Just after my last entry, I checked my email just before getting on the bus for a 12 hour overnight ride to San Pedro de Atacama. In that email I learned that my Uncle Mark had died that day. This has always been one of my travel fears - that someone I loved would pass away while I was out of the country. I loved my uncle very much - he went out of his way to make sure I had a good time at the lake in Wisconsin every summer. His death comes as a surprise for me, and since I was unable to make it home for the services, it still hasn´t quite sunk in for me. I was able to go to church in San Pedro to sit and reflect for a time, which was nice, until the number of tourists taking photos inside the church became unbearable. I had received some emails from him about my trip the week he died. It made me happy to think he had been actively following along, and that we were able to stay connected through the miles.
A special message to my family - I wish I had been able to make it home to be with you all. I hope you know I am thinking of you. I love you.