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November 15, 2009

The Journey Toward India Continues

My visa application (including my actual passport) has been sent to the Indian consulate in San Francisco. I've submitted forms to the Cedars-Sinai travel clinic to find out what shots I need before I go. And I bought a ticket. Almost.

I was awarded a Kay Camp Travel Grant and I've received an incredible amount of support from individual donors. So I think I have fulfilled my fundraising goals for this conference. That is, unless something goes wrong with my flights.

I used trip.com to find flights on multiple travel sites. It was annoying - since each travel site popped up as a new window, but it saved me money. Except, now I'm beholden to Travelocity in a weird way. I booked flights on Air India through Travelocity, flying across the globe. My departure takes me through Japan and Singapore before arriving in Mumbai. My return takes me through Frankfurt (and maybe Jersey) before returning to LA.

And then I got an email from Travelocity yesterday that my flights aren't confirmed. So I called. And after a long wait, and a confusing conversation with an operator, was told that I needed to call back after 8:30 a.m. India Standard Time. So I called back and spoke with a more confident operator who left me on hold for over 10 minutes while she spoke to Air India. Apparently, I was wait-listed on two of my four flights, but I'm now confirmed on 3 of the flights. I have to call Travelocity back on Wednesday or Thursday to see if I've gotten off the wait list on my first flight. If not, Air India will rebook me. But all of this must be completed by November 23. I suppose I really should have taken the operator's name or some way of confirming that this conversation happened, since my entire trip depends on actually arriving in India.

Why didn't I just cancel the reservation and rebook? Well, flights to India are at least $500 more than the price I "paid." So, it's possible I'll need to keep raising money around this trip.

In the meantime, I'm trying to move forward as if the trip is definitely happening. I'm flying into Mumbai and the WILPF board meeting is at Gandhi University in Ahmedabad.

I'll have about a week to be a tourist in Mumbai and Ahmedabad (with a train ride between them) before settling into 5 days of nonstop peace organizing. This Wednesday, I'll be participating in a conference call to discuss how I can help with the workshop "Strategic Planning and Campaign Building in a Digital Age."

The next six months will be a historical transition point for WILPF as an organization. I am hopeful that my integrated marketing expertise and ten year history with the organization will allow me to be a positive participant in our ongoing work.

Posted by cj at November 15, 2009 6:59 PM


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