Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Beck's Back From Africa

A sample of African masks Shag & Scoob could wear to hide from rummies and rhosts.

On Monday night, a one-a.m. knock at the door ended a 4-day nightmare for Suz's sis, Beck, who was staying with us upon her return from almost a year in Africa.

Beck, a former CBC reporter, went first to a University in South Africa to teach journalism. Mission accomplished, she then ventured north to Kigali, Rwanda, to teach more journalism at the National University of Rwanda as part of the noble Rwanda Initiative.

Most of the country's journalist population was decimated in 1994, along with close to a million others, during the horrific Rwandan genocide involving the Tutsis, the Hutus.

During her time there, Beck travelled and acquired many spiffy wood carvings, which were painstakingly wrapped in newspaper, and bright artwork that was carefully rolled, and packed in her suitcases.

But when she arrived in Toronto, Beck's African souvenirs, her clothes, her shoes, and everything she had acquired during her stay in Africa, didn't.

Almost an entire year's worth of memories was gone.

After a lengthy 4-day 'fight' with mostly unsympathetic United Airlines customer service reps, Beck was told her suitcases were untraceable and she should give up hope of ever getting them back. Furious, she filed her lost luggage report and compiled her very long list of lost belongings and their respective values so that the airline could reimburse her.

Unfortunately, that's not what she wanted. The money didn't really mean anything. She wanted her year in Africa back. And then, a miracle happened.

At 1:03 a.m. I ran downstairs and opened the door to a friendly United Airlines employee standing in the dark with both of Beck's bags, bursting at the seams with African goodness. An overjoyed Beck got her Africa back.

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Blogger Ms. Creek said...

great story. you and she are both good at insisting business are held accountable!

the carvings are cool. we got a couple from Bali that look a lot like those!

and Beck had quite an interesting year!

i gotta go get ready to go camping again this weekend!

11:22:00 PM

Blogger Bella said...

I am so glad she got her bags back!

8:50:00 PM

Blogger Patti said...

So very glad this has a happy ending! Personally I am afraid of sculptures/masks like that. I am always afraid they are cursed! (I know, I know I watch too much TV)

2:06:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

I really do think companies should be held responsible for their mistakes - and I really appreciate people who are very good at their jobs. Patti, you crack me up!

10:41:00 PM

Blogger ZoeyBella said...

Interesting story. And those are some pretty wild looking masks. If I put one on, does my skin turn green and I suddenly get all these funky super-powers?

12:58:00 AM

Blogger honkeie2 said...

that is totaly BOSS! I have yet to lose anything while traveling go me go me go me! Glad all is back home in one piece.

9:36:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

Sometimes it's best to just take a carry-on, if possible. For girls, I know it's not!

12:20:00 AM


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