I hate the expression 'it was a roller coaster ride', but I can't think of another way of describing it.
It all started yesterday morning when I spoke to Swiss Air. They had originally quoted me £105 per suitcase for my excess weight due to all the percussion etc I was taking. Then they realised they'd done their sums wrong and it was actually £215 per case!
I was devastated. What a fool I felt for collecting together such varied donations of equipment from friends and strangers all over the place over the past few months, some of which had been money from those who wanted to contribute but had nothing physical to donate. I would now have to use that money to line the pockets of an airline rather than cover the original amount and have enough left over to use directly with the children in Tanzania, and in doing so help the economy there.
Chris immediately got on to Facebook. I have to admit at this time I didn't believe anything could be done.
How wrong I was!!!
The response was off the scale! I think Matt who runs the charity I'll be working with was astonished by the over whelming action from everyone. I tried to explain to him that historically musicians have struggled with global travel with their instruments, and although this was not a journey exclusively delivering instruments, it was still a musician trying to do her work.
There was a huge flurry of tweets, emails to the airline and Facebook postings. I have to give an extra special thank you to Norman Lebrecht who really took this on board for us. He asked us to right a price for his own blog page slipped disc, which has thousands of followers.
I think in the end it was a combination of all these things that started the ball rolling. There were also some household names, who I can't mention, who threw their weight at Swiss Air.
As a result, this morning I had call from the UK Director of Swiss Air. He told me that he was so sorry for what had happened and I would now have to pay just £115 for all the luggage!
Now, some say that maybe they should have ditched the fees altogether but the fact that he also said I can now take not 2 cases but 3! Well I'm over the moon. I of course burst into tears, which was embarrassing, but its massive success for everyone who cared enough to comment and then react in some way.
I have never felt so undeniably grateful to my friends, family and colleagues. It's touched both Chris and I beyond measure.
And as for Chris, well seriously what would I do without him.?.?.!..
Thank you Chris
And thank you for your support. I just hope now my time out there will do all of your hard work justice.
If I can ever help anyone of you in any way, just blooming ask!!!!