In a second post documenting her trip with the Botswana-UPenn Partnership, Perelman School of Medicine student Hayley Goldbach lets us know she has arrived safe and sound in Botswana...minus a few issues getting out of the United States!
Just wanted to let everyone know that I safe, sound, and sitting in the Penn flats in Gabarone. As for my travels: the drool was indeed copious, the lines long and the airline rules mystifying but the bottom line is that I'm here and so excited to begin my Botswana adventure.
My trip got off to an interesting start to say the least. I arrived at Boston's Logan airport to find it more crowded than I've ever seen it I think. I muscled my way to a kiosk and upon scanning my passport realized that it was only displaying my BOS --> NYC route with no mention of any further travel plans to, say, Africa. Miracle of miracles, I managed to pull aside a JetBlue employee who looked at the machine, scratched his head and then goes, "honestly I don't really know what to do. I'm a pilot and I'm just helping out." WHAT? Having your pilot help you check in (and not even succeed) was not exactly confidence inspiring.
The next employee I tracked down insisted that my itinerary was booked separately so that I'd have to pick up my bags in New York and recheck them (all within 1 hr).
The guy after was like "just kidding! We found the rest of your reservation but we need to "hand check" your bag (meaning he wrote out a bag tag in magic marker). I was 97% sure that he meant "please take this time to say goodbye to your possessions because you're never going to see them again." By that point I was just happy that I was going to Botswana so asking for my bags to accompany me on the journey seemed greedy.
So I bid my duffel adieu and got my 3 boarding passes. 3 middle seats- it's like winning a slot machine where the prize is awkward physical contact with two inevitably overweight strangers.
A few more hijinks later and I arrived Gabarone unscathed, happy, relatively well rested and psyched. The cherry on top was that my duffel bag somehow made it as well! A Christmas...er...4th of July miracle!!
So now I'm in the process of unpacking and settling in. I feel so lucky to be here and I can't wait to start my summer!
Read Hayley's first post in the series!