Booking a flight when the international airport and land borders closed is difficult. We had to wait until the US Embassy announced repatriation flights. At the end of June, the US Embassy released a list of flights through mid-July that included a July 11 flight to Amsterdam on KLM. We initially tried to book the flight out of Johannesburg but was too late. By the time I could talk to Sheila about… Read More

Earlier this year, Sheila and I planned a hiking/camping trip to Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden and Finland) to celebrate my 40th birthday. We were going to drive to the northern reaches of the area and hopefully experience the midnight sun. Instead, I found myself in a doctor’s office checking my vital signs and ensuring everything was in tip-top shape. Welcome to mid-life! I can report that I am in good health (for a 40 year… Read More

On August 16, I not only celebrated my recent promotion to Country Director but also my 36th Birthday! This is the third birthday that I have celebrated on the African continent. In 2013, I celebrated my birthday after only three days in South Sudan. My co-worker organized a cake and impromptu birthday party with colleagues from IRI and the National Democratic Institute (NDI). I made sure to get a photo of the… Read More