Just by reading previous posts on this blog, one could deduce that I tend to push myself and the limits of what should be done. As evidenced by my last post, I pay dearly for mistakes I make and experience close calls quite often. I usually come out of bad situations unscathed, surprised, and most importantly, wiser. There are things about this world that are not meant to be understood. There are other things that can only be understood through a very direct and unpleasant first-hand experience.
Those who share my lifestyle can easily review a handful of examples of intense moments where a lot hangs in the balance. This is adventure. There is no adventure without fear, uneasiness, close calls, luck, tough decision-making, etc. True adventure does not exist in the comfort zone, the familiar, the expected, the realm of constants.
“No regrets when you get back safe.” has always been a mantra for me. The experience, learning, and mettle that comes from hellfire-on-earth situations always are worth it. Always. Lots of times scars are part of the deal. When shit gets real the mind is scarred too. These lessons are among life’s most valuable.
I have always felt this way, but then again I have always gotten back safe. That all changed on Thursday, January 29th 2009 on Ish Askor, a few hours’ walk from my house in Talzemt.
I am not gonna review the details of the incident here. There are a lot of good reasons why, and they are mine alone. The way I feel and think about it changes from moment to moment, and I am not ready to broadcast this one.
But the important detail is that I didn’t get back safe. I broke my leg and had to orchestrate my own rescue at significant physical cost. Now I’m laid up with nowhere to go but into my own mind to replay things.
It really is the end of an era for me. I finally hit the wall. I found my limit. I know exactly where it is. I regret it.
But whatever, now I have a very new challenge to face; a long recovery process undertaken under less-than-ideal conditions. As of February 4th, the situation looks like this:
Go to Washington and get a screw in my leg
Recover in 45 days
During that time make life happen, make sure this doesn’t change me
Get out of the cast and start trying to get strength back
Hope and push through this like any other challenge
Try to focus on getting back to what I love;
being a Peace Corps Volunteer, being up, chasing new things.
The worry is my inability to get out of Washington in time. If there are complications with the surgery or treatment which push recovery time needed in Washington past 45 days, that will signal the end of my service. Therefore, surgery and healing need to go flawlessly, or else the future of something I love (PCVing in Morocco) is in jeopardy..
I have a network of amazing people around me. Everyone from Peace Corps staff and Doctors, to the guys in the hotel I am staying in, to the Volunteers who cycle in and out of Rabat, to Moroccans on the street, they all rock and encourage me. I’ll be going back to DC, where I went to school so hopefully my friends who remain there will keep me company.
A cool thing is that all Medically Evacuated PCV’s face nearly the same situation. We all are sent to Washington for treatment, and from what I hear that part is awesome. Just think; tons of Peace Corps Volunteers (people with the best stories ever) sitting around telling the stories of how they got hurt in their country. I might get pretty gnarly.
I am decidedly not happy about going to America though. This is not what I want to be doing. Everyone has been saying that it will be fun to be there and eat American and go to bars and speak English and all but for me I just really don’t miss it enough. At this point in my life I don’t miss america when I am away, I have found adaptability abroad to be a huge asset. If I am honest, aside from seeing my parents and a very slight few people, I don’t look forward to any of this.