Sunday, September 10, 2023

Nearly Two Years In Between

Welcome back. It's been a while, hasn't it?

Its been nearly two years since I put down my blog, and much has transpired in the interim. My grandmother's death made me angry - so angry I couldn't write for a while. My relationship with my grandmother was complicated, which, now that we are finally having a memorial service for her, makes writing a eulogy a challenge. Regardless of our relationship however, her death - even at 97- was preventable. It didn't have to be that way, and that anger took a while to deal with.

I also had months of work stress where I cried every day. 

Eric joined the volunteer fire department in January, 2022. I joined the fire department board that fall and the next January, Eric got EMT licensure.

And then in April, 2022, I started travelling again. I masked up, got my hand sanitizer at the ready, wiped down every conceivable surface, and entered a period of time where I was tested for Covid weekly for months, to meet the various requirements of the multiple countries I was entering and leaving. I went to Malawi, the UK, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, between April and December.

Sagrada Familia, Spain
There was also other family stuff that went on, some good, including a cruise with my mom to Spain and Portugal, with a brief sojourn into France and a drop off in the UK, where I extended my time and met with the office in London for the first time in two years.

My work schedule got even more intense, and I scrambled between clinics and airports and inboxes overflowing and weeks where what was supposed to be a 40 hour week included 35 hours of meetings, each one with assignments and due dates and writing that had to happen outside that meeting time. 

We went camping in Glacier National Park with some of our closest friends. 

I deferred all my races in 2022. 

Eric and I camped in Iceland, chasing Northern Lights and sleeping on an active volcano during a last minute long weekend trip over Labor Day. 

Glacier National Park

I got more vaccinations for Covid and everything else. At some point the travel health clinic said "well, there's not much more we can poke you with."

I flew from Rwanda to Germany in December, met Eric and took the train to Berlin to see my sister and her family, who are living there now. We then flew to Greece and toured around for our 20th anniversary. 

We came home to a plan that included not decorating for Christmas and driving right to Michigan for the holiday with my parents. We got turned around by a huge blizzard and ended up staying at home for the holiday, chopping down a tree in the forest, Griswold-style, just a couple days before the holiday and throwing up some decorations. 

We spent New Years' - our actual anniversary - at home and I fell asleep on the couch at 10pm. 

Nairobi National Park

I started travelling at the end of January, and between February and June, had work trips to the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Colombia, Uganda, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Togo and Ghana. 

In between trips, we took a long weekend and camped at the Grand Canyon. 

I did not blog. I could have - there are stories in each of those trip and photos and things I've since forgotten.

We'll see if I actually start again. Here are some random photos from the last two years.

Outskirts of Kigali, Rwanda

Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin

Grand Canyon

Transit by truckbed, along the Thai-Myanmar border

Campervan Northern Lights Setup, Iceland

Sunset, Iceland

Sunrise run, Dominican Republic

Speaking at the opening of an
abuse reporting center, Thailand

Speaking at Day of the African
Child, Lome Togo

Classroom visit, Accra Ghana

Home visit and terrified children, rural Malawi

Sri Lanka

Meeting new friends, Sri Lanka

Ancient Corinth, Greece

Fire Department

Hiking with friends, Glacier

Learning to cook Thai food

Friends who go way back, Uganda

Fellow managers, Bogota Colombia


  1. Welcome Back! (Even if only for this moment.) Thanks for sharing your stories and life with us!

  2. It’s great to read your words and hear about your mission work and your love of Eric and all things nature!