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Who is the Clare in “Where’s Clare?”

Clare started out life as a very irritable and loud infant and, according to the cousins who baby sat, she stayed that way until she could do things for herself. Clearly she was anxious to get a start on life. Things just snowballed. Her parents agreed that she could go on her community college trip to England during winter break as long as she paid for it herself. Two jobs, first international trip—check.

After transferring to complete her Bachelor’s Degree, she joined the Speech Team at Clarion University, partly because she enjoyed the competition and partly to see exotic locals, like Ohio and Tennessee. When coach Jane Elmes declared that only team members qualified for five events could go to Nationals, Clare buckled down and qualified. That netted a trip to California and Clare’s first look at the Pacific Ocean.

She proceeded to move around the US following assistantships and jobs in order to pay for her education. She lived in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Kansas in addition to her home state of Pennsylvania. Eventually, various jobs afforded the opportunity to visit 45 of the 50 United States. Yes, skeptics, that actually was a business trip to Hawaii! Alaska, on the other hand, was a great time with family and vacationing. The frequent flyer miles she earned from work trips provided the vacation flights.

In 1996, thanks to a friend and colleague, Clare got a life changing call. “Are you available to work these two weeks?” “Yes, why?” “Do you want to go to Egypt?” Wow. As it turned out, Clare had a sprained ankle at the time but was determined not to let it get in the way. It did, but it didn’t. Because of her experience in Egypt, Clare was eventually tapped for other international postings including, Ukraine, Kuwait, and Pakistan. Currently she serves on a USAID program working with companies in Georgia, Jordan, Kenya, Macedonia and Nigeria.

And what about the posts?

The posts were generally written while Clare was traveling or shortly after she returned. Most were written for a circle of friends who care about where Clare is and what she’s up to. Clare often jokes that friends ask her “Where are you?” before they ask, “How are you?” These posts are Clare’s way of hugging back when she is too far away for her arms to reach.

Each post is a bit of history, that will be dated, to give you an idea about what events may have been occurring in the world when it was written.

If you are ever lost in a post or want to know more about a photo, please do send a question or comment. Clare isn’t big on details and at least three of her friends just said, “That’s for sure.”

A special note about Pennsylvania posts

To protect delicate species, some photos may be in a gallery rather than attached to a specific park or location. After seeing Lady’s Slippers, Clare was excited to share and told a woman who replied, “Oh, tell me where they are and I’ll dig them out for my garden,” That would be a “No.” Photos are not geo-tagged to protect nature’s wonders who cannot protect themselves.

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