With my semester abroad drawing to a close, I had one last weekend trip lined up to take with my roommate, Brittany. We were going to Prague for two nights, and I was beyond excited.
Prague was nothing short of a fairy tale. The streets and buildings appeared to be straight out of your favorite childhood storybook, and all of the people we met were so friendly. The food was great, the days were cold and crisp, and it even snowed in the chilly mornings. By the time we had to board our plane back to Ireland, I wasn’t quite ready to leave.
We landed back in the Dublin airport around 7pm on a Monday night. With over an hour before our bus came to take us back to campus, our stomachs told us that McDonald’s sounded like a good idea. I reached into my cross-body bag to grab my wallet, and a strange sensation hit me. It wasn’t there. Why wasn’t it there?
In a hurried way, I emptied both my bag and my backpack onto one of the McDonald’s tables. I grasped more and more furiously at the contents of my backpack, willing my wallet to be there. “It couldn’t be gone,” I thought to myself. But it was. I had left, and lost, my wallet in Prague with my life in it.
I am grateful to my parents, my roommate, and to ISA for providing me with so much support and assistance to get everything in order. I was able to cancel my credit cards and establish a method of retrieving funds for my remaining time abroad. My roommate offered to help with anything while it was all being sorted. I cannot extend my gratitude enough to these individuals. Even after everything was worked out, though, I still could not believe my wallet was gone.
Tuesday morning, I called a souvenir store in Prague where we had stopped to buy a mug for my dad. Maybe by some stroke of luck, they had it. The clerk who answered asked me to call back in a couple of hours to speak with a girl who was coming in a little bit later. So I said thank you, and I did.
When I spoke with the young girl later that day, she told me that she had my wallet. Her English was not the best, but we exchanged phone numbers and emails to attempt to figure something out. I sent her my Ireland address, and received an email from her later that night. She took the time to run to her local post office after her shift and mail my wallet back to me in Ireland. She sent me the package number and the link to track its progress. She said it would take seven days, and she hoped it found me well.
If you had asked me Monday night, I would have sworn that I would never see that wallet again. I am moved by the act of kindness that the girl, Janina, showed for me as a complete stranger. I don’t know many people who have lost a wallet traveling in a different country and who have gotten it back, and I am so grateful for Janina’s help. More than being grateful, I am touched, awed and inspired. Situations like these make you realize just how kind the world can still be.
The world awaits…discover it.