A couple of weeks ago a lot of personally and monetarily valued things were stolen from me. Cameras, phone, favorite shirts, money, and so on. The roughest part by far being the loss of my notebook containing four months of notes and all of the studies that I had completed in Noflaye thus far. The first two days were a bit rough as thoughts of all the time and money that were lost and would have to be used in order to correct the situation played a loop in my head. I may well have been the person who was hit most directly, but what mattered more was the time lost that my friends put into helping me do interviews, or Rachel having to help me figure everything out. It really wasn’t about being angry at any person, or even the events. More than anything, it was a stretch to try to actually forgive myself for not thinking of all the “what ifs” in the world, of what I could have done better. Well, in all honesty, that wouldn’t have been possible before. If this had happened when I first arrived, I would have beaten myself up for days on end, and I can only hope that I wouldn’t have let it define my year. Somehow though, it turns out that I could, and did forgive myself. It’s a bit surreal to realize that a few short months have created such a shift in me. So I leave you with my friend John Mellancamp, for oh yes, life does, in fact, go on.