Thursday, March 20, 2014

This is it

You feel invincible when you’re traveling.  The same laws of common sense in the US that tell you not to ride a motorcycle at night without a helmet do not apply.  You eat that samosa being fried in an empty fuel barrel.  You tilt your head back and enjoy the dips and sways of a bus careening down a mountain.    It’s a survival technique for the sake of your white knuckles and clenched teeth. 

But my friend recently got into a bus accident while traveling in Turkey.  Her legs were trapped under the bus and were mangled pretty badly.  Luckily she will be able to walk again once recovered.

It’s horrific and has been crashing into my thoughts all night.  When living in country, the prevalence and incident rates from our textbooks are not of “the others.”  They’re rates that now include me.

Melinda Gates said “I’m constantly saying to myself, ‘I’m lucky to have been born in the United States.’” I’m self aware enough to realize that a big reason I was drawn to international work was guilt and a feeling of responsibility to use the resources I was born into to give back to those who were not.  It’s what gets me on that plane every time.

But what keeps me here is knowing, now that I’m a part of it, I won’t ever be able to fully go back.  I’m in it for life.  So I might as well put on that helmet.

1 comment: