How I Missed the Plane but Got the Deal
First, I want to stress that I don’t blame anyone but myself for this. Frankly, three weeks of living out of a suitcase, midnight meetings and strange surroundings have taken their toll. To the point where I didn’t realize that I had gotten one numeric day behind with my computer still showing the date in the US. I was sure I was leaving on the 31st, so I had plenty of time to spend a day in a resort. The Maldivians were sure I could even squeeze in one more meeting before going to the airport on Sunday.
Just when I was feeling like the luckiest person on the planet, my dream had a rude awakening when I went online to check in for my flight. It was ALREADY the 31st and the plane was already leaving. Worse, a sudden torrential rainstorm destroyed any thoughts of a mad dhoni dash to the airport island. What to do?
I hit the panic button when the Maldivians and the British Airways help desk in the UK had never heard of Face to Face and weren’t sure they could rebook my ticket. Fortunately, BA came through in a huge way, rebooking me on their next flight two days later. There was also the problem of losing the prepaid room I had booked for the overnight jaunt from Gatwick to Heathrow to catch my final flight to Los Angeles. I’ll have to pay for another one at last-minute prices, plus two extra days back in Male.
Going back to Male meant another chance to work with the dean of the college to put the finishing touches on the application for a Fulbright grant from the United States to continue the mid-career media training program here. If it’s approved, I’ll be returning in May and June to focus on improving the relationship between government public relations and working journalists, as well as specialized training for TV stations and others. I also was able to connect with some of the colleagues I hope to work with at the College of Higher Education to help implement their new journalism certificate program.
But this time I’m not taking any chances. I’ve already checked in and plan to be there early for the flight tomorrow. It’s been an awesome trip, but it’s time to go HOME.