Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 192: Chicken Little and Iceland

The hullabaloo created by Iceland's small volcano (I'm not even going to try to spell something I can't pronounce) blowing has reminded me of the children's storybook critter, Chicken Little, who calls that the sky is falling.

On the contrary in this situation, the skies since the blow have been clear and beautiful. The weather has been even better. As the Wall Street Journal accurately reported, the ash cloud which grounded all the planes is not visible from this elevation.

Unless the ash is creating our beautiful weather, the impact is felt more by those who are not here. My husband's boss is stuck in Qatar. (Who made his secretary and my husband smile by trying to figure out who had dropped the ball when he couldn't make his flight...God?) Several members of my faith from the states grounded in London showed up to church at Hyde Park in uncharacteristically casual attire--they were not expecting to be in London long enough to go to church. The manager of a gym I am investigating joining could not negotiate fees because she is stuck in Spain. A friend at Lady Margaret Hall has had her vacation to the continent deferred.

This has also created unexpected costs for more than just the airlines, including members of my faith who have had to make out-of-pocket expenditures to stay in hotels, and many companies are incurring costs to house displaced employees.

The prospects that the air will open again for traffic do not look good. Apparently, the ash will turn into glass inside the jets of airplanes. Scary. But alternative methods of travel are looking better and better - I understand that Eurostar's services beneath the Channel to France and Belgium are fully booked, and I overheard a wonderfully polite gentleman in a park close to our London home ask an associate to book him a spot on one of their company's cargo ships. Apparently, getting to the states on a ship only takes 5 days...

I'm really grateful my husband and I made it home to England safely a week ago, just a couple of days before the blow. We always pray for safety in traveling, and I'm grateful those specific prayers were answered.

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