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My friends decided to go to Legrono and Laguardia (in Rioja, Spanish wine country) this past weekend, and had a great time, despite a very rough start to the trip. My four friends were enjoying some lunch in the train station while waiting for their train, all of them very excited about the trip to come. At least until they got up to leave and get on the train.

They were sitting at a table in the corner, when all of a sudden a middle-aged couple comes up and sits behind Kristen and Cody. They asked the couple to take a picture of the group before they left. According to my friends, they seemed jittery and taken aback by their request. Less than 10 minutes later, they got up to get on the train, and Kristen’s bag was nowhere to be found. My friend Nick thought she was just being dramatic at first, until they checked all around the table at realized the bag had been stolen. Kristen stood up and bolted out of the café. For a split second Nick thought she was playing a cruel joke. Once he realized she wasn’t joking, he sprinted after her in search of the woman who stole her things.

As the two frantically left, Cody and Nikki had the brilliant idea to check the table next to ours. To their surprise, the woman who had taken the bag had also had left a receipt on the table, which included her credit card number as well as her name, Dominique Cerri. If anyone knows her or has seen her, please alert the program because there is an open police report and investigation underway.

In regard to their departure from the train station, Kristen, Nikki, Cody, and Nick had only minutes to make it to their train bound for Legrono. They spent the majority of the 4-hour train ride canceling credit cards, and calling the U.S. Embassy, Kristen’s parents, and the Barcelona SAE emergency phone. Kristen had all of her important belongings in her bag, so this was really a worst-case scenario. They took her laptop, her passport, her bible, her Kindle, and more- really everything but her phone. Kristen was a good sport though; she handled this extremely stressful situation better than many others would have. After making all the necessary calls, she was still able to enjoy the trip. They had a blast in beautiful Spanish wine country. But the moral of the story is to keep your bag on your lap, or otherwise close at hand. No one ever thinks this will happen to them!

Kelly Greacen

Kelly is an English major from Boston University, and interned abroad during Summer 2013.