Hello from Uganda! My name is Ariane and I am the Program Development Manager for Hands4Uganda, as well as, the leader of this mission team! Joining me here in Uganda are two of my greatest friends, Anna and Brooke, and we are so excited to share our journey with you!
Anna and I arrived here in Uganda Friday night with all of our bags. This was a BIG DEAL. We were originally allowed only two bags per person on our flight. After contacting Delta directly by phone, and then applying for a baggage waiver, we were then given three bags per person. For those of you who sent blessing bags, you can imagine how many pieces of luggage 320 blessing bags translated to (nearly 16!). So a 6-piece luggage allowance between Anna and I was not going to work. We decided to take 6 each for a total of 12 (Brooke would have to bring the extra 4) and we would have to see what we could do.
I was quivering walking into the airport, unsure of what I would do if they said no to our mounds of bags and if luggage fees were too costly. How could I take blessing bags for some classes and not for others? I prayed and prayed, unnecessarily reminding God that He’s the one who put this whole thing into my head and if He wanted kids to get these blessing bags He needed to figure it out! Luckily, despite my somewhat regular sass, He remains faithful. Pushing our giant carts towards the ticket counter, over 600 lbs of luggage, a Delta manager caught my nervous eyes.
“Can I help you with something?” she asked.
“Hi, yes, we are a mission team headed to Uganda and…”
“Oh we have been waiting for you!” she exclaimed. “Come here to this desk and we will get you all taken care of!”
Unsure, Anna and I looked at each other. I began to explain that we had more bags than we had been allowed, and without asking how many, or if any would be overweight, our luggage angle instructed the Delta employee behind our special ticket counter to take care of us. She instructed them to check us in and put all bags through to Uganda, regardless of weight or how many. No charges required. Our check in person stood there looking at our mounds of bags stunned. He asked her if she was sure. She answered swiftly, telling him to do whatever we needed and then dismissed herself.
I held it together long enough to make it outside to tell my boyfriend, Jackson, goodbye. He had waited incase we could not take our bags and he would need to hold on to them. I let out an uncontrollable sob of complete relief, excitement, and nerves as I explained that we were taking every bag and were checked in. Smiling he reminded me that a little faith can go a long ways…
I tried to find the woman who had helped us before we went through security. Our luggage angle was nowhere in sight but my heart was full to the brim with gratitude and excitement. What a perfect way to start our journey.