i love america

I am back in Cary, IL for the time being.  It’s been a really busy past few weeks, getting everything sorted to come back here, being offered a job in Liberia, Sean’s motorcycle accident, etc etc.  I didn’t even check my e-mail for an entire week!

Anyway, things have calmed down a bit now.  I arrived back home on Saturday, June 20th, and have been slowing trying to re-aclimatize myself to America.  It all still feels quite surreal and strange.  I am supposed to send my passport into Washington DC to get a new diplomatic one ASAP so I have decided to make a quick trip to Montreal before I do that… I’m leaving tomorrow and will be back in Illinois around July 2nd.

During this time I have quite a bit of preparation to do to get ready for my assignment in Liberia.  I have been invited to serve as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer doing library training and creating outreach activities for a library in Liberia, as part of it’s post-conflict reconstruction program.  The aim of this project is to provide additional education opportunities for people who had limited access to education during the civil war which lasted for 20 years and only ended in 2006.

It’s really exciting and an amazing opportunity to do some awesome things!!

In the meantime I have a million kinds of paperwork to take care of and other random bits and bobs to sort out in addition to trying to apply for my PhD.

As I mentioned previously, a close friend of mine was involved in a motorcycle accident.  He wasn’t wearing a helmet and suffered a subdural hematoma.  Thanks to Dr. Mark of th Australian Embassy in Vientiane, we were able to go by ambulance at 4 in the morning to Aek Udon Hospital in Udon Thani, Thailand.  It was a really overwhelming and intense experience and I’m still dealing with the effects of the accident.  He suffered a severe brain injury and may never fully recover.  It may affect his speech, behaviour, and memory.  We won’t know for some time the long-term affects of the injury.

I went to visit him in the hospital right before I left Laos and I took some pictures.  He was in a good mood and was really happy to see me, but has trouble speaking and communicating.  For the time being he’s only really repeating one phrase in Lao over an dover and can’t communicate otherwise…

sean and i in aek udon hospital
sean and i in aek udon hospital

Leaving Laos was a very hard thing to do!  I made so many wonderful friends and met so many lovely people, I miss it already.   I know that I will go back one day.

That’s all I can write for now, I have to go to the Cary Police Department to get fingerprinted to send to Washington DC, and then the bank, and a few other errands along the way….

More pictures from my final days in Laos:

http://picasaweb.google.com/baberahamlincln/LeavingLaos

These include pictures from 2 Basi ceremonies, which I will write more about later!!

in the airport with mrs. bounsalong
in the airport with mrs. bounsalong
basi in my home
basi in my home
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