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April 12, 2015

DSCN0702 Forty five years ago, a group of fresh-faced young Americans landed in Manila, Philippines to begin their two year service as Peace Corps Volunteers. After two months of training, they were eager to get started, excited, and truth to tell – a little scared. Like so many others before and after them, Peace Corps changed their lives – in so many ways. But unlike many others, they have kept in contact – and this week will celebrate a reunion 45 years after they landed in Manila. Some of them – myself included – have been back to the Philippines, to relive their experiences, remember, and renew their ties with old friends and colleagues. As anyone who has made this kind of journey can tell you, it is an unforgettable experience to go back – to a place now radically different than it was – and yet be able to relive and remember who you were and what you did in that place so long ago. And, of course, it’s the people that make it possible: the greying heads of old friends as they smile and hug and introduce you to their children and grandchildren. As I prepared for this reunion, a story began to take form; a story of love…and loss…and renewal. I hope to share it with all of them this week.

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