Tuesday, April 22, 2008

April 22, 2008 5:38 p.m.

Dear Diary:
This entry is all about Sean. Here is an email that he just sent out that speaks his heart to EVERYONE who emailed, called, prayed, worried, cried, worked, and spoke on his behalf:

"I'd usually apologize for sending any sort of mass email, but I can't fathom how many people where here for me, Laurie and my family over the last week.

I don't really know how to begin; or end, for that matter. I do know I am grateful beyond words for the response, care, hard work and relentlessness of you all. I do know, in all honesty, it was the intense and immediate reaction from everyone involved here in the states, all within a matter of hours, which fully determined the fate of me and the rest of the crew. Had we not had Senators, the US Ambassador and everyone else flooding the State Department and the Nigerian government I would absolutely still be held there right now.

I know Laurie has been in touch with everyone, and kept everyone in the loop, so I'll try to keep this brief. I came home to almost 100 square feet of photos, emails and notes from hundreds of people who had contacted her and I can't remember another time feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude. To think that in some of the darkest hours, days into my detainment in a Nigerian secret service jail, when asked by the US consular to fill in a list of 3 people they should contact on my behalf, I struggled to find 3 names. Something terrible and despairing happens to a mind stripped of free will, even if just for just a few days, something I'll never be able to fully understand. I can't possibly imagine how it destroys the minds of those in far worse situations all over the world, every day. It is an experience I hope to keep close to me.

Needless to say I am doing OK, healthy, a little exhausted. The whole experience is far more anti-climatic than the press and television wish it was. We we're very much frogs in a pot of warming water - no guns firing or anything - everything happened painfully slow and gradual and before we knew it we were half way across the country from where we started, stripped of all our possessions and locked away. In the end the intensity was all far more psychological than physical, and I'm sure it will take a while to fully decompress.

I am sorry I haven't even conceptualized getting back to the phone calls and emails, but if I miss one I just wanted to make sure you all know I am so honored to have you all so close. The sense of community I came home to was incredible and inspiring and has undoubtedly changed me.

Thank you all, and I look forward to seeing many of you again very soon. And please forward this to anyone you might have contacted on my or Laurie's behalf--

Sean "

He will be eternally grateful. Thank you...

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