She travelled there to save coral reefs. She would never have imagined that the one-month-long expedition would last for more than three. Orsi Vincze was able to come home with the help of the local Hungarian embassy and on an Italian plane, but the events that happened until she could finally board the plane are like the combination of an adventure movie and a comedy. Details below.
Hvg first wrote in May about the story of Orsi Vincze who worked on a Myanmar island, Kyun Pila, as the volunteer member of a team saving local coral reefs. Interestingly, not only Orsi told the media about her experiences, but a British member of the team, Natalie Poole (35), also gave an interview to The Independent.
According to hvg, Orsi arrived on the island on February 21 and said in May that, as a volunteer, she helped the globally known Ocean Quest Global team to relocate damaged coral reefs, by which they could survive and “expand” again. However, even though she lived on a paradise-like island for months, the work became very monotonous while the breath-taking environment (weather, jungle, sand, etc.) always held something hostile for people. For example, the small sandflies that prevented just sitting or lying down in the beautiful sand on the beach. Furthermore, she missed the concerts, the bars, and everything a city can mean since during the epidemic,
there were only 15 people on the island.
As a result, she wanted to come home, but that was difficult since she had only a limited amount of money. However, it helped that local authorities eased the strict travel restrictions. Furthermore, the Hungarian embassy in Bangkok helped her a lot, too. For example, the embassy found her the flight of the Italian Neos Air for which the ticket cost only 800 EUR.
The journey to the Rangun international airport, however, was very adventure-filled. Firstly,
the hotel’s international staff was not too helpful.
For example, they said that nobody should bother them with any kinds of questions if they have a day off. Therefore, Orsi and a Canadian member of the team could set foot on the continent on board a trade ship. Moreover, the shuttle between the shore and Kawthaung wanted 70 EUR for the ride. They could not abandon their hotel room in the city, but the next day they departed to Rangun where they waited for their flight to Italy. Luckily,
some restaurants and bars were already open in the Myanmar metropolis.
At the international airport, nothing went as planned because the Italian authorities wanted Orsi to travel home from Milan in 24 hours, but that was impossible since there were no flights to Budapest. Finally, the Hungarian embassy helped, and the plane could take off on board with Orsi and
another Hungarian who was also stuck in Myanmar during the epidemic.
Moreover, Orsi had to pay 222 dollars because she remained in Myanmar longer than her visa allowed. Orsi said that in Hungary, everything was handled professionally. She is now in quarantine, so she has to reply to the SMS by the authorities in 15 minutes every day, with which she says her GPS coordinates so that the police can see where exactly she is.