Notes from Colorado

I arrived to the U.S. on January 6.  After the requisite entry interview about what I had been doing in Liberia (No, I did not touch any dead bodies, nor was I in the same room with an Ebola patient), I was allowed to enter the country.  They issued me a handy packet of information, including a thermometer so I can take my temperature twice a day, and a phone preprogrammed with the CDC’s Ebola hotline.  I was a little annoyed at first with the probably unnecessary expenditure of taxpayer funds, but walked myself back because 1) the thermometer and phone aren’t actually that expensive (it’s a flip phone, in case you’re wondering) and 2) it seems a reasonable public health measure to make sure that potential Ebola patients have the resoures they need to contact the CCDC if they develop symptoms.  Also, if a traveler does develop symptoms, you’ll be able to take the phone and identify a good number of contacts.

My suitcase failed to make it on the last leg of the trip with me, and finally made it here on January 9.

The county public health department paid me a visit on the 7th, and I get to send them an e-mail every day with my twice-daily temperature readings.  I feel sorry for them, because it must be tedious.  At least they don’t need to come and watch me take my temperature.

Colorado weather is…highly variable.  On the 7th, it was 17 degrees.  On the 8th, in the 50s.  For the 9th, back down to the low 20s, with snow, and the 10th was in the 60s.  For someone coming from the tropics, it’s all cold.  The temperature swings do make it sort of difficult to really adjust, though.  Keeps me on my toes.

The kids are all glad to see me.  Its been fun to see how they’ve grown, but sad at the same time that I’ve missed it.  My wife is amazing for dealing with some really difficult times and challenging, strong-willed kids.  We’re doing ok, though, and family prayers have definitely helped.  There’s no way we can do this without some help from above.

And, finally, we’re still waiting on word if the evacuation will be lifted so we can all return to Liberia together.

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