04 May 2006

decision made

I've been struggling for the last few days over whether or not to follow through with my summer plans, for a lot of reasons, the main two of which (not including burnout) are:
  1. my wrists
  2. money
I hate admitting the second one, because money seems like such a base thing to worry about and I hate worrying about it. But honestly, it's worrying. A flight to Liberia is $2500 and I don't have a convenient organization to pay for it like I did while working in Rwanda, because I'm not really working for an organization, even though there are some rumblings of working with a great organization and fundraising that can be done with them. But fundraising, while not in itself that difficult, is another thing to add to the exams I haven't yet been able to take and the second wrist surgery I haven't yet been able to have and the packing and planning that I haven't yet been able to do. So it's a big concern. I just can't survive three months in Liberia on what I have available right now.

The other factor, my wrists, is only a concern (other than the fact that I can't carry luggage, which is going to be true regardless) if my surgery turns out drastically badly. Worst-case scenario badly. Okay, second worst-case scenario, because the worst worst-case scenario would involve permanent nerve damage from the local anesthesia and what I'm talking about is things just being much worse than the MRIs show, which shouldn't be the case but, of course, might. Many people have asked me, "Aren't you afraid to go to Africa with your wrists damaged?" The answer is no, actually. I know it sounds strange, but I'm actually less concerned about having this wrist problem in Africa than here.

For a while, the combination of these two overwhelming worries overwhelmed me and I was considering just giving up and going to Michigan and working at some legal aid clinic there. But then I read a couple of Liberia blogs and I just couldn't. I haven't been in Liberia for six years and I'm anxious to get back, on my own. And it's an exciting time in the transitional and restorative justice world in Liberia. So I'm doing what I have to do to make it work. I don't think I could forgive myself otherwise for precluding my Liberia chances for this summer. I'm doing what I can.

(Sigh.) And, of course, studying for exams and trying to rest my just-surgeried right wrist. Why am I in law school again? (See, this is why I must go to Liberia. To remember why I do this nonsense.)

And in one shameless plea - you know, if you want to send money for the Liberia trip - very good cause, I can tell you about it over email if you leave your email address in the comments - and tax-deductable because I'm going with a lovely Christian organization that does amazing work - yeah, let me know.

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