After a teary-eyed, beautiful memorial service for Emily Balog, another peace corps Paraguay volunteer, I feel part of a close-knit family away from home. Emily was a community economic volunteer serving here in Paraguay. She tragically passed away on Sunday in a car accident. She was returning to her site from a Thanksgiving get-together with her boyfriend when a dip in the road caused him to lose control of the vehicle, crashing into a van full of musicians. Emily and the driver of the other car passed away. Her boyfriend is in critical condition in the hospital and has had 3 surgeries since Sunday morning.
I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of our Peace Corps group celebrating her amazing life. She’s touched my life so profoundly even though I had only run into her at the office a couple of times. It touches close to home knowing that a car accident can happen at any moment. It is an incomprehensible event that has caused pain for so many people especially her close family and friends, but it makes you realize that you need to appreciate each second you have on this earth. She lived each second of her life smiling, taking adventures, and being a great friend and family member to those who knew her. Thank you, Emily, for your service in Paraguay and for leading such an exemplary life. I admire you.
Keep Santiago, her boyfriend, in your prayers, as well as her loved ones. I can't begin to imagine how her family must feel right now.