Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saints in Limbo (, France, that is)

Well, we should be arriving home in another hour or so.  Only we aren't.  We are here in the Campanile Hotel near Charles de Gaulle Airport, courtesy of Air France.  Due to a problem with the aircraft, AF had to bump 200 passengers so as to fit into a smaller aircraft, and so we spent most of the day in the airport making alternate arrangements for 20 people.  The AF attendants were incredibly helpful and pleasant, despite their own frustrations with the situation itself, further complicated by a computer system in mid-upgrade.  I think we all can imagine what that must be like for them!  After pulling every string they could to try to bump 20 other travelers in order to get us onto our flight, they finally had to give up, and they found us a direct flight to Dulles tomorrow morning, arriving around 2:15 in the afternoon.  By the time we got to the hotel, it was too late to try to go into Paris, so we planned on a trip to a nearby mall.  That, too, fell through, when the bus schedule proved to be somewhat misleading.  So we stayed in the hotel for a leisurely evening and a very large (and free) buffet dinner. 

Starting with an emotional departure from their host families at 6:00 this morning, this whole day was a bit of a blow to the students, as one might imagine, but they have been almost entirely positive and making the best of everything.  I am very proud of them.

I have no pictures to illustrate this particular posting, but I will share a quotation that has been going through my mind all day.  My grandmother had this in her house, and I find it to be particularly apropos:

"Why were the saints saints? Because they were cheerful when it was difficult to be cheerful, patient when it was difficult to be patient; and because they pushed on when they wanted to stand still, and kept silent when they wanted to talk, and were agreeable when they wanted to be disagreeable.  That was all.  It was quite simple and it always will be."  -- Source Unknown

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