TRAFFIC ADVISORY:

President Trump is scheduled to be in Philadelphia on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at The National Constitution Center (NCC) in the Independence Mall area. Increased police presence is anticipated in Center City throughout Tuesday afternoon and evening. Please allow extra time if you are going to Wills Eye. Please be advised of area street closures to vehicles beginning at 1:00PM on Tuesday 9/15. Pedestrian access will also be limited in the area. This is subject to change and area restrictions, which could widen, will be lifted once the President departs the NCC. There are also demonstrations planned for Tuesday 9/15 around Independence Mall as well as City Avenue.

The Last Jaunt Begins

I arrived at the Geta Eye Hospital complex on a sleepy
Saturday afternoon. The rising temperatures of early summer had lulled the
grounds into a quiet siesta. A deer grazed off to the side, a troupe of monkeys
sat contently under a nearby tree preening one another in groups of three and
four. A hot dry wind rustled the leaves as I stepped out of the taxi and into
the crushing heat. A security guard took my things and walked me to the guest
house at the rear of the hospital. Without a word of English he welcomed me
warmly. Bowing slowly and gracefully with his palms pressed together, he left
me to unpack my life, once again, in a foreign place.  

I spent my afternoon arranging what I had
brought around the room, adorning the foreign with the familiar.  That night, after my first meal at the
canteen, I went back to my room to do some work before bed. I flipped on the
light and settled onto my bed underneath the canopied mosquito net.  A loud buzzing brought me out of my thoughts
and into the present moment, where a large wasp was testing the defenses of my
net.  A observed him coolly, feeling smug
in my fortress, and returned to my work. Moments later, however, that buzzing
crescendoed and I looked up to find no less than a dozen intruders investigating
the perimeter of my room. Now in a proper panic, a realization dawned: being
miles into the forest, my room light shone like a lone beacon in the darkness,
attracting every flying insect in a mile-wide radius. I dashed out from under my
safe-hold and swiped at the switch, plunging my room into utter darkness before
I dove back under my net. I fell asleep listening to my dozen guests futilely
bang into the room’s walls.  In the
morning I drew my curtains back to investigate their point of entry. To my utter
dismay I found myself staring up at a wasp’s nest the size of a small doghouse
on the other side of the window pane. In addition to the two lizards that had
taken up residence in my room, and the nest of pigeons who occupied my bathroom
window, I also was host to a sizable community of wasps.  I realized at that moment that this venture
into the remotest regions of rural Nepal were going to be unlike any other
experience I’d had all year.