Dear friends and family:
Excitment is running high among the two faculty members and the 13 students leaving for Colombia tomorrow. This is especially the case after a panicky weekend when I realized that the storm dumping ice and snow throughout the southern United States would close down the Atlanta airport, which was our point to departure for Bogota. Sure enough, by Saturday night all Delta flights had been cancelled through Tuesday, including ours. Their phones were down so there was no one to talk to. I alerted the students Sunday night. I wrote to our hosts in Colombia and we immediately began making alternative plans, not knowing how many days late we might be. How would we get 15 seats on another flight 24 hours before flying? As soon as I woke up this morning, I started dialing numbers until one actually said something other than "due to severe weather, all of our offices are closed." I punched an endless number of digits until I was told to wait for the next available operator. That took some 35 minutes, but it was worth it. I talked to a real human being who diverted us to another airline through Los Angeles to Bogota for Tuesday and pretty much the same times. Whew. No changes needed to be done to our schedule in Colombia. Another round of e-mails and quick, happy responses all around.
So, off we go tomorrow morning.
We will do our best to stay in touch through this medium. But be patient, as we will be moving from town to town nearly every day for the next eight days. We will be thinking about you and wishing you were here!