I'll keep this short but I wanted to tell people back home whats been going on since I got back from America. On December 2nd there was a tragic accident here in the Mopti region and we lost one of our best. Cristina Nardone was a RPCV who had taken a job as the coordinator of the Global System Tourism Alliance (GSTA). She was visiting a village where she had helped fund the building of a water tower to help irrigate a medicinal garden. Cristina asked that the village fill it and as they were walking away it collapsed and killed her. Another woman, Brenda, suffered a broken leg and we later found out that after surgery infection set in and they had to amputate.
I'm at a loss at what else to say. It is especially tragic because she had finally made up her mind that it was time to go home and be with her family, but she agreed to stay until March so a replacement could be found. She had gone home for about a month as she transitioned from PC to her new job, but really her family had not seen her for the last 3 years. But she loved her work and believed what she was doing was making a real difference in peoples lives. It wasn't just a job for her and I think her project had the success it had because of her. She very easily could have done a lot of her work from behind a desk and sent others to do her field work like most NGO workers, but she loved going to these small villages and working with the people to help improve their lives.
I'll wrap it up before I get too sentimental. It has been a hard few weeks for us all here. Peace Corps is an enigma to me in that I've only known the people here for maybe 15 months, but some of my teammates have become closer to me than people I have known my whole life. Cristina was one of those people and I miss her.
She was the best of us all and you won't find anyone here who will argue that.