Volcanic Ash: Not a Big Black Cloud

April 19, 2010 at 1:53 PM 3 comments

I was hoping that this would be a blog-free week. My stomach would be full of Tex-Mex all week long, and John and I would be spending great time together with our family. Since we’re stuck here for the time being, we’re both back at work and trying not to go crazy over the anticipation and uncertainty of everything.

I would be lying if I said I hadn’t cried a couple short cries out of frustration over the situation. It’s incredibly hard to be living abroad and be looking forward to a trip home for the past eight months, to pack and make it to the airport, only to find out that the last flight out of the airport is at 10 AM and you’re not scheduled until 10:55 AM. We have thought of all the other alternatives, but in order to fly out of Italy or Spain, we would have to cancel our ticket, buy a new ticket, buy a train ticket for each of us, ride 24 hours just to get to the airport and hope the airport there doesn’t get closed due to the ash cloud. It’s not worth it. Then again, sitting here going stir crazy isn’t really good for our sanity either.

On Saturday, we were worried that this could turn into a more long-term sort of thing. In preparation, we went to the commissary and bought a bunch of American goods that we can’t get on the German economy…just in case. If they can’t fly in our food, the commissary and PX are going to start seeing shortages very soon. In addition to food/household supply issues, we currently can’t get or send mail since they can’t get aircraft in or out of Frankfurt.

Perhaps the worst thing out of all of this (for us) is the feeling that we’re trapped. For the past 2-3 years, we have gone about our lives knowing in the back of our mind that if anything happened and we needed to get home, we could hop on a plane and be there. Now, it would be a 2-3 day trip to get home and would likely cost us thousands of dollars (not that it doesn’t already cost us $2000 or so each time we fly home).

There are much worse situations in all of this, of course. I feel bad for the troops that are supposed to rotate out of Iraq and Afghanistan but can’t because their replacements are stuck in Europe trying to get downrange.

I don’t know how the US media is portraying the situation over here. We have access to the news but have preferred to stay glued to Twitter updates from various professional accounts in order to stay updated on the situation. I just want everyone to understand that we don’t see any dust or ash cloud. In fact, we have been having the clearest, most beautiful days we have seen in months. On Saturday, John and I went for a walk through the Schwetzingen Schlossgarten and I snapped some photos on my iPhone. Perhaps these will put our frustration over an invisible ash cloud into perspective:

Ok I have a couple shots of flowers...

I couldn't resist!

I took several more (all from my iPhone thanks to my lack of foresight to charge my camera battery) and will post them soon.


Entry filed under: Our Goings On, Travel. Tags: , , , , , , .

Volcanic Ash Ten on Tuesday (vol. 13)

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. deiala  |  April 19, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    I’m really sorry that you’re stuck here. I hope that the situation will improve soon, though I have to say that here in Southern Germany we got some of the ash. So perhaps, some of the caution is adequate.At least, we got the impression that there was ash in the air as the sky looked really a lot like when we get the sand storms from the Sahara. Sounds crazy, but we sometimes really get sand that comes all the way up from Africa…
    Have a nice week…

    • 2. osarah  |  April 20, 2010 at 4:24 PM

      Thanks. We haven’t seen any ash in the sky other than a vibrant sunrise on Friday.

      Also, I didn’t know we get sandstorms from Africa over here. Crazy! Where is information like that reported? One thing I’ve learned from this volcanic eruption is how to find a little more detailed weather information that I used to be able to find for Europe.

  • 3. Gina  |  April 21, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    Sorry to hear you got stuck in Germany! I hope ya’ll make it into the states soon!! Good luck!


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