Blessed is This Life

I’m going to celebrate being alive. I’m also going to celebrate this child growing inside of me.

Yep, that’s right, I’m pregnant!  It’s clearly taken me awhile to announce on my blog, but our little boy is due June 2nd.  I’m now in the last week of me second trimester and doing very well.

Miel & James announcing their little one on the way, due June 2nd 2014.

I was at a Brett Dennen concert last week at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC and was inspired by the lyrics of his song Blessed to share the news.  It reminded me of exactly why I am out in the world the way that I choose to be, whether it is around the world or around the corner at our local concert venue.  Just like my twin sister, who saw Brett at a live recording at Kink radio in Portland with her six month old Teagan.

We only have one life, but we do have the opportunity to give life to another.  It is a crazy and amazing part of life that I feel blessed to experience.

You may be wondering, as I do, what this will mean for my wandering ways.  Truth is, I can’t really say.  The only thing I know for sure is that having a child will change my life forever more.  He’s already been with me to Burundi, Kenya, and the Philippines, so he’s got a jump on the traveling lifestyle en utero.  He was even with me when I enjoyed my numerous runs in Bujumbura and Nairobi, including a 14 mile run that felt like a lovely run in the arboretum.  Little did I know I was pregnant to boot!

I’ve also shared several posts on how Ben Harper has inspired me over the years.  I’ve been fortunate enough to see him at least a half dozen times over nearly the last twenty years.  Looking forward to having both artists inspire me during the birth of our son.

In Peace,


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Reading My Way Around The World

I often find myself with reading themes or streaks.  I’ll read a series of related books until I need a change of pace, and I can’t handle another book about Africa/Afghanistan/Asia, fill in the blank. Lately I realized that I’ve been reading my way around the world, both literally and figuratively.  On my last trip…

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Families Ties around the Globe

As a globe trotter adult, who never traveled outside of summer vacations to California, I sometimes reflect back to those first images that I have of life overseas. My mother traveled in Latin America, bought property in British Honduras (now Belize), flew in a bi-plane into a remote lake in Canada, and sailed from Vancouver…

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Exploring Intramuros Manila

Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to escape work for a few hours and explore the old walled city area of Manila, called Intramuros.  Very nice to relax a bit and see something outside a meeting room or my hotel room in Manila. The Intramuros area is essentially where the Philippines was first colonized, with…

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Typhoon Haiyan Response

I find myself half way around the world, supporting the response to the horrific devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines two weeks ago.  I’ll be based in Manila during my time here, managing donor and coordination meetings and proposals for response and recovery activities.  So when I see the news daily on TV,…

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Carry On

As I settle back in after yet another trip overseas, I consider the bizarre balancing act that a traveler and professional like myself goes through from one day or moment to the next.

24 hrs en route and already a mountain email has piled up. My first day back in the office and I juggle between countries and continents, rarely able to finish one task before another pulls me away. For each country, it is for them as if they are my only priority, and yet I still have to juggle back to the next urgent priority.

I simultaneously attempt to catch up at home, cleaning, shopping, laundry, the normal routines that still build up while traveling. I look at my social schedule for the month and see that there are already an inordinate number of volunteer and other engagements filling up my calendar.

In the end though, you carry on. Somehow it all gets done. You learn to move from one part of the globe to another with relative ease. Overall I couldn’t be happier to be home.



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I heart Nairobi

“You are clearly a Kenyan,” the woman in immigration notes as she searches for my latest visa, with difficulty, in my bulging passport. I actually heard nearly the same thing from a merchant at the Maasai Market on one of my first days in Nairobi several years ago, when I met up with a dear…

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Running the World

One of the activities I’ve been keeping busy with this summer has been participating in a fabulous Run Fit training program for half and full marathon runners offered through Fleet Feet in DC.  I initially considered the program last winter and was deterred by the thought of running every Saturday morning at 7am for 16…

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Seize the Day

As I prep myself for the morning, I read the title of my latest book from a different angle. “I’ll seize the day tomorrow” shifts from a procrastinator’s perspective to one of anticipation. I was about ready to run my longest race thus far, my first half marathon (13.1 miles). There are some days when…

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Capitol Hill Classic 10k

I was excited tonight to finish my first 10k, finishing at 55:40! I just started running a year ago, having done four 5ks thus far, and it feels good to hit the next milestone in running. I met up with several colleagues from my office afterwards for a well deserved brunch and ran into several…

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