I pointed out a red-tailed hawk to a friend. She lured it with a treat, which it came and ate. Then she wanted to touch it. It came close and she and I both touched it gently. It reached over, seeming to want to return the gesture, and touched me on the hand. As it removed its foot, its claw caught in my hand and the skin tore. All the layers of skin tore off my hand like a glove, leaving a bleeding piece of meat. I saved the skin, approximating it as closely as possible, and applied a pressure dressing. I wondered whether to go to the emergency room or wait for office hours and go to the doctor's office. I remembered a clinic nearby and went there. A nurse practicioner sewed my skin back on. We had just moved into a new house and I was giving a house warming party. I couldn't cook anything because of the injury, so there was nothing to eat. While the guests visited with each other, I was busy trying to clean up the nastier messes that the previous owner had left.
I decided to go back to Africa for the summer. I signed up with the same group I went with before. They accepted my application and we started having preparatory meetings. Part of the training was learning to play softball.