By Assistant Artistic Director, Lorna Hernandez Jarvis
Cast of Characters:
Nik, or Nikoloz: MBA Artistic Director, Nikoloz Makhateli
Darla: MBA Board Member, Pianist, and chaperone
Alissa, Breanna, Corinne, Maria, Ashley, Gabe, Natasha, Evelyn, Julianna: MBA Students
Poland, Day 1
Our Poland tour started full of adventure!. Half of our group was selected for TSA or pre-screening, which made going through security a lot easier and faster. The second half though, had to go through the regular security line, and they made it to our departure gate 15 minutes before boarding!. Those of us who made it to gate 2 hours earlier had time to eat and relax. Corinne decided to do a little barre while waiting for our flight, which led to all kinds of reactions from people at the gate. NIk was amused by a woman who grimaced in pain every time Corinne lifted her legs at full extension. Breanna joined Corinne as well. A young man and his father approached Nikoloz, and asked about our school and where we were from. It was fun conversation. The couple asked Nikoloz about training at our school. So we were advertising and recruiting even at the airport.
We got off to London on time. The flight was long, and our dancers, talked, slept, ate and stretched. When we got to London there was an assistant from the airline waiting for our group to lead us to security and to our next flight. After panicking twice for a lost boarding pass (found) and a lost passport (found), we rushed through security one more time. Three people in our group were detained for bag checks. The two dancers made it through fairly quickly, but Darla still had to go through bag check. Since we only had 40 minutes between flights Nik, Lorna and all the dancers run through the terminal and Darla stayed behind. They were holding the plane for us and we were the last ones on board. Except that they could not hold the plane for Darla any longer so she stayed behind in London. She was able to catch the next plane to Warsaw and arrives a few hours after the rest of the group. The second flight was pretty quiet and our dancers were very tired.
We finally arrived in Poland. When we got there our luggage did not make it. Not a single one of our 13 pieces of luggage made it.! We had to speak to an agent of British airways, and they told us that the bags should arrive in the next flight (probably the same flight that Darla was in. Because of the delays with the luggage, the bus that Eduard had arranged for us left the airport and did not wait for us. We finally connected with Eduard, he was able to speak to an agent of British Airways and they are working on getting our luggage to us tonight.
Once that was taken care of, Eduard told us to get on three separate taxis. We got to the place Eduard told the driver but there were no other taxis or Eduard!. After a couple of phone call we found everyone and were all reunited. We then were driven in the taxis for another 4 miles to the bus station. There we were told to get on a public bus that would take us to Lublin. We got on the bus, and unfortunately, there were no seats together so all the kids had to seat by themselves. After a 2+ hour drive we got to Lublin bus station, where we changed buses to take us to Swidnik (about 5 miles) and finally to our hotel for the night. We had dinner, had an organizational meeting and then went for a very enjoyable walk around the town. I think we will all sleep well tonight! Looking forward to our first performance tomorrow!