This morning we called the airport inquiring whether my bags had finally surfaced. Thankfully they had; I was beginning to lose hope. One of the staff members in the International Affairs Office, Monare, took me out to the airport to pick them up and along the way he gave me a brief tour of Gaborone. I say brief because it’s a relatively small town, only about 65 square miles. For a point of comparison Lubbock is 124 sq. mi.When we arrived at the airport Monare and I had to wait a short while before they had a person who could take me back to the baggage storage room. As we were chatting Monare said to me, “Hopefully your bags won’t be completely empty.” No doubt anyone who has ever spent any amount of time with me can imagine the look on my face. All I could say was, “I hope my bags aren’t completely empty either. I’ve been wearing the same clothes for three days now and would really like people to know I can dress better than sweatpants and sneakers.” He went on to clarify, “You NEVER want your luggage left in South Africa. They will go through it and take anything they think they can use or sell.” Awesome, thanks for the tip.
Needless to say, my luggage was all there and it was not empty. I suspect my clothes and toiletries weren’t particularly appealing to any would-be thieves. However, one of my bags did meet a rather sad fate. I’m not sure whether someone tried to rip it open, if it was dropped from the plane, or maybe it feel off the luggage cart and rather than pick it up and return it to the cart, the driver chose to continue dragging it across the tarmac. But, it has a huge hole in the bottom and likely will have to be retired:
The unfortunate thing about this bag was that it belonged to my mother. And it wasn’t just any bag, it was a piece of Disney luggage. I have a distinct feeling there will be a short period of mourning (on my mom’s part, not mine, though I appreciate being able to use and ultimately destroy the bag) followed by my mother reminding me I promised to would take her to Walt Disney World when I return to the U.S. next year. Now there is no getting out of that promise because she will no doubt delicately remind me, “Remember that time you took my luggage to Africa and killed it?” Sorry Mom, it wasn’t my fault. Really. After all, you NEVER want your luggage left in South Africa.