A week of joy and gratitude

Qatar Airways #707 arrived at Washington Dulles Intl (KIAD) at 03:38PM EDT from Hamad Int’l (OTHH/DOH)

A huge sigh of relief to see this message in my email again this morning: that Sarah Austen arrived home from another adventure. I did not fear the country of Armenia nor Doha where, due to a delayed flight/missed flight, she spent the night in a glorious 5-star hotel, king size bed, gourmet breakfast, took a walk around the market with two guys she had just met, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I suppose I feared the stereotype of the Middle East; the possibility of harrassment of Americans; the incessant random terrorism in the world. I knew all would be well…yet admit that I feared for her life ,too.

She joined her cousin Stu (married to Christy) in Armenia for a Fuller Center week of building a house for a poor family, a bit of touring, and bonding with 6 others, who share her passion for international experiences and doing a bit of good for the world. She particularly adores Stu who brings joy and energy to every moment and Lois, the 80-year old woman from San Franciso. She said she reminds her of Gramma.  They plastered the walls of a home being built for a young couple and their two children about an hour from Yerevan, Armenia. They stayed in a nice hotel in the capitol city with wifi, a gym, and near to restaurants and a beautiful fountain that lights up at night, surrounded by people.

This week also included a visit from a student from Medellin, Colombia. Lucas Ledezma plays the clarinet, just like Adrian, and is staying with us for ten days. He is fun, appreciative, cleans up after himself and is really a joy to have around. We took him to Emilios for jazz on open-mic night. He played and the crowd loved him.

On the day that Lucas arrived, we also picked up a puppy in Staunton (from Windy Hill Pups in Lebanon, Virginia). A Maltipoo like Wiggy-May: hypo-allergenic, happy, and just so darn cute. We named her Lucin, which means “moon” in Armenian. We call her Lucy (when she’s in trouble) and Lulu for fun. Lucas says that the most common names for dogs in Colombia are his names: Lucas and Mateo. So she’s named in Lucas’s honor, too.

Settling in to week #2 with Lucas, Lulu and Sauce home and ready for work. She works at Stella’s Lafayette Market and had a promising interview with the Virginia Film Office.





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