The second those words flashed across the screen Sunday night, I knew people across the world would be reacting. Ten years of searching for this man and suddenly they had him.
It didn't feel real.
Like every other person connected to any form of social media, I immediately checked my Facebook to see what people were saying. That's the beauty of social media— it creates an immediate outlet for people to vent their feelings.
It doesn't sound like that big of a deal, and the reality is— I should be relieved. The little blue book that gets me in and out of the country looks more like a home-ec project than proof of my citizenship.
That dumb thing has gotten me detained in my own country, detained in other countries, denied entry visa, removed from various forms of transportation and possibly added to the FBI watch list.
My name is kind of the female equivalence of "John Smith." There are A LOT of Sarah Nelsons on planet earth.
In fact, I know there's a least three or four in the Brainerd lakes area.
I got a phone call today, on my work line, from a stranger looking for "Sarah Nelson." She left me a message while I was out of the office and tried to get through a second time when she didn't hear back from me. On the second try, I answered.
I hate Los Angeles. That city takes everything that is great about California and ruins it. I might be a little biased. I am after all from Sacramento and we tend to have a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to the City of Angels. Usually we just mutter on about how we might as well divide California into North and South, but recently things have gotten a little more personal.
In my previous life, I was a teacher. I taught high school seniors. 18-year-old children who desperately wanted the world to know how grown up they were. It was of course my job to make sure they got to adulthood with at least a grasp on the tools they would need to survive the rest of their lives.
My educational weapon of choice — Government and Economics.
Ten years ago this month I boarded a plane for an island country I knew little about and, frankly, had never really given much thought. I was 18, I didn't give a lot of thought to a lot of things.
A decade later, it's rare that a day goes by that I don't think about my time in Haiti.
When the tiny half-an-island nation was obliterated by the earthquake one year ago today, I found myself glued to my TV. Watching helplessly from the frozen north, I worried for my friends. I was taken back to the winter of 2001 that I spent in Port-Au-Prince.