My name is Paul Dunford.
I was born in Mobile, Alabama in 1978 where my father was a graduate student in history and my mother was a nurse. My father graduated, signed on with the federal government, and when I was two we started bouncing around Asia. We lived in Taipei where we had a gray monkey who lived in the tree in front of our house on top of a hill. In Beijing we lived in an apartment building that faced the Gobi desert, visited decrepit temples, ran up and down the Great Wall, and ate warm steamed buns as we walked around the lake in the park. We moved to Rangoon in August of 1988 during the uprising led by Aung San Suu Kyi; my mother, sister, and I were sent away for six months and lived in a hotel room in Bangkok. When I was twelve we moved back to Virginia and stayed there through secondary school and college.
After graduating from college I didn’t know what the hell I was supposed to do with my life so I got a three month work permit to work in Ireland and moved to Dublin on June 10, 2001.
I kept a journal regularly and I’ll be posting each entry ten years to the day after I originally wrote it. On days when I didn’t write I’ll post a photo or a picture of something I picked up along the way.
I’m doing my best not to clean up anything as I transcribe the hieroglyphics scrawled in my notebooks. As much as I’d love to erase some of my juvenile commentary I’m dedicated to leaving in each overwrought phrase and naive expectation. After all, that’s where I was, that’s what I felt, and that’s what I wrote.
That being the case, I will allow myself to fix some spelling mistakes and minor grammatical errors that make things more than usually difficult to follow. I have decided to change some names and leave out details I think might violate someone else’s confidence or privacy.
The only person that should be embarrassed by this is me.
Finally, I hope that MM, DC, RC, and KR know that I thank them with all my heart for being among the best people I’ve ever met.