Sunday, July 8, 2018

Airline gods trifle with peace journalist

If you see any of these headlines in the coming days, you’ll know the person referenced is me:

Passenger’s head melts at airline ticket counter; Authorities baffled

Man, on hold with airline reservations, crushes cell phone into dust with bare hands

Desperate passenger has “Is that ticket confirmed?” tattooed on forehead

I was supposed to be in Cameroon now, ready to begin work on my month long peace journalism project. However, the cruel airline gods had different ideas. Long story short—I got “O’Hared” Thursday (thunderstorms; delays; cascading missed connections). I had to wait until Saturday to try again. I made it as far as O’Hare, but had to turn around and come back to KC because the tickets I was assured 4,877 times were confirmed were not, and I would have been stuck in Istanbul for at least two days. I’m trying it again Monday, this time routing through Brussels. 

Yes, I know this is a “first world problem,” and that it not even remotely suffering in any way. Still, any of the headlines above is a real possibility if I don’t make it to Cameroon this time. Wish me luck.

Cameroon primer
Two recent media pieces about Cameroon’s troubles caught my eye. The first, in the New York Times, chronicles the mounting violence there, and the struggles of the English speaking (Anglophone) community.

The second is an excellent video by the BBC examining claims that Cameroonian authorities have burned homes and villages in the Anglophone regions of the country.

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