I had great plans to write my annual New Year's letter and include it on Ujeni as my update, but it's the middle of February and I can see that it's not going to happen. Instead, here is a short version of my life to date:
Malik turned 1 year on Dec 27th and what a year it was! He is the apple of our eye, the joy of our lives. Picture attached. The past year can be described best with memories of Kamel and I taking the ride of parenthood. Late nights, first smiles, first illness, bathtime, food, food, food, love, love love. A truly unbelievable ride.
I am atill working 25 hrs/wk at Boys and Girls Club/Girls Inc. as a Career and Environmental Educator. I really love it. The kids are great fun most of the time and are always a challenge. I'm also teaching 6 fitness classes a week at the YMCA...kickboxing, yoga, body toning, and step. Kamel just past the half-way point in his 3-yr Family Practice residency. We have all grown accustomed to the long hours, and he continues to enjoy the program.
We will be spending April in the south-west of France where Kamel will complete a month rotation in Rheumotology. His parents will meet us there so they can meet their grandson for the first time. Pan au chocolate, crepes, and many grandparent kisses await! Because of this trip, I won't have any vacation time from work left to meet you all at the reunion this summer. Bummer. But do send an update about it to Ujeni so those of us who can't make it can still enjoy the stories.
The past year my family began the unpleasant experience of surviving breast cancer. My Mom was diagnosed in August and after 2 lumpectomies and a bilateral masectomy, is finishing up her last 2 rounds of chemo before beginning 6 weeks of radiation. The last pathology report showed no cancer, so we are all feeling like the worst is over. My thoughts and respect go out to all others who have had this experience with someone they love dearly. It is a journey that I would never wish on anyone, but one that seems to have it's positive impact through it's terror. Life is funny that way.
So that's my year. Right now I am enjoying experiencing your lives through the stories you send to Ujeni. Pregnancies! Marriage! Burundi! PhD's! What a bunch of life-livers PCV's are. And now, before the baby and Kamel wake up...another cup of coffee. Lutani makola- Tana
Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure... It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brillant, gorgeous, talented, or fabulous? Well, actually, who are you not to be?"
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