreign city in Europe. One of my friends and I hopped on motos and went to the airport to cancel my flight.

We arrived shortly before check-in began and I got my flight canceled rather easily. They gave me the flexibility of just telling them what date I would be leaving and having until the following Monday to pick where I would be flying to. This was most helpful as I did not know who would be joining me, if anyone, and needed to see where I could pick up my travels from in order to still use the majority of my train and other travel tickets within Europe.

My friend and I ended up waiting at the airport for close to three hours trying to get a hold of my luggage. After canceling my flight they went to go find it and bring it to me. I had two pieces, a suitcase and then a very small bag, only to avoid and charges for my large suitcase being overweight. They found my suitcase relatively quickly and brought it out to me and I actually had to point out that I had another bag (despite having two luggage identification stickers on my temporary boarding pass) . The gentleman went to go look for the other bag and after quite some time I thought he might have gotten sidetracked so I went back up to the Brussels Airlines office to make sure that someone was still looking for it. They told me someone would bring it out to me so I went back to my friend and continued waiting. Another thirty or so minutes later I went back up to the office yet again to check on the status of my bag. I ended up going to the office three times and going through security four times in a three-hour period this day. While I was up there for the third time I finally asked them if they could just take it back to their early check-in office for me to pick up on Monday when I came in to get my new ticket. They agreed and I was free to go. I am sad to say that I did not go back to Sundowner for a final time on Saturday night because I was absolutely exhausted after all of this.

I spent most of Sunday sitting at Bourbon Café trying to figure out if I would even be going to Europe or if I had wasted all of the money I already spent and would just stay in Kigali for the rest of, or at least the majority of, the summer. Turns out that Catherine is joining me in Europe and we decided to meet up in Italy and just pick up the travels from there. I am very excited to see her and to travel with her. We have basically been apart for a year because she studied abroad last Fall and I’ve been abroad this semester. It will be good for us. The only downside to this change in plans is that it is costing quite a bit of money that I did not plan on spending. I wish I could come back to Kigali afterwards but I do eventually need to go back to America I suppose.

Categories: From Rwanda | Leave a comment

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