Today I learned that my friend, Dr. Alfredo Obure, died. He was 33. He leaves behind his wife and two young children. Alfredo recently received his PhD. Alfredo was the first in his family (and his village) to earn a PhD. Here he is with his dissertation.
Alfredo and I visited a few rural schools together and, during the long car rides, we got to know one another. We called our friendship a tribute to qualitative research and anthropology. We both asked very blunt questions about one another's upbringings (his is rural Kenya, mine in suburban America). Here is Alfredo with a handwashing station at a rural school:
I can't find words to describe how sad it feels to know that Alfredo is gone. The world has lost someone who was a tireless advocate for the poor, someone who showed young boys and girls that education could catapult you to new horizons.
Alfredo, I'll miss our g-chats and e-mails. I'll miss your irreverant humor and gentle chides. Most of all, I will miss your giant smile and whole-hearted laugh.