I finished out 2011 sound asleep in a bed in a hotel on the Mediterranean in Antalya, Turkey. Why asleep, you ask? Because I’d spent the previous night uncomfortably tossing and turning on a row of chairs in the Almaty airport, trying to block out the very loud opera music playing throughout the airport. Three flights, some new acquaintances, and an astonishingly good buffet later, I crashed and slept for 12 glorious hours.
I’ve just been reviewing photos from 2011 and remembering some of the Father’s blessings in my life this past year. I began the year having newly moved in to Harrison House. Living with Tiffany, Lindsey, and Kassandra was so much fun. I miss those girls, and their hospitality, thoughtfulness, and daily grace and care for each other and all the roommates.
In January, KC got pounded with snow, I got snow days, and some fun with friends ensued. Found out I’d be interviewing in February.
In February, I turned 24 and celebrated with dear friends by drinking Christopher Elbow Chocolate Ale [thanks Chris!] and playing laser tag for the first time ever. Interview conference in Virginia.
In March, I found out I’d gotten a job offer and that I’d be moving to Central Asia for the next couple years.
Through the early spring, I taught an 3 month English class for Bhutanese refugees in Kansas City. Aradhna came and played a show just for them and we danced.
In May, I flew to Pittsburgh to visit my best friend from college, Val. I was challenged by the way she sacrifices for her family daily.
In June, I traveled to Seattle and Bellingham to meet and visit with friends whom I’d only ever known through the internet until then. Meeting and hanging out with Luz, Cole, Jana, and Jessi was pretty awesome. Also unexpectedly met another person in the Northwest who has become quite important to me.
In July, I headed to Virginia for two months of training and preparation. Made some lifetime friends. Rock-climbed, hammocked, prayed, read, listened, knitted.
In August, more of the same.
In September, I headed back to Kansas City for two weeks. September 27th was a very nice day.
In October, I moved to the opposite side of the world, started Russian classes, got to know a new city, made new friends.
November passed in a flash as life in Astana began to settle into a rhythm. I drank my weight in tea several times over.
In December, we said goodbye to Madison and Allison as they headed back to the States. I celebrated my first Christmas away from my family, but in the company of dear friends.
Here’s to a new year of growth and adventure and learning to love more deeply and live more bravely.