So things have not gone according to plan so far.
Yesterday morning started off well. My dad made me a wholesome breakfast, I took the ACT, I got all my favorite foods for lunch, and we came to Des Moines for the first leg of my flight.
That’s when the trouble began. Bad weather in Chicago forced our flight to leave Des Moines 2 house late (I got to sit on the plane and make friends during this time). I learned that the man next to me was going to Poland for business. He was very fatherly and kind; he showed me a map of O’Hare airport and told to me how I could get to my terminal. Once we finally took off, we ended up going to Michigan and then back to Chicago to avoid more bad weather. Even with this change there was no shortage of turbulence (though I’m not complaining because turbulence reminds me of a fun roller coaster ride). Once we landed in Chicago I had 15 minutes to make it across the entire airport, from terminal 1 to 5 to make my flight to Istanbul. Despite my experience with cross country, I wasn’t able to make it. The train I had to take to get to terminal 5 was exceptionally slow and by the time I got to my terminal it was 20 minutes past when my flight had left.
I immediately went over to the Turkish Airlines to rebook my flight. That’s when I was informed that my flight had been booked as two separate tickets with two different airlines. Because my trip from Des Moines to Chicago was on a separate ticket than the rest of do my journey I had to book a whole new ticket. With the no show fee, rebooking charges, and the cost of getting another flight, the ticket ended up being more expensive than the original one. Luckily for me the World Food Prize covered the cost.
After this I had to figure out where to stay for the night. All the hotels near by were completely full. At this point it was 11 and Lisa (the Director of Global Education Programs at the World Food Prize, and the person who will tend to all my needs and concerns in the next two months) and my parent began contacting friends they knew in Chicago who could take me in for the night. At midnight, Lisa told me that Lexy, an intern who worked with her a few years ago, was will to let me stay at her house for the night. I was thrilled I wouldn’t have to sleep at the airport that night! I took a cab and a little past 1am, I arrived at her house. I went straight to bed and was in and out of sleep till 11 this morning, when I finally made myself get out of bed. Lexy then took me on a walk with her. She lives almost in the center of downtown Chicago so the location was perfect! We went to Millennium Park and discovered their new accessible play ground and then went to the cultural center.
Afterwards we got on a train to come back to O’Hare. I am so lucky Lexy picked up her phone last night when Lisa called and I’m so glad she did. Lexy was so kind and welcoming and I don’t know what I would have done with out her.
After several long lines and discussions with the Turkish Airline at O’Hare I have finally arrived at my gate. The flight is scheduled to start boarding in an hour. Crossing my fingers that there are no more delays!
Cheers to new experience and meeting great people!