Reunited and it Feels so Good!

Benjamin Smith

Reunited and it Feels so Good!
Sunday, August 16, 2015

 Reunited And It Feels So Good

Talk about a day of ups and downs! As some of you may already know, after arriving in Manila last night we learned that our bags had not made the trip and were still in Dubai. So, without any of our equipment or belongings we decided to wait a day and collect our bags before traveling to Bohol. The bad news kept coming though – in the morning we tried to check on the status of our bags and Emirates said “there is no record of your luggage”.

None of us were overly upset about our belongings; however we were very concerned that we would not be able to obtain the water testing and GPS equipment in country. Without our equipment, we would be unable to obtain a majority of the data we came to collect. Personally, I was pretty far down in the dumps, thinking we would be letting down our team and our dedicated club members back home.

As the day progressed, we had done all we could to locate alternatives in the event that our bags did not arrive. Around lunch time we decided to go see some parts of Manila, as a way to cheer ourselves up. Our first stop was the local market, and we stopped in a local grocery store to see what it would be like. Then, things took a turn for the worse – our lovely project manager Sarah realized she had left her purse somewhere, inside of which were her phone, some money, her credit card, and her ID. We traced all of our steps, searched the bus from top to bottom, but the wallet was nowhere to be found.  

When we returned to the hotel, Sarah’s parents got a very late night phone call (2 am) to find out the bad news. Fortunately the credit card and phone were turned off quickly, and the damage was limited. I was stunned by Sarah’s toughness in the face of it all; she was impressively calm and within minutes was tackling the problem head on.

After the morning’s turmoil, we were in desperate need of some good news. After a regroup at the hotel, Kim and I made our way through security to see if our baggage had come on the following day’s flight from Dubai to Manila. Five minutes passed, ten minutes, twenty minutes and nothing. I was about ready to sit down and call it quits when we see what we think is Kim’s bag coming around the carousel. It felt like an eternity until it came around, but then we knew it was hers! The rest of our bags started making their way around, and as Kim and I walked out with everything we felt like Santa delivering presents. As you can see from Sarah’s expression, she was ecstatic to see everything – after jumping up and down and dancing for a minute I snapped the picture of her smiling for the first time in a while.

Currently, we are sitting in the Manila airport waiting to catch an island hopper down to Bohol, very pleased to have all our luggage (: