A Surprise Encounter

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From: Mark
Vientiane, Lao PDR

During my last visit to Vientiane, Lao PDR, I bumped into someone of my childhood past. Recognizing my name, Amy, who now works at UNICEF, said she had met me back in the day when my mother used to work in the refugee camps during the late 80’s along the Thai/Cambodian border.

It was an unexpected reunion of sorts, albeit somewhat fascinating as I had a chance to learn what I was like as a child, but also to discover our common friends that we have around the world. We had a chance to talk about our late friend Martha Teas who was killed in the attack on the UN building in Baghdad in 2003. She had been someone she worked with in the camps, and for me, someone who first took me in when I arrived in Cambodia in 1994. To celebrate the memory of Martha with someone I felt like I just met was somewhat bracing. This encounter with Amy was a gentle reminder that as the world gets smaller and as Friends-International gets bigger, it seems apparent that I will have many more encounters like this, illustrating a lively interconnectivity within the global village.

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