The phone rang at four this morning. Bill is the "duty" officer this week which means he takes all off hours emergency calls involving American citizens or other issues that just can't wait. So it seems that a young woman decided to go skydiving in the Everest region and had an accident. She was flown back to KTM and was in a hospital with a nasty fractured ankle and cracked vertebrae. Her parents knew she had been injured but didn't know where she was or how she was. You really don't want to be in the hospital here for the most part. Bill and a FSN (Foreign Service National - a Nepali working at the embassy) found her, went to see her and then contacted her family. All before 7am.
I remember when I was 24 I went on a wild trip with my college roommate. We didn't have much of an itinerary (or much money if I remember correctly). We decided to fly to Bangkok from Hong Kong and met some other people who were also backpacking. We then thought that a jungle trek along the Laotian border sounded like a great idea. I promise this was all done on minimum dollars per day. There were leeches. It involved sleeping in huts on stilts over livestock and using the village hole in the ground for a latrine etc. But the thing I remember vividly was trekking through who knows where and thinking that if anything ever happened to me, NO ONE knew where I was. I also vowed to be more responsible in my future travel escapades.
While I am sorry that this young woman got hurt, she will be OK. And I know Bill was just doing his job - but I can still be proud of him. Because if this were my child I would hope and pray that the person taking the call would do the same.