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Saturday, January 3, 2009

1 Lift Ticket Up the Mountain = 1 broken leg & 1 Ticket back to the US

That's all it took… I am officially writing this from the comfort of my Fairfax, Virginia couch.

A week ago today (whoa – so much has happened in the last 7 days), I was out christening the beautiful Rila Mountains in which I live with a short day ski trip with my good Bulgarian friend and her family. We drove the less than half an hour to Maliovitsa where you can buy a lift ticket for about $4 for the entire day. I wasn't planning on skiing, just enjoying the gorgeous natural snow everywhere (I did go to college in NC the last four years… this amount of snow is more than just a foreign concept for me). I took one look at the snow-capped trees and the freshly powdered runs, and couldn't resist. Not to mention the fact that there were only two runs to choose from, and both of them very doable in my book.

Now, keep in mind… I am not the world's greatest skier, BUT, I am a comfortable skier and have been at least a dozen times without as much as bruising anything. The lifts in Maliovitsa are pole lifts, and you have to put the pole between your legs and allow it to drag you up the mountain without applying too much weight. I had no problem navigating the easy run, so after numerous runs, I gave the lift on the main run a try. No go. Walk of shame back down the mountain…

Eli and went for a walk through the beginning of the Rila National Park, and then I geared up to take one last run 15 minutes before the lifts closed.

They think the sun went down just enough to ice up the run a little bit.

Conditions were just different enough a couple hours later that right over the top of the run my right knee skidded out on some ice just enough to wrench it uncomfortably. The pain in my knee caused me to go down the rest of the way, where the bindings on my knee didn't separate.

I broke both my tibia and my fibula, and the bindings were so tight they actually had to remove my ski AND my boot in order to untwist my right leg.

Even longer story short, it took over an hour to actually get off the mountain, and another few hours to get back to the emergency hospital in Sofia. I spent the next two nights in Sofia with some American friends (SUCH a blessing!), then was on the first flight out on Monday morning. I flew Sofia to Amsterdam, then to Detroit, and finally to DC where a Peace Corps nurse was waiting to help me get straight to the hospital. Originally my surgery was scheduled for Wednesday, but after an x-ray that revealed my break was worse than anyone thought, they moved it up to Tuesday.

I now have a titanium rod holding my leg together, and am recovering at home in my parent's house.

I have 45 days of recovery to return to my post as simply a Medevac volunteer, but barring a miracle, the doctor is looking at more 3-6 months. I do have a year to apply to be reinstated back in my site in Bulgaria, but right now I am trying to patiently pray and await direction on what all this means, and if I really do have to make some big decisions here soon.


I wanted to let my "blog" world know that I am NOT in Bulgaria right now, but I am recovering and praying for direction. If you are in the Fairfax area, please let me know and come visit!