The adventure sure did start off adventurously. As I sit in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport blogging from a borrowed laptop and still hours away from my final destination I have already experienced some unexpected events.
Let’s start at the beginning. I began packing late last night (procrastination. oops.) and after writing out lists, starting laundry, and plugging in my camera batteries I started working on gathering documents. It was then that I realized there was one thing on my list that I didn’t have. My yellow vaccination record card. “My mom has that” I thought. So, I casually walked into the other room and asked her for it. To my surprise, and chagrin, she replied “I thought you had it”. Oh no.
So operation Find-Milana’s-Immunization-Card-ASAP began. We looked through both of our cars, my room, everything I had brought home from school, my parents room, folders of medical records, and my mother even drove to her office at Creighton and looked through everything there. No such luck. The card (which was listed as required in order to obtain a visa and gain entry to Uganda) was still MIA.
Plan B: I photocopied it to turn into the Dean’s office with my study abroad packet. They open at seven and most likely have that copy on hand. Is a copy of it good enough? Off to Google. Nope. I need the original card. Darn.
Plan C: I need to get a new one. I’m starting to get a little bit stressed. But I stay focused. A call to Kohll’s Pharmacy, where I received the vaccination confirms that they open at 8am. Well, I have to be at the airport at 7am to meet the group and check in. But the flight is scheduled to leave at 9:18.
The plan: I will finish packing and in the morning my mother will drive me to the airport to meet the group on time. My father, in the meantime, will go to Kohll’s immediately at 8am to ask for another copy of my vaccination card. He will then drive as fast as he can to the airport and give it to me.
At the airport my mother and I inform the professors of our little problem. They are all a little bit worried (with good reason) but keep their cool and we go ahead and check in. Dr. O’Keefe, Tim, and the rest of the students up to go through security and wait at the gate while my mother, Carol, and I wait for my father’s call.
My father calls. “The sign on the door says it opens at 8:30am”. Oh. No.
Plan D: He tries to get it to me in time.
Back-up 1. I leave without it, go to Uganda and hope they don’t ask. If they don’t mention it I won’t.
Back-up 2. I leave without it my mother scans (in color) the card and emails it to Dr. O’Keefe who will have it to show on the iPad. (We will hope they accept that).
Back-up 3. I leave without it and if they don’t accept the iPad proof we move to bribery. I have a couple hundred extra dollars. Are they willing to compromise their morals?
And so we wait. The pharmacy opens and my father is there and ready.
The pharmacist shows up and quickly gets the paperwork together and my father sets off. He calls me on the way to the airport.
But. I have already gone through security thinking he wouldn’t make it. We tell him to come anyway. And step on it. Dr. O’Keefe goes into problem solving mode. He talks to TSA and says that if my father brings the card to security TSA will bring it through for me so that I don’t have to go through a second time. We also talk to the man working at the gate. He promises to tell us when the last call is made so we don’t get left behind.
My phone rings… It’s my father! He just handed the card to my mother who was waiting curbside and she is running through the airport to get it to me. Yes!
I meet the TSA guy who is helping us out and point out my mother. He runs and grabs it from her, puts it through the scanner, and hands it to me. I run. Literally. Back to the gate and Carol and I board the flight. I receive high fives graciously from my classmates and professors and am happy to be on the flight with EVERYTHING I need.
I find my seat and settle in to read “They Come Back Singing“. I look up just as the plane is taking off and realize that I am now officially en route to Uganda.