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The author uses five verses of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge as his epigraph
For Mary, whose love, drive, and spirit brought me back
For my wonderful girls, Linton, Ruth, Antonia, and Justine, and their familes, who made coming home so important
For Louis, without whom I would likely not have come through
For Presidents Toure and Compaore, their brave negotiators, and all those in the Canadian government who worked tirelessly and effectively to make it possible
For all those who can't go home
As we waited for the ferry, our driver, Soumana Moukaila, oversaw a gaggle of nearly naked young boys as they competed for the privilege -- and a few coins -- of washing his carefully tended white Land Cruiser, which proudly sported a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) logo in pale blue on each front door.
I know with surprising confidence that every day is a gift and should be honoured as such and fearlessly, triumphantly celebrated.