musings on travel, international living, development aid, politics, turkey (the country more than the meat) and anything else that comes to mind...

Monday, December 3, 2007


... silence speaks louder than words. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of AtlasJet tragedy.

So the roller coaster weekend began with news early Friday morning that a good friend of mine's mother died in a tragic plane crash in a remote part of Turkey. She was scheduled to speak at a Physics conference with 5 of her colleagues. I can't even imagine the pain and emptiness my friend is feeling right now and although I did not know his mother, I can't help but think about how alone and confused he must be. I saw him on Friday and honestly, I had no idea what to say. I don't think there is anything I could've said that could've done much more than make the situation worse.

He is a strong human being; loyal, introspective, astute, compassionate, minimalistic... and surprisingly clear-headed. I'm assuming the gravity of the situation had yet to sink in. Over lunch and beer, we spoke about the importance of friendship and family. It is never inopportune or inappropriate to tell someone you love and care about them. Never. We discussed the lessons we have learned from our parents and the impact they have had on who we have become. We talked about career and life aspirations, about how we were going to change the world, and about how good the Tex/Mex egg rolls (I know, sounds disgusting, but it wasn't... trust me) were.

He and I then went to the airport and waited for my Danish/Dutch friends to arrive from London. Airports are funny places, full of diverse crowds, wandering kids, anxious dads, and aspiring cougars. We both agreed that being nomads, we were strangely comfortable in them. On some level, it's almost like home. My friends arrived bubbly, excited, and full of questions, making for a strange and awkward goodbye with my grieving friend. As he turned his back while gliding up the escalator, I watched as his shoulders sunk just the slightest bit, his emotional armor weakened by the thoughts in his head.

Call your close friends. Tell them how much you miss them. Call your parents. Tell them how much you love them.