It has been awhile since I have posted anything. Sometimes, time just has a way of flying by in a blink of an eye, and other times, there is just nothing to write about. I think it has been a combination of both lately.
Kassandra finished her first semester at university and made the long trek back to Al Ain to visit during her winter break. I am not sure when the last time I have been filled with as much excitement and anxiety as I was when she was making her journey back here. Yes, she has been traveling her whole life, but this was her first time traveling alone. The logical side of me was doing its best to keep up the reassurance that everything would be fine. The mom in me couldn’t help but feel nervous. She had to fly from Pullman to Seattle, Seattle to Frankfurt, and finally Frankfurt to Dubai. It didn’t help my anxiety that there were freezing temperatures and snow in Pullman (would she be able to get to the airport? would her flight be delayed?). I also had other worries, like would she have problems as a minor traveling out of the country alone, would she be able to make her connection with a different airline in Seattle (tickets were booked separately in order to use some airline miles), would her suitcases (transporting some replacement items for me) make it despite the switch to different airlines? These plus a hundred other scenarios went through my head during her 28 hours of travel. In the end, I worried for nothing because she navigated the trip like an experienced pro. Well, at least she did everything right on her side…..
When she got to the Dubai airport, it was discovered that one of her two suitcases did not make the journey. *sigh* I was starting to feel like I was just not meant to get anything from the States. And this time, I can’t even blame KLM because as I have said before I will never buy tickets with KLM ever again – she was flying Lufthansa.
We had to wait about an extra two hours, which felt like an eternity, while waiting for her luggage and subsequently for her to fill out the lost luggage claim forms. A large family next to us was also waiting for someone from the same flight. I spoke with a man from the family, and he told me that he was waiting for his brother and nephew who were flying in from Canada. They were having a family reunion and his brother had not seen their mother for 20 years. The mother looked like she was just a ball of nerves and excitement. Is that what I looked like too? Every time a person would walk around the corner, the whole family, about 15-20 people, would jump up in excitement and then sit back down in disappointment when they realized it wasn’t who they were waiting for. I told the man that my daughter was on the flight and that several people from the flight had their luggage lost and were filling out claim forms, so maybe his brother and nephew were dealing with that like my daughter was. This seemed to relieve the family somewhat but the family was getting quite anxious that maybe they weren’t even on the flight. Since I was able to message with Kassandra, the man asked me if I could ask her if she happened to see a man and his 16 year old son in the lost luggage claim room with her. Kassandra told me there was a man (Arab but not in traditional clothing) with a teenager that were right next to her in line. So, she asked the teenager if he was 16. She said that he looked a bit confused, but that he said he was. I told the man that my daughter thought that his brother and nephew were there with her. The man gave me his brother’s name, and after Kassandra was able to confirm that it was in fact his brother and nephew, he began smiling ear to ear. I could see the anxiety wash away from the whole family. It was a heart warming moment and also a nice distraction while I waited for Kassandra to walk around the corner.
And then she finally did. I have never been so happy to see anyone in my whole life. It was a long, difficult four months to go without seeing her, and it had felt like a piece of my heart was missing, but all of that washed away the second I threw my arms around her.
Fortunately, her suitcase was found and delivered to us two days later. So, overall, despite the delayed luggage, a wonderful start to the winter break. ❤