A lot has happened in the last week. I wandered the white and black deserts of the Sahara. I walked miles and miles of Old Cairo. And I moved to Ethiopia to begin a 6 month placement with the Earth Institute.

Earlier tonight I received an email from a close family friend informing me that my father was in a car accident and currently in intensive care. One of the pillars of support and love in my life was almost taken from me and the world turned black.

I walked outside, dry heaves rack my body.

After stumbling around the street for some brief moments I fled to my hotel room. In the room, sitting down, standing up. Pacing the cramped quarters.

I headed back to the use their phone and call my mom. She sounded strong and was necessary ballast to my hoarse whispers and tear soaked sentences. By the end of the 11 minute conversation I learned that my dad had been broadsided by another car causing the SUV he was driving to flip and partially eject him. His scalp had been severely lacerated and two vertebrae broken. Emergency surgery was performed to stop bleeding along his scalp and he will soon undergo surgery to repair the damage to his vertebrae with metal rods. By the time my mom had stopped talking I could only grunt in anguish.

Rushing onto the noisy Ethiopian street I started walking. Walking to erase the pain. 30 minutes later I found a bench facing De Gaulle plaza and the comings and going of young lovers and families. Staring at this busy African scene, I wept. And quivered.

Gathering myself I returned to the phone to call Chelsea I struggled through my words.

I emerged from my room near midnight. Hungry and knowing it would a long sleepless night I walked by countless beggars and homeless, sleeping on the streets every few yards while Ethiopians middle class pursued nightlife.

Finding food and returning to take a shower it took shock therapy for me to change my outlook and start thinking about the positive aspects of the situation – he is a live and relatively well and the current prognosis is optimistic. And all it took was the faulty electrical wiring of my bathroom cum shower cum washroom. The water heater hangs on the wall – tubing from the wall leads to the heater and is returned via tube to the shower nozzle. After several minutes of frigid water I adjusted the nozzle and was offered a whoosh sound as the lights throughout the room dimmed. A strange humming filled the air. Turning the water pressure up a tingle shoots up my arm. Confused and still unsatisfied with the water pressure (at this point only slightly greater than a steady trickle) I reach for the sink to turn on the water (the sink being placed roughly adjacent and below the shower). This time a pronounced shock went up my right side and my fingers vibrated numbingly.

Grasping the faucet to turn it off I was greeted by the welcome tingle. And for the first time that night I smiled.