From the time I arrived in the field, until he left 4 and a half months later, Gongora told me regularly how little time he had left in country. He was always happy to tell me how soon he was going home. And then he would say, How many days do you have? Followed by, Oh man, I would just shoot myself. It was good natured banter, messing with the new guy was just something to pass the time with. I am so short that ., began the refrain that had thousands of variations. Everybody counted the days until he could get on that Freedom Bird (airplane) and return to the world, back to the reality of home and the life they knew before.