The Scholarly Scare

Travelling to such a momentous, global event requires a lot of preplanning.  Trust me, if the purpose of our trip wasn’t for the World Cup, I wouldn’t have been making bookings a year in advance. 

Daydreaming about cuddling with lion cubs?  Yes. 

Putting down cash money for accommodations?  Nope.

But, this is the World Cup.  And the World Cup requires dedication!  Passion!  A 16 month commitment! 

When we bought tickets, Lauren was not a graduate student.

Within a few weeks of winning tickets to seven matches in the first ticketing phase: Lauren was admitted to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. 

This was (and is) a very, very good thing.  Except for the part where her class schedule conflicted with our two weeks of South African glory. 

We didn’t exactly know that at the time.  But, with the knowledge that Lauren could have school commitments, we proceeded with caution.  And purchased travel insurance with a “cancel for any reason” upgrade. 

Cancelling the trip would be devastating enough.  Cancelling the trip and losing the money associated with tickets, airfare and accommodations would be doubly so. 

Shortly after starting her program last August, Lauren mentioned the trip to a professor.  Who thought that it was great!  A once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience that will help you grow as an individual and make you more sensitive to your diverse patients!

And so we continued on with a little more confidence and the travel insurance as our parachute: full steam ahead!

In April, I sent Lauren an email.  Probably about something very important.  (Likely topics: a recipe that we must make, what we should buy our beloved mom for Mother’s Day, a gem of a quote from our darling father, weekend plans, Gossip Girl.)  I wrapped up the email with this eloquent statement: “p.s. WE LEAVE FOR SOUTH AFRICA TWO MONTHS FROM TODAY.”

Lauren responded with: “Yeah…hopefully I can go. My professor made me feel scared about it on Tuesday. Cross your fingers. Find God and pray to him.”

I immediately:
-Got very nervous
-Invited every person I know to be my backup travel partner

After a few (somewhat anxiety-ridden) days, Lauren received the okay from her professor and from the head of her program.  She might have to do a bit of schoolwork while we’re in South Africa but, face it: doing homework in South Africa is a LOT better than being completely denied the opportunity.

Soccer and scholarship: this is sort of like high school all over again.


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