I’m writing this from my hospital bed in Bangkok. A bus took me out of Cambodia – not literally, that was a plane – but a bus is the reason I am no longer in Cambodia. On Friday August 16th around 4:30 pm I was hit by a bus going a decent speed while riding my bike across the street to my house. Picture the entire left side of my body lined up perfectly with the center of the front of a Greyhound, and I believe you’ll have a fairly accurate visual. I flew off my bike and landed, thankfully, on my backpack. My head never hit the ground and I never lost consciousness. By some miracle the bus didn’t run me over when it passed.
There were a lot of really great coincidences that happened in the moments after the accident. I was hit directly in front of my house providing easy access to people who know me. All four of my language teachers (LCFs) passed by in a van shortly after the accident and stopped to help. The internet wasn’t working at the guest house so two of my closest friends who had gone there to use the internet left, saw the crowd at my house and also stopped to help. I can’t imagine being hit by a bus in any circumstance is easy, but it is extremely difficult to deal with when none of the people around you speak your language and you barely speak theirs. For that reason I am grateful for my LCFs who took over, called the appropriate people, got me to and through my first (of many) hospital visit and made me laugh while doing it. I know they were very worried, but they stayed calm and made that part of the experience – the logistics – extremely easy for me. I’m also grateful for Sam and Westen passing by when they did – for staying calm and cleaning my bleeding wounds. We’re pretty experienced at that these days. 🙂
I’m not going to rehash how I ended up in Bangkok simply because I don’t want to. I will say that I have had, and continue to have great support from Peace Corps. I think I can safely go out on a limb and say no one wants to be hit by a bus – I know it wasn’t on my list of things to do in life, although I’ll probably put it on there now since I love crossing things off lists! – but let me tell you, if you’re going to do it, do it while a part of Peace Corps, specifically Peace Corps Cambodia. This process, while not physically easy, has been easy in practically every other way. I will certainly miss people on this list, but thank you to Navy, Alissa, Erin, Penny and Bori for taking care of me those first 24 hours. Here in Bangkok I continue to be supported by Peace Corps staff, specifically Ulle who is continuing to make my life very easy from a logistics point of view.
You’re probably wondering what exactly is wrong with me. Haven’t you been reading? I was hit by a bus! 🙂 For real though, I am extremely lucky to only have one major injury – 3 fractures in my left pelvis. This does make it impossible for me to walk without assistance right now. The good news though, is that in three months I should be as good as new. The hospital I’m currently in is incredible. The staff in general, and the nursing staff specifically, are so nice and happy, I can’t help but be happy when they’re around. Currently I go to physical therapy twice a day where I’m learning to walk with crutches – I already mastered the art of walking with a walker. I’m pretty much a professional walker walker at this point. The plan for me for now is to go back to Roseburg on Saturday to recover. Unfortunately my future with Peace Corps is unclear right now (actually my future in general), but I can say with complete confidence that Cambodia has not seen the last of me. I was only there for 5 weeks, but I met some incredible people and can’t wait to go back!
I’ll end this with a few last thank yous: Thank you to my mom and dad for staying calm, and, in advance, for taking care of me for the next three months. Thank you to Megan for being the only person I could ever write such a crazy email to – sorry about the crazy email. And thank you to anyone who has called, written, facebooked, thought about me in the past 5 days. Please keep it coming. I’ll try to keep this updated with my progress. As always, go Ducks!