entering the land of the gods

a study abroad journey

Rough Start

Excuse my language, but this was one hell of travel across the world!

My journey began at the Sioux Falls Joe Foss airport. I was ready to go for the 4:40pm departure after bidding my family farewell. However, due to the weather over the holiday weekend and cancellations, the airlines were making up for the lost flights. Our plane didn’t arrive until 5pm and we took off at 5:20. I flew to Dallas no problem and had an ample layover. Again, my 8:10 flight was moved to 9:35pm. I knew I was heading in the right direction when I noticed this sign in the terminal….oh ya, yoga at the airport. J Things began getting complicated upon my arrival in London. With the change in departure at Dallas, I had a very short window of time to make my connection. Fortunately, there were representatives at the gate to take us to the next terminal. We made it on time to our 1:35pm flight to Hyderabad. This made for two 9½ hour flights back to back! We arrived in Hyderabad at 4:30am (Dec 30). As I waited at the baggage claim, my stomach began churning. The luggage kept coming, people kept leaving, by my suitcase was no where to be seen. Gal darn it! It turns out my luggage stayed in London. At this point I was getting exasperated. There were a dozen of us trying to fill out reports, running back and forth between customs and the baggage claim. All the while I am worried about my ride to the University. I finally exited the airport at 6:30….and there is no ride for me. Instead, dozens of Indian eyes stare me down as I tried frantically to hold myself together. I begin calling every number in my information packet with no answer. Finally, as I am almost ready to take a cab myself, I get a hold of someone who sends me a car. This came with another 40 minute wait. I have never felt so alone and vulnerable before in my life. I was greasy and jet-lagged, frustrated, and dehydrated. For a moment I thought, what am I doing here? As I was chauffeured to the University, I answered my question. This is what I came to India to do, encounter new and unfamiliar situations and step out of my comfort zone! In the moment it sucks (I won’t receive by luggage until Tuesday) but I am growing from these situations.  I found myself playing Pollyanna’s “Glad Game.” I am alive, well, in a foreign country, and opportunities ahead.  On the plane I sat by some very kind Indian men who shared their experiences with me and wished me well on my journey ahead! Life is good! 

For the cherry on top, I got to the International Hostel met 3 amazing girls who were more than willing to let me borrow clothes, soap, and toothpaste.  Good to be clean. Good to be alive. Time for the journey to really begin. 


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3 thoughts on “Rough Start

  1. Lynn Sorteberg on said:

    We have been praying for you since you left and will be praying for that luggage to arrive soon!

  2. Jo Lamb on said:

    So glad you made it there safely Maria! So sorry for the obstacles that came along, but I’m so proud of you for seeing the blessing in the entire experience.
    God is good!

  3. Uncle Jeff (Merkley) on said:

    You and Aunt Mary will have a lot to share on difficult challenges during the initial journey to India. Great job expanding your world and keeping the frustrating and exhausting moments in perspective!

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