Friday, April 23, 2010

Stranded in Slovenia

When University Professor Fred Kohun, Ph.D., left for Slovenia on April 11, like most people, he had never even heard of the Icelandic volcano known as Eyjafjallajokull. But now it’s likely he’ll never forget it.

Now, Kohun is stranded in the city of Celje, where was invited by the Ministry of Education to conduct workshops for students and teachers at the International School for Social and Business Studies. Kohun, who also serves as associate dean of graduate programs for RMU’s School of Communications and Information Systems, was certain that the trip would be a memorable experience. And, boy, was he right.

“It’s total chaos over here,” he said this morning via an online Skype conversation. “I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve spent at least 24 hours on the phone trying to get a ticket home, but there’s just no cooperation in the airline industry over here.”

Fortunately, through a connection with president of Lufthansa, Kohun was able to acquire a ticket and is confirmed for a flight on Tuesday; however, he’s still waiting on the e-ticket.

Kohun says that during the first days of the catastrophe, flights were doubling in price every couple hours, and hotel prices were skyrocketing, too. “Price gouging is out of control,” he said.
Although he knows he’s been very fortunate to have personal connections to help him with housing and acquiring a ticket home, Kohun has certainly had his full of Slovenia.

“I’ve had my global experience,” he said.

We’ll be sure to catch up with Dr. Kohun when he returns to RMU to hear more about his adventure. Stay tuned…

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