Nah, I guess I’ll say a bit about the Europe trip. 🙂 ColomboàDubaiàParis went reasonably well; despite a four-hour delay leaving Colombo in the aftermath of the below-mentioned small-aircraft strike on the air base next to the CMB airport, I just barely made the connection at DXB and landed on time at CDG. Debriefing at MSF Paris: check, a good experience all round. Ten days of class at MSF: check, a chance to talk about humanitarian issues (gosh, my French really must be getting better) with other folks who’ve been facing similar issues, and to put them in broader context and with some historical considerations.

Then Mom came in to celebrate her birthday! And this is what you’ll be looking at: pictures of Paris and what we saw there; Switzerland, Germany and Holland and what I saw there after escorting Mom back to CDG for her return flight to NYC and so on and so forth and so on. There’ll be captions explaining most of what you’re seeing…and if you have questions, drop a comment on the blog and look again a day or two later, and you shall see a response from yours truly.

Long time readers of SMW, SLT will recognize Max, my former head of mission in China who’s now settled with his wonderful family back in Paris, where he works for Action Against Hunger and Delphine works with MSF HQ. I think Mom really enjoyed meeting a lot of my Paris friends…and I’m only sad I didn’t get pix of our outings with Thierry, Judith & Xavier, and Xavier & Delphine. (Yeah, reading the list of my friends, you get an idea of what names were popular in France 30 years ago or so, huh?)

Before it all gets stale, I want to ponder a few developed world vs. developing world “top ten” type lists. I’m stunned that so much time has zoomed by since leaving Colombo, and I’ve chosen to use my last full afternoon in NYC sitting in a café with reliable WiFi in order to post all these photos and these thoughts so that I can cross this off the to-do list, thus leaving me free for other items on said list while I visit Steve in Pittsburgh and then do my whistle-stop drive back across the country, re-accreting all the detritus that I deposited in basements in Pennsylvania and Ohio 2-1/2 years ago so that it can then be unceremoniously dumped back in that lovely storage space in Marina del Rey. I’ve realized the summer, too, will pass too rapidly and all too soon I’ll be off in Chad, Central African Republic, Niger or Democratic Republic of Congo trying to figure out what it means to be a field coordinator as opposed to an administrator. So better get this done while I still can!

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