Dear friends and family,
We're delighted to come to you this year via this little missive, to share with
you some of our activities of the last year(s). I may throw in a few events
from several years past, since we've been so bad about letting people know
The biggest question in some minds might well be "Who is that darling girl with Anna and the boys?" Most of you know that we've been working on a Haitian adoption since 2007, and Rosemanie finally popped in on February 16th of this year.
|The earthquake in Haiti shook her loose, one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak moment in time. Rosemanie has done very well since arriving, and is fitting into Ft. Thomas and Long family life with apparent ease. She is now in the 7th grade, working with an ESL teacher while otherwise taking the usual 7th grade fare. She likes soccer, volleyball, sports in general, and even seems to like the snow, sledding, snowball fights, etc.|
Thaddeus is a generally happy and friendly boy, doing well in school, with lots of friends and many fun activities. He likes soccer, kickball, recess generally, riding bikes, playing with friends, legos, math, and certainly reading. He's especially delighted to have a sister to play with, and to ride bikes with. He loves to have brother Tchapo come for a visit (especially when he brings his Wii, of course).
Tchapo is doing well in Louisville, where he lives with his girlfriend Abby (who is a social worker). He's working for Insight (a cable company), selling cable services, and he's recently started back to school (with an interest in business, but he's not quite sure just which facet of business yet). He's going to Indiana University Southeast, which isn't too far from home. Tchapo continues to be interested especially in music, and hopes to get a few tunes he's written onto the Louisville HipHop station. We'll see!
Anna is busy with her two kids, and especially with a daughter! She and Rosemanie like to communicate in French and Haitian, even though Rosemanie is already quite good in English. Anna is finishing her third year (of three) on the First Presbyterian Session, where she's been chairing the Congregational Life committee. I know that she's done a great job of that, based on her committee's activities and the kind words shared by those who work with her. Anna is still working at Highland Nursing Home when she gets a chance (she is part-time, and gets to choose her own hours, which is very good: we need a lot of flexibility!). She likes caring for her elderly friends (and puts up with the rest! There really are some bears over there...).
I'm busy with teaching at Northern Kentucky University, and with a few fun research projects. My focus for the last several years has been a study of the data of climate science, and my conclusion is that we're in for some nasty climate. Ask me if interested (some, especially political leaders, are not!). I had a chance to play some outdoor soccer on an over-30 team this year, and I really liked that. The only thing that made me mad was that my little brother Thad played for me one game while he was in town, and they keep asking if he'll be back! Story of my life with that rascal....;) I'm in a master's program called the Global Field Program, and one of the really great things about the program is that I get to go to some neat places. I went to Belize in August, to investigate the local flora and fauna. What a beautiful place! We came in contact with manatees, jaguars, and a host of other interesting critters. But it was good to get back to my critters.
For those of you who know Kpandja Djawe, Anna's brother, he's doing great: he'll soon be finished with his Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati, where he studies epidemiology and biostatistics. He's publishing papers, flying around the country (most-to-be-envied locale -- Hawaii!), and doing great. He won a special Fellowship this year, and is supporting himself (and even finding some extra funds to send back to his family). So he's living the All-American success story, while being Togolese! There's also rumor of love in his life, but you'll have to ask him about that....
It was wonderful to see so many friends from our migratory past!
A mission trip to Hazard, KY followed, featuring Uncle Steve and Grandma Long again. We enjoy that annual trek to the coalfields of eastern KY, where we hope to make a difference in the lives of some people who haven't as many material blessings as we do, but who certainly have many other gifts that we enjoy exchanging.
Just a few days back we hosted our dear friend Ivy Solomon, the missionary with whom we stayed while in Haiti. She makes an annual trip north, to visit with folks at Christian Flights International (and her family), but she's kindly agreed to stay with us each of the last two years while here. This year she celebrated her 90th birthday: that's a long time doing good in the world, and she's racked up a lot of chits to help get her past St. Peter and through the pearly gates. Keep it up, Ivy!
Love, The Longs