Today is the day the team leaves this amazing country with its wonderful people. 78 hands in total have been fitted which is a fantastic effort with early starts and many hours spent travelling over mountainous country – so worthwhile! It has been a real privilege to spend time with like-minded volunteers and visit with the Laotian people to fit these hands.
However when one is on a RAWCS Project always expect the unexpected! This time was no exception when our outgoing flight was delayed for an hour and a half from Vientiane so the Adelaide team members could not make their connecting flight at Singapore. Vientiane staff suggested we travel via Bangkok Thailand but we suggested we go via Brisbane with the rest of the Team. On our arrival in Singapore at Terminal 2 we hotfooted it to Terminal 3 for all Australian departures. Team Leader Sally was advised there was no room on the Brisbane flight BUT our Adelaide flight had been delayed so we were reissued boarding passes and once again dashed from Gate C to Gate A only to be told that the Captain had just advised boarding had closed and would not reopen! So back to the Transfer Counter and options of flights via Kuala Lumpur, Perth, Brisbane… but Sally stood her ground and after a 40 minute wait we had more boarding passes in hand this time to Adelaide via Melbourne. The Brisbane team members had already left so we were unable to farewell them. So at 2 am we boarded our flight Melbourne-bound, transferring via Qantas to Adelaide. Out of all this Sally was awesome dealing with Singapore Airlines ground staff and amazingly our luggage was on the carousel at Melbourne when we went through customs! The Brisbane team’s luggage failed to arrive and was sent home a day later! We arrived in Adelaide six hours later than our expected time. What a way to end a very successful Hands On Project Trip!
It is an absolute privilege to be a contributing member of the RAWCS Hands On Project Team.