Wednesday, March 22, 2006

An Unbelievable Story

This is just one of those stories that makes you ask why. But then you realize there are no answers because it is just tragic. Of course, the hope is that there will be good that comes from it. The positive that I see is the spotlight on one of the saints in our midst who was doing wonderful things that I believe we are all called to do. Unfortunately, only very few of us actually have the courage.

A talented University of Washington doctor and professor lost his life in Africa. The University is a big place and Dave did not know him but we feel proud that people such as this are a part of the UW community. His name was Dr. Richard Root. While on a wildlife trek on the Limpopo River, a crocodile snatched him out of his canoe while his wife watched in horror from the canoe behind. I cannot even imagine. But Dr. Root was no ordinary tourist:

"I'd just talked to him on Saturday," said his son, David Root, a Seattle architect. His father, he said, spoke with great enthusiasm about the work he was doing -- training hard-pressed health care workers in the resource-poor hospitals and clinics of Botswana. The African nation has the world's highest rate of HIV infection, 40 percent of the population.

"He was like a kid in a candy store," said Root. His father, he said, happily described his work with staff at Botswana's Princess Marina Hospital in the capital city of Gaborone.

I heard his son say on TV that if the freakiness of this terrible accident opens people's eyes to the devastation in Africa that Americans just seem to be ignoring, then there will be reason and goodness from his father's death.

My prayers to this wonderful family.