Thursday, February 12, 2009

OR Tambo airport and complaining, or One more reason to play the flute.

I realize that there are bigger problems out there, I really do. And I realize that some of them--like poverty, and economic imperialism, and greed, and unequal wealth distribution--are causing the relatively small one that I have right now, and that those are without doubt a bigger deal.

But it's really burning me up that--if we do get to go to Madagascar, after all--I won't be able to take my mandolin. Why not?
1. Peace Corps prohibits having more than 80 lbs of luggage checked.
2. Unless I want to pay extra, the airline caps the amount of checked baggage at 2 pieces.
3. We're staying the night in a hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the night of March 12.
4. Per Peace Corps requirements, our checked luggage will remain in the airport overnight.
And the crux of it all is that
5. Johannesburg airport is known worldwide for baggage theft.

I don't know how many baggage handlers would like a nice handmade mandolin case, complete with mandolin, but it looks like I'll have to just deal with not having it until someone visits me. Yet one more reason to play a flute.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Mom of a PCV in Madagascar:
I think you can bring your mandolin. Bring one small backpack as your carry on as well as your mandolin.

My son is in Madagascar now: he brought one very large hikers backpack that he checked in - the kind that I can never figure out how you kids carry - it went from his head to the top of his thighs, or so it seemed - and one small carry on back pack so he'd have a smaller one over there, and in that kept his overnight clothes for the stop,etc.

You should have your instrument- what a great thing to play over there -music always brings everyone together - call the airline - if it is in a case, make sure it can go in the overhead - if not, and it has to stay with checked luggage, can you put it in one of those airline boxes they have at check in so it isn't so obvious - don't give up.
Make it work ! And I hope it settles down so you get to go to Madagascar and my son gets to stay !

I am going to look at your friends bike blog next - another wonderful young person doing wonderful things ! Good Luck - I keep tracking your blog as well as a few others for PC updates, sometimes I find more info than on the US Embassy blog - the details, stories, etc.... know they are all safe but wish it would settle down so they can return to their villages -