While working on a couple of blog posts, this week was interrupted by the sad news of two friends who suddenly passed away. The first was the captain of my soccer team, Rachel Hulscher, who was found dead in a local park. She was the one who recruited me to play and it was her “we’re here to have fun, who cares if we win or lose” attitude that attracted me to the team. Our team owes its spirit to her.
Yesterday brought the tragic news that my research colleague Amy Mahan died. Amy coordinated the Learning Initiatives on Reforms for Network Economies (LIRNE.NET) from Montevideo, Uruguay, and leaves behind a family with young child. Her death was sudden and unexpected — just two weeks ago she confirmed her participation at a workshop I’m organizing in Doha next month. I have only known Amy for little more than a year, but as I find is typical of our field, our collective dedication to making the world a better place leads to the formation of strong friendships that quickly transcend our professional relationships. That our field attracts such individuals is probably what I most love about the work I do, and what produces such sadness when we lose someone.
On the brighter side, we also learned this week that CIS colleague/friend Ricardo Gomez received a clean bill of health after two thyroid cancer operations and radiation treatment. Ricardo just lost his wife to cancer last year as he chronicled on his blog, and so we were all devasted when his condition was discovered last November. For now the prognosis is good, but the news of this week only serves as stark reminder of how precious life is. My life was enriched by Rachel and Amy. My thoughts are with their families and friends.
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