Wednesday, August 3, 2011

On Death and Distance

This week I received terrible news of the death of a young American friend under traumatic, tragic circumstances.

He and I had not been in direct touch for a number of years, but he was my little brother's best friend for a stretch of our youth, and through this I came to know him well and consider him a friend of my own. That was one great thing about growing up in my house -- I have three brothers, and over time many of our close friends have become shared among us.

Receiving shocking, sad news from home is the nightmare of anyone who moves half a world away. Skype and email make communication possible, but battling time zones to talk through the computer is not the same as being able to connect in person. Technology has shrunk our world in amazing ways, but it is times like these that remind me just how big this planet can feel.

This is a reality of moving so far from home. It is not always easy, and for all of its benefits it comes with costs and sacrifices. From weddings to funerals and everything in between, there are moments and experiences big and small that I will miss or have to experience secondhand from the other side of the world. I know most people understand the reasons why I must miss out on certain things. What I hope they understand is that I am painfully aware of just how much I am missing out.

I considered these sacrifices before moving to Nepal and knowingly made my choice. I do not regret moving here and am really enjoying myself so far, but that does not mean it is always easy to be here. Nothing adventured, nothing gained, nothing without its cost.

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