Tuesday, December 29, 2015

12.29.15 First snow of the season

The first snowfall of the season is always very beautiful and enjoyable. While shoveling the snow, I was remembering that I did NOT miss this activity while living in Yap. The wind blew hard around the buildings in Boston and it was really freezing cold. It promises to warm up a little tomorrow - good thing as I did not shovel the driveway!

And, in terms of the refugees, some were going to try to visit them for Christmas. No further word on the success.

Here are a few pictures of the snow and the Christmas lights and Fionn and Gunnarr playing.


Fionnegan rolling in the frozen snow.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

12.24.15 Merry Christmas to you and your family

May you all enjoy the Spirit of this most blessed Season of Christmas. May you all be safe and enjoy good health. And please do remember  those less fortunate than yourselves and do remember them in your kind acts and prayers. And please do remember the men who arrived on the shores of Yap in that dilapidated green boat. May there be satisfactory resolution of this crisis soon.

We are enjoying very warm weather and I am finally getting used to temperatures less than 80 degrees, as long as I wear my winter coat! We are having rain instead of snow for Christmas, so it won't be a white Christmas in New England this year. Tonight will be spent with friends then Midnight Mass. Christmas Eve is my favorite evening of the year. It is peaceful, and filled with good music, pretty twinkling lights, good friends and good company and good food. I especially love attending Midnight Mass, with the beautiful choir voices and joy in the music.

My very best wishes to you and your family for a very happy and Merry Christmas.

This is just a little tree this year. But, you will notice on the tree angels from Yap and Bangladesh and decorations Ghana and Nicaragua. I will always carry warm memories of the many far away places where I have worked, and the people and places that always will hold a special place in my heart.

And Merry Christmas from Fionnegan and Gunnarr too. And I do miss my dog Shorty. If you see him, please give him a pat on the head and a tummy rub from me! I did send him treats for the holidays.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

12.19.15 birthday week celebrations

Another year and a birthday to reflect on the past, present and future. Decided that I would make some time to contemplate and enjoy things around me. So the twins (Fionnegan and Gunnarr) and I got up early  for our morning walk, "puppy classes" and treats and then after a rendition of Happy Birthday with the dogs wagging their tails to the beat of  the song, we had birthday cake for breakfast, then I went to work.

Usually it snows on my birthday but today we  had rain. Still did not dampen my spirits. The office staff even sung me happy birthday, then I decided to go to Back Bay in Boston. I haven't walked around there in a long time. I expected more lights and festive feelings but made due with what I found in Copley Square and along Newbury Street and Boylston Street all the way to the Pubic Garden. Still, Mr Mayor, a few more lighted trees would be nice. I also went to the top of the Prudential building for the view. Even though it was raining, the cloud cover allowed  for intermittent peeks of the landscape and cityscape. A glass of champagne and black forest cake for dessert made for a nice celebration. The walk was good for  the spirit and soul. While I had no agenda or deep issues to consider, it was the first time  in a while that I had  unstructured time to myself. So many thoughts came to mind, thoughts of the year in Yap and new friends there and the situation of the men on the green boat from India and Nepal, and of course wondering about Shorty. It was a good year in Yap and I hope that at least some of the work I did will make a lasting and positive difference. You never know. Interesting I had an exchange of several texts/emails with one of the PH staff. while having dinner. The connection remains. Also I was wondering what I should do moving forward. No answers, just the luxury of letting thoughts and ideas flow. The right answer will come to  me, with time.

Then I headed for the Boston Symphony where the Boston Pops are playing the Christmas special all month. There was a sing along for the audience with the orchestra and choir with everyone belting out some old favorites for the season. Does this mean I can add "sang with the Boston Pops" to my resume? A very special treat was listening to the beautiful voice of Justin Hopkins, a bass/baritone opera singer. He has such a gift - his voice was a smooth as silk. I could have listened to him all night. And Santa made an appearance and all is right with the world!

The next day it was lunch with a colleague with the same birthday then dinner and a movie with my friend Sylvia. We saw Star Wars - the Force Awakens. It was fantastic. Thoroughly enjoyed the movie. And the evening. If you like action, Harrison Ford, or just a good movie, do see Star Wars. Will not spoil it for you by giving any more comments or any details.

A lot of celebrating, a lot of reflecting, and reconnecting with friends and family. A good birthday indeed.

Here are a few pictures of Boston on a rainy night to share with my friends in Yap (and those who are still  following from India and Nepal):

Boston Public Library. An impressive building inside and out.

Trinity Church and tree. Copley Square, Boston.

Later went  to the top of the hub in the Prudential building and took the next few pictures of the city.


Clouds moving  in fast. Windy and raining. But still unseasonably warm.

John Hancock tower taken from the Prudential Building. Two of the tallest buildings in Boston.


Home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Warming up for the show. I was in the third row.

Keith Lockhart, maestro of the Boston Pops.

A very handsome Santa makes hiw way down the aisle through the audience.

The maestro and Santa share a laugh.

Justin Hopkins. A voice like none other. IMHO. Keep an eye on the progress of his career. He is a star.

From their "Auntie Paula" a basket of flowers to look like Fionngen and Gunnarr.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

12.13.15 update on green boat me

Still no lift on visitor ban at last report. Am very sorry to say that there is no update of the condition of the men. More talks taking place with emphasis to lift this unhumanitairan ban.

Monday, December 7, 2015

12.06.15 Pats lose big time.

No one, and I mean no one, thought the Philadelphia Eagles would beat the mights Pattriots, but they did 35-28. UGH. Long drive home last night. But on the other hand, I traded in my ticket for one in the third row at the 15 yard line.. I have never sat so close and it was great.  You can really see the action. I was so excited to be so close that it hardly mattered I was sitting n ext to a bunch of Phikadelphia fans. We should have won.

Some of the highlights included seeing Tom Brady rushing,passing  and catching the ball. Yes, Gisele is right, Tom can throw AND catch the ball! And he passed Dan Marino's record so now he is  third for passing touchdowns.

One of the Irish Tenors, Dr. Ronan Tynan, sang the National Anthem and it was absolutely beautiful. I have never heard it so beautifully sung - and true to the music. What a voice. It sends tingles down my spine. I wasn't going to record it but once he started singing I did - so please forgive the shaky video as I tried to find Ronan (hard to see around the people in the front). I hope you enjoy it. (Filmed on my new Blackberry Priv)


Pats enter the field.

The new drum corp for the games. They are really good and they seem to have a lot of fun playing.

And a few pregame practice game photos and some shots from the game.

Fans from different cultures. Cool dress.


Service men and women are able to sit in the "Row of Honor".