Schlepp Goes to Germany

Schlepp usually goes to Vienna in his travels, but this trip was to take him somewhere new--Bonn, Germany.  He and Debbie were going to teach a workshop in Knowledge Management to a group from the Middle East. 

Debbie was travelling a lot this month:  first in Canada, then in San Francisco, and finally, all the way to Germany.  Because she was at a conference in California, Karl arrived first on a Saturday. 
     On Sunday he got to meet the other people from UNM and the Middle East.  It was cold and rainy, but the sun came out for awhile and we got to take a walk in the nice park nearby.

Tuesday evening should have been a quiet time tucked away in our tiny little rooms but that was not to be.  As the workshop finished up for the afternoon, a lady came in and said that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.  A few moments later she was back, saying that two planes had crashed. 
     Confused, we went back to our room and Karl turned on the TV.  There we saw terrible videos of burning buildings, planes crashing into them, and then, one by one, the two buildings came crashing down in flame and smoke.  Thousands of people must have died.  We sat there staring at the TV in disbelief.
     Karl got through on the phone to Caro on the second try.  She had dreamed about us calling her from Germany.  When Mark called earlier and told her to turn on the TV, she thought something had happened in Germany. 
     Everything changed so fast.  All airplanes were grounded.  We couldn't get home even if we wanted to. 
     Eventually we had to go eat dinner, but no one had much appetite.  We ended up in Debbie's room, watching TV and drinking--but drinking didn't change anything--the buildings always did the same thing:  crash down. 
     No one slept well. 

The next morning we decided to "keep a stiff upper lip" and continue with the workshop.  It was almost better to be busy and distracted than just sitting around watching TV and the horrible pictures. 
     Once again, we finished the day and went to dinner.  But when we got back, we just sat there watching CNN and BBC. 
     Debbie was supposed to fly home in two more days and still no airplanes were flying.  And people were concerned about us going on to Vienna afterwards. 

On Thursday we had some free time, so we distracted ourselves by going to a beautiful nearby castle.  We drank Mosel wine by the river and ate cheese and bread.  But when we got back, CNN still showed the same disasterous videos. 
     That night people in Albuquerque woke us up worried about travelling to Vienna. 

Eventually, they got it straightened out and Friday morning we took off for Vienna and Debbie left for the US.
     Vienna was fine and that was at least a touchstone of sanity amid a crazy week.  Debbie made it home but the delays were terrible and it took two days to make it back.  Even a week later it would take us two days as well.