This is the best shot you’ll get of the boat, taken as this guy had just wiped the deck so we could all board a high and dry boat – it’s a catamaran, in a way, though without a sail. (Does that make it not a catamaran??)

On a personal level, I gotta admit this hasn’t been easy. I left China on very short notice – leaving behind a country I’d grown to love deeply (and hate some of the time, as well) and where I felt very comfortable and really quite at home; leaving an office where I knew the ropes and an AIDS project that I was proud of, with the possibility of other projects opening in the middle future. Not to mention, of course, the pride in having successfully handed over the Street Children project to a national staff team that – with strong guidance from my beloved Margaret Ward, former MSF FieldCo – has apparently been just doing fantastic stuff since MSF said goodbye on March 31 of this year. I’m a flexible guy and love the excitement and variety that comes from working in these contexts – but I had sort of wrapped my mind around Chinese lessons, and vacation plans (seeing friends or acquaintances here and there in China, Japan and Vietnam) and so on based on being in BJ through December.

Some local kids enjoying the river: unlike our firewood collectors lower down, they didn’t seem to be working hard.
Coconuts and cinammon are among the local crops we saw. We gorged on fresh coconuts.
I’m flying!

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