December ’03   Annual Letter

Dear Family and Friends

It is a joy to be connected with each of you. In that spirit we share the following.

In March we had a safari to the east coast for the wedding of a foster grandson in Atlanta. Then to New York, to Emily in her Manhattan office and that evening we played surprise hosts of a surprise birthday party for Sandra. Next day we saw Brooklyn through the girls’ eyes. Their apartment was a few blocks from where we left for Africa fifty two years ago! Then to Bethesda MD to admire Betsy and Todd’s new home and their creek-side neighborhood.

In May Roy went on a short training/consulting trip to Kenya.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Together we spent the month of June as follows:

A week in Wellesley MA (Serena’s graduation) and Albany, NY before flying on to Europe. There we had a week around Finland with dear colleagues from Kenya days.

From Helsinki, now joined by Carolyn we took the train “Sibelius” to St.Petersburg. There we had four days enjoying the splashy celebration of the city’s 300th year. It was as picturesque as the brochures promised. Of course behind every historic story narrated there lurked images of the down-trodden and the executed over those years.

Moscow was “second-billing” but still very interesting. Both cities have numerous massive, very sentimental monuments to the slain of WWII.Each monument seemed to have the emotional power of many Twin-Towers.

July and August we were at home with Marilyn at Olasiti in sight of Mt Kilimanjaro and 1 1/2 hour from Tarangire Safari Lodge and National Park. Steve and Marilyn’s place is a veritable three-ring-circle of novel, exciting and meaningful happenings.

We took time out for a remembrance safari through some of Roy’s territory when he was District Medical Officer, Masai in the ‘60s. We also revisited colleagues at Kilimanjaro Christian Med. Center, Moshi (where we were ’98 – 2000).

Near Pangani on the Indian Ocean, at Kwa Joni a Simonson rustic beach lodge, we spent a week loafing, reading, beachcombing and eating lots of fresh seafood.

We spent the last week in Kenya doing a remembrance safari to places and people dear to us from the days when we were promoting Community-Based Health Care (‘70s & 80s) with AMREF and MAP.

Here at home in Albuquerque our regular diversions include: BSF, CMDA, symphony and “Keenagers” (seniors). Directly or indirectly we are constant “spectators” of the lives of our grandchildren. Their activities have included: horse show competition, teaching in Cairo, motocross, producing a great grandchild, American football, National Honor Society, rugby distinction, piano skill, IVF staff, Fulbrighting in Morocco, varsity soccer, business research team, amtgard, rock band, lacrosse, Barbie dolls and climbing Oldoinyo Lengai (9,400’)

Then there is the constant kaleidescope of colour that characterizes New Mexico. For example, the balloons which often land in our park three blocks away during the October Int. Balloon Fiesta.

Our Christmas atmosphere will be brightened by the presence of Dave and Debbie (Bangladesh), Betsy (DC), Gini and John (Tucson) and of course Dan and family here in Albuquerque.

In a world and year of anguish we are grateful for the sanctum of personal trust in the One who transcends it all. We trust that your Christmas will have both inner and outer sparkle, the gift of some heavenly harmony and realistic hope for a better ’04.

Roy and Betty

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