Wednesday 28 April 2010

What Up Wit Da Girl


(Or,  Gimme an E!  Gimme a Y!  Gimme a J!  Gimme a...oh, forget it.  Maybe We Should Just Spell 'Volcano'.)


Eyjafjallajokull.

They say: 
“Ay-yah-FYAH’-plah-yer-kuh-duhl”.

I say:
Stupid stinkin' volcano.


The Girl should still be in the United States right now.  She's not.  That damned volcano in Iceland, the name of which nobody can pronounce, has really messed things up.

To give a little background, The Girl is part of a cheerleading team.  Now, cheerleading isn't a very typically Irish thing to do;  in fact, she is part of the only cheerleading group in the country.  Since it's not something that has any history or standing here, they have been struggling to get some recognition and support--financial and otherwise--for what they do.  So, in an effort to prove the legitimacy of their sport, last year Team Ireland started working hard to raise money to fund a trip to compete in the 2010 International Cheer Union World Championship competition in Orlando, Florida.  That's right, Disney World.  Traveling anywhere is always exciting when you're fifteen, but going to America is HUGE.  And Disney World?!  You can imagine how excited she's been--for months.


 Photo from Daily World Buzz
 But that stupid volcano on Eyjafjallajokull had to blow its top.  And it had to spew its ash all over the place, obstructing all air traffic and making flights in or out of Ireland (along with most of the rest of Europe) impossible.  (It should be obvious that anything with a name like Eyjafjallajokull has to be bad news, right?)  And while I know that hundreds of thousands of people experienced some disruption to their lives due to the stupid thing, I saw how crushed The Girl and all her cheering friends were.  I know there were many, many people who were in a hurry to get to important meetings, vacations, weddings, funerals or even to just get home.  I know it was difficult and an absolute mess for everybody else.  But this is the story *I* know, so I'm telling it. This was, for some of these kids, the chance of a lifetime.  To have it snatched away from them for such a bizarre and really kind of surreal reason has been...well, at the risk of using such a strong word, simply devastating.

What still shocks me is that the only part of the entire trip that is refundable is the airfare.  I suppose I can understand the hotel they'd booked having a non-refundable reservations policy, but Disney World??  Really?  For a bunch of kids, an extracurricular activity sort of group of kids who were coming to Disney World to compete in a wholesome and healthful physical sporting activity?!  That surely isn't what I'd expect from the Happiest Place on Earth.  This doesn't come to me directly from Disney World itself, but rather through The Girl from her coaches who organized the trip.   My personal feeling is that the issue should be pursued to see if any arrangements can be made, especially since, as I understand it, admission tickets to Disney parks are good forever [anybody know if that's true?], and the group is planning to try again next year.

Anyway, it is an all-around bummer, and that's why I wrote a strongly worded Post-it Note to Eyjafjallajokull the other day.  To her credit, and to our delight, however, The Girl has taken it fairly well.  She was very, very bummed, of course, but some of her disappointment has been eased by a trip the whole group took this past weekend to a waterpark in Cork.  She's taking it on the chin, getting on with things and looking forward to next year.

And really, isn't that the kind of optimism you'd expect from any self-respecting cheerleader, anyway? 


      The Girl is in the front row, second from the right.               


2 comments:

Ratz said...

Well that is a bummer. But i am glad that The Girl has taken it well and yes that is what i'll expect from self respecting cheerleader. They must be doing a great job- with the limited finances and the problems coming their way. But all is well that ends well.

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I was reading you post when you were reading mine. Thanks again and sister hugs for having laughing as common. ;-D I am your newest follower as well and ready to start a journey in this blog world with you. Hold on tight. ;-)

PS: did i mention i love your attitude? If not, i am mentioning it now. :-)

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