just want to go home, sounds the same in all four languages
Zoe Ketselidou speaks. She is one of thousands of stranded travelers
after the volcanic eruption in Iceland on April 14 - just one
day after she arrived in Cincinnati.
The Belgium resident came to the United States and more specifically
Ripley County, last week to visit her fiance Bill Fogle, who
teaches Spanish at Jac-Cen-Del High School.
I only took off work four days, she lamented as
she waits for the skies to open.
Ketselidou is the senior administrator of IST operations with
the European Commission. Her job regularly sees her using air
travel, but shes never - in nearly 20 years - experienced
a delay quite like this one.
I never imagined it when they were first talking about
it, Ketselidou told The Versailles Republican,
speaking of when she first heard that the Eyjafjallajokull glacier
had erupted, something that hasnt happened in almost 200
She was supposed to go home Sunday, April 18, but says her chances
of getting out before Monday, April 26 are slim. She is thankful
she is at the home of her fiance and not on the floor of an
airport somewhere. Thats the upside, the two are able
to spend a little more time together, something thats
important in a long distance relationship, such as theirs. Fogle
visited her in January, and they plan to be together this summer.
Bringing only enough medicine and clothing for a few days poses
somewhat of a problem, and Tuesday was one of her hardest days,
as her youngest daughter, Anna, celebrated her 12th birthday
without her mom. It is so hard, Ketselidou said
with tears in her eyes. She said her oldest daughter, Christine,
has a swimming competition on Saturday shes hoping her
brother can take her to.
Ketselidou explained that the European Commission has been great
and with so many employees traveling by air, theyve made
adjustments. Theyre going to give a special leave,
she noted, saying employees will be given leniency for not being
back to work on time due to the delays in air travel.
She has been doing some limited work while here in the states
via Internet. She has a big event she is organizing for about
400 people for next Friday and hopes she can pull it off from
On Tuesday of this week some reports were that air travel would
soon return to normal in Europe. Ketselidou hopes it will, but
knows it will still be some time before everything is running
smoothly again. A colleague of hers took a bus with the trip
being about 26 hours. She said trains and buses are packed,
and while she could fly into Spain, she still isnt guaranteed
to get home any sooner than waiting for a flight next Monday.
With more than 20 European countries closing their airspace,
Ketselidou knows it will be some time before all of the travelers
will be at their intended destination, she being one of them.
As her fiance, Im glad shes here longer,
grinned Fogle, but he knows she needs to be with her daughters
and get back to her job. He also has concerns about his own
daughter, Alexandria, who lives in Brussels. She was traveling
to an athletic event with her school and was stranded in Portugal
as of Tuesday of this week.
Ketselidou is from Greece, but moved to Brussels in 1992 to
take the current position she holds and also lives in the capitol
city of Belgium now. While she loves to visit the United States,
and does so on a frequent basis, she is definitely looking forward
to getting home.
Eyjafjallajokull literally means Island of Mountainous Glaciers
and is the fifth largest glacier in the world.