It's not a milestone birthday this year by any stretch, except that I am no longer "l'age du Christ" (the age of Jesus) which seems to be an important age here in Madagascar. Last night I went out with some dear friends and didn't get the molten chocolate cake I wanted (power cuts! argh) but everything else was perfect; lovely friends, wine, laughter, stories, joy.
Another lovely friend said I had to go through my 'year in review" starting with December and naming the highlights of each month. It was so fun to go through this last year and wow, when you put it like this - what an incredible year!!
December - A week away in the most beautiful place on earth.
November - a weekend adventure with friends.
September - "Surprise, you're going to Madagascar!" And being part of the first group to get to see Toamasina, the place we now call home.
August - Shenanigans in London, Windsor, Oxford... then Tenerife and Gran Canaria, Spain
July - Two weeks in Sweden with a treasured friend, seeing the town my ancestors came from... being so near the north pole it was light all night; and then just a few days later crossing the equator in Uganda!
June - French cheese, French wine, French beaches, French lessons, new friends....
May - Flying in an ultralight plane!
April - Weekend adventures with friends.
March - A super busy time of blessing the people of Congo, including a trip to Brazzaville where I was referred to as Mr. Ships.
February - Being so blessed to be able to fly to Seattle for a few days with my heart family during a hard but exceptionally beautiful time.
January - The crisp sunrise in my childhood home, time with family, rest and renewal.
Wow, when I go through it like that, I can't help but get teary. How on earth did I get to be so blessed? Never in a million years did I anticipate this would be the story of my life, of flights and languages and cultures and joys and an overwhelming abundance of love and favor. Thank you, dear ones, for this year. And I can't wait to see what this next one brings.