2.05.2011

Getting By With A Little Help From My Friends ...

While we may never have met in person, we've formed a bond because of the common experiences that bring us together. We know that despite the best planning, that things can (and in our case will) go awry, and somebody else will benefit from laughing at with me in the future. We feel confident that when an international SOS goes out, we know someone will answer it. That all the networking we've ever done through blogging, and AAFSW, and yahoo groups, and Facebook, and twitter, and through the friend of a friend of a friend ... will all pay off.

I met Matthew early this morning in Washington, D.C. and heard the long, drawn out story, of how he nearly missed his flight and ended up having to pay for his airline ticket on our credit card. Without going into the sordid details, the facts were that his ticket was voided, and the travel department where the ticket originated, and needed to be reissued, was in Jordan. Without a contact number or international cell service or an airline ticket to get us to Los Angeles, we were stuck in limbo.

That is ... until I emailed two girlfriends who LIVE in Jordan, and begged them for help. Less than an hour later, I received word back from one of them saying that she was able to get in touch with someone at the Embassy who took our information and would forward it on to the travel department. Three emails and thirty minutes later, she was assured that we were being taken care of, ten hours away in D.C.

Now, in the meantime of waiting for my girlfriend's replies, I discovered that I indeed had international cell service on my iPhone, and was able to get in touch with the travel department myself. In fact, I was on the phone with them at the same time my friend was being assured that our problems were being addressed.

While it seemed like an eternity, in less than two hours Matt's ticket issues were resolved, and he received an email stating that he'd be reimbursed for his out-of-pocket expenses. Whew!

But more importantly, I was reminded that ... despite distance, despite tenure, despite experience ... this foreign service community is one to rely on ... to come to in times of need. Occasionally it may feel a bit like high school, where toes can get stepped on, and feelings hurt. But in the end, the bonds that we create along this winding, and sometimes treacherous path, are some of the strongest we'll ever encounter.

Just check out their own stories under the FS links on the sidebar of my blog ...

(kindly let me know if I'm missing you and you'd like to be added)

18 comments:

Sarah Novak said...

I am insanely thankful for this community, including you! What a blessing it has been. It has totally redefined what a friendship can look like for me....

XOXO

Daniela Swider said...

Wow, isn't that incredible!

I have to chime in here and say that you are absolutely right. I would have lost my sanity multiple times without this community. And I am relatively new. You, Jill, are one of the founding members of it and for that I (and I'sure many others) thank you!

So glad you got help when you most needed it. If that's not true friendship, I don't know what is...

Sara said...

I'm so thankful to be part of this community within our community. How great it is to know that we're here for each other.

I may even visit one of these friends in Jordan in about a year.

Christy said...

That is so incredibly awesome. One of my friends is in the process of applying to the FS - or her husband is - not exactly sure. Regardless, if they get it, I'm going to shoot you guys an email introduction - I have a feeling you'd love each other and you could be a great resource for her!

Hope you and Matt had a successful paper-signing trip and are having fun with your family now! xo

Mom24 said...

That's really awesome. You truly are a community, in the best sense of the word. Yay for happy endings!

Anne said...

I love that about the foreign service! When I start to get nervous about moving so far away from my family and friends this summer, I'm reassured by the fact that we won't truly be alone.

I'm glad everything worked out for you guys in the end.

DelhiBound said...

Chiming in to say that while we're not FS, we still feel that same love, vibe, "Cheers" feeling and warm fuzzies, just the same.

Glad it all worked out. NOW, enjoy your time with Husb and know that we don't expect a blog anytime soon!

Sadie said...

This is a 'warm fuzzy' post. It's great when you know you can rely on people you've never met halfway across the world to help you out :-). glad things worked out, and have a great R&R with your husband home!!

Becky said...

Amen to everything said above and by you. I am so glad that you have the ticket issue taken care of and that you can just enjoy being with Matt now.

I really have been impressed with the FS community we have found at post, in DC and online. It's what kept us sane last year and it's what I fall back on every time it gets hard again here. Thanks for all of your hard work to build that community.

anymommy said...

SO glad you got it all worked out - and so glad you got to see him!

Nomads By Nature said...

A wonderful testament to what is great about the State Department community. You ladies in Jordan ROCK! Gives us all something to aim for in reaching out to help others. Support and cheers are always needed as we negotiate the bureaucracy, red tape, distances, and stress (especially financial blindsiding burdens)of this crazy (but amazing) way of life.

Nomads By Nature said...

Feel free to add us to your blogroll!

Dakota said...

I'm gonna echo Nomads by Nature's comment and say that I'd love to be on your blog roll as well. If you ever need anything from western Afghanistan, don't hesitate to let me know.
Take care,
Dak
http://theafghanplan.blogspot.com

Karen said...

Now I see what you meant about his ticket being voided! OH MY!

I have to say, from my green experience, FS folks are great! :) There are always the "few", but the rest more-than make up for them. :)

Karen

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I love it! Fantastic story. The idea of people on opposite sides of the globe helping each other in "real time" is literally epic.

As for the blog world - I was thinking about how we're like Glee. We're all different people, from different backgrounds and varying cool factors - but all of us are into this kind of dorky thing that really shouldn't be dorky (which seems to be changing - much like high school glee clubs I think? Too old to know). And when someone is in need, tweets go out, blog posts are written and FaceBook pages are updated. People want to help - simply because we're all part of a club that's open to everyone who wants to join.

It's pretty incredible.

And yes - I am drinking wine and catching up on Season 2 of Glee.

Sloppy semi-drunk hugs and kisses!

Brooke said...

Ah! What a great woman you are and yes, what a great community it is. This story made me so happy and really confirmed our decision to join the foreign service. In fact, I got a little emotional, but that could just be the hormone injections at this point :)

Take Care

Becky said...

You're welcome to add me if you'd like. Glad you are having a good time with Matt!

Bfiles said...

that's so awesome. I know that I wouldn't be here as a new FSO w/o all the bloggers out there who shared their stories. The connections are invaluable. A lot of the DC bloggers are meeting up this wkend- wish you could be there! Enjoy your husband's visit.

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