Rough start

Never a dull moment on a Globetrotter trip and our first 48 hours of this trip were no exception. It started with a flight delay in Greensboro that almost made us miss the last plane to Johannesburg out of Atlanta. We found ourselves running through the Atlanta airport to catch the flight and jumped on the plane as the doors shut. Missing that flight would have meant we would not have been able to fly out until Tues night, we dodged one bullet.

The second bullet came three quarters of the way through the flight when Lou told me she was having severe abdominal pains. Neither one of us had any pain killer so she toughed out for a couple more hours before she said she couldn’t stand it anymore. I know she is in serious pain when Lou let the flight attendant page for a doctor onboard.

A really nice doctor came forward and we found some strong pain reliever. The flight attendant radioed ahead for an emergency removal from the plane. The doctor felt that Lou was suffering from kidney stones. Then they moved us into first class. What a cheap way to get into first class. Unfortunately by that time there was only 45 minutes left in the flight.

A wheel chair was waiting for Lou when we touched down and we went to the medical clinic in the airport where they checked her out. The pain killer had kicked in and she was feeling better so rather than have an ambulance take us to the hospital my good friends Paul and Mike were waiting in the lobby took us to a private hospital.

Meanwhile back at the airport, since we were so late getting into Joburg we missed the last flight to Cape Town. Marty started working his magic with his co-workers in Greensboro, (thank you Melissa) to find a hotel and rebook our flight. Melissa called me at the hospital and Paul suggested that he make the hotel reservation since he was local and knew a good hotel close to the airport. After the hotel reservation was made we called Marty and the rest of the group and told them to go to the City Lodge Hotel, which they did. Unfortunately there are two City Lodge Hotels. Yeah you guessed it, they went to the wrong one. Now don’t forget Marty has two leaders, 10 kids with baggage and 14 duffle bags full of “give a gallon” bags.

Meanwhile back at the hospital, Lou is feeling much better. They still think it is kidney stones but not much they can do for her so we head for the right City Lodge. We finally meet back up with the kids about 11:30pm after starting our journey 33 hours earlier.

We got all the kids in their rooms and settled down about 12:30am on Wed and told them we had to be up at 5am to try to catch the 7am flight to Cape Town.

Everybody was up and ready at 5am and off we go to the airport. When we arrived they told us to get on the 7am flight we would have to rebuy all the tickets at $300 per person but if we waited until 12pm we could go for $45 per person.

That would mean we would not get into Cape Town until 2pm and another day would be wasted. I knew there was a chance that we could get Delta to help us because their delay made us miss our flight so I left the group and ran to the international terminal.

Of course when I got there Delta desk was closed with no one to be found . Now am I running back to the domestic terminal. Suddenly I remembered that our trip insurance included flight delay and cancellation coverage. I called and they said it should be covered, the only problem was there were only 9 seats available on the 7am flight and 8 seats available on the 7:30am flight and it was 6:15am, we had 45 minutes to rebook, check our luggage and get on the flight.

Marty was working the ticket rep and I was getting the kids ready. He told them to put Lou and I along with 7 kids on the first flight and the rest of the leaders and the remaining three kids on the second flight.

They close the flight 30 minutes before takeoff so we had 15 minutes to get our tickets and check our luggage. As they printed out the boarding passes I sent Lou with the kids to security. Our boarding passes were the last ones to print. They had printed all 7 kids boarding passes and they had headed for security when I was informed that the flight was closed and we would not make the flight.

Now I am running towards security to stop the kids because we have no leader on the flight. When I get to security I see Lou sending Lauren through security the last one to clear, all the others have already gotten through. So I grabbed Lauren told her she had to make the flight without an adult and we would be ½ hour behind them.

Here we go again, I am running back to the counter to try to make the 7:30 flight. When you are in a hurry nobody seems to move fast enough and as the clock ticked the second flight was about to close. We got our boarding passes just in time and again found ourselves running to the gate. Again we were the last people on the flight as they shut the door behind us.

Lou is feeling much better and we are on our way to Cape Town with enough running through airports to last me a lifetime.