The first Global Forum on Human Trafficking is being hosted by Not For Sale in Carlsbad, California on October 8-9, 2009. There was no way in my mind that I was going to be able to attend as badly as I wanted to go. So I made my peace with it, looked towards the Backyard Abolitionist Tour coming to Lac La Biche and going to Cambodia in February and Advocacy Days on Parliment Hill in March.
Well… the Tour got cancelled from Lac La Biche.
Cambodia didn't work out.
Advocacy Days… still hoping for!
I was left pretty down, isolated and wondering how in the world I was going to connect with fellow abolitionists IN PERSON… gain insight… network… learn… glean resources… how indeed?
3 days ago:
— a woman I knew from youth group growing up emails me and offers to give me $600 in travel credit through United Airlines. WHA–!?!!? No way! I don't recall my youth group experience being very positive, nor did I make very many good friends. In fact, I attempt to block out most of my youth and college years as best I can. It's too bad people with Aspergers' Syndrome have hard-wiring with long term memory… but yes, Aspergers can be tough to live with. That's for another post. But that this woman remembered me… I was floored. And so very touched.
— I check with Not For Sale and YES I CAN STILL REGISTER and YES I HAVE A PLACE TO STAY!!!
— after all the elation, I remember my attempts to renew my expired passport had been denied due to having too much shadow in my passport photos. I live 3 hours away from the closest in-person office to try using the route. Mailing it in again is out of the question. Getting time off work to go in person is also out of the question since I'm taking time off for the Forum in 2 weeks! What to do????
2 days ago:
— I wake up feeling not so well… but I make calls to all sorts of people trying to see if a 2-day trip to the States without a passport is feasible. For all those wanting to know: IT'S NOT.
– Portage College approves my application to pay for the Forum's Registration Fee through Professional Developement
— by 11:30 am, I start experiencing pretty intense runs. That's right… better in than out and out it was coming. Before getting too grossed out, understand how important this is. Where I work at Portage College, there's been a strigent policy put into place for the H1N1 virus. Co-workers looked at my pale face and watery eyes and said: "GO HOME!"
— by 1:15pm I was speeding my way to Edmonton, Alberta praying the whole way I'd make it to the passport office before it closed. The chances of making it? Good. The chances of making it without lineups? Not so good. The chances of making it without emergency bathroom breaks???… don't ask.
— 3:40pm… I drive into the first parkade near Canada Place. I race up streetside, nab the first guy I see and he points straight left to Canada Place! I run into the back entrance and straight across from me is the passport photo lab… NO LINEUPS!!!! In 5 minutes, I'm racing down to the passport office and… NO LINEUPS!!! I was in and out before 4:00pm. I got out of there, sat down, took a breath… then ran to find another bathroom.
2 evenings ago:
— United Airlines says it can't transfer the credits. They could if went in person to their ticketing agent… in Vancouver. They lady on the phone wondered if that was far from me? No, no… only 18 hours drive. I give up. I'm done. Exhausted…
1 day ago:
— check online for kicks and find a flight for less than $400. That's $400 more than I can afford but with all the other miracles falling into place, God prompted me to take the chance.
— people in California tell me not only do I have a place to stay, BUT they are providing a pick-up/drop off service for those of us flying into San Diego!!! That was another expense I was really worried about. Not to worry… I'm covered!!
In short… other than the lesson that God uses poop too…
I'M GOING TO THE FIRST GLOBAL FORUM ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING!!!!!