Souss-Maldonado Newsletter 2018

January 21, 2019 at 3:44 pm Leave a comment

Dear Family & Friends:

2018 is over, finished…a new year has started.  In the words of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, “And now let us welcome the New Year, full of things that have never been.” And we do welcome the new year! To 2019!

The biggest highlight of 2018 was that “el nene” graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a BS in Aeronautical and Occupational Safety.  YES!  And even more special was the fact that Johann was able to come from Tanzania to be part of the celebration.  What a special family moment this was for us – simply unforgettable!

This year again I started the year getting together with other great women and men trying to see how we can make this world a better world for our children and our grandchildren.  Even though I didn’t make it to DC this year, Miami organized itself and dressed up in pink.  There has to be an end to the hatred this administration is spreading, and end to the corruption, to the belief that there is a superior race, or a unique religion.  We’re all the same regardless of color, sexual orientation, religion, beliefs.  I don’t impose on anyone my beliefs, so please don’t impose on me yours. “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” ~Maya Angelou~

I continued to study Portuguese.  In the Spring I took Business Portuguese.  This was an awesome class and we learned about business etiquette-loved watching the students in the class.  We had to make a final presentation dressed up in business attire, it was great! In the Fall I took Revision Grammar and Writing.  This last one I just loved as we were exposed to so many Brazilian and Portuguese poets and writers that I would have never otherwise known.  What a great class!  Lots of essay writing and presentations!  Sahid was patient enough to teach me how to use Prezi for my presentation as he said that only old people used Power Point :-)! My final presentation was on a book that had impacted my life.  This took me down memory lane to when I was in the third grade and my teacher at Wesleyan Academy, Ms. Bery, read us a book called, “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White.  It was my first year at this American school and the first time I heard a book read in English.  That book got me hooked to reading.  The title of my presentation was, “O livro que mudou a minha vida e me ensinou a amar os livros”.  These are my two favorite pictures of the presentation, my third grade picture, quite scary, and a scene from the movie Charlotte’s Web with Wilbur, Charlotte and their friends at the barn.

In 2018 I traveled to Baltimore, MD for the national conference on Continuing Education with a my dear friend and colleague, Mercy.  OMG was it cold!  I’m not used to that anymore!  But the best part of the conference was the visit of Nieves and Jose, whom we met in Kazakhstan in 1998. We have continued to see each other every so often when they visit Miami. They where in DC on vacation and drove to Baltimore to have lunch with me.  How special is that…so many years of a beautiful friendship.

I also traveled to Bethesda, MD in October for the regional Continuing Education conference.  The highlight of that trip, getting together with my cousin Freddie and his wife.  I had to seen him in, I’m not going to say how many years.  Talk about catching up, and great memories.  Great hostesses at their beautiful home in Georgetown.  Que se repita! During this trip, I was also able to get together one night with a former colleague, a dear friend that is like a sister to me.  It was great to spend time with Martha and her husband Tani.

In February we traveled to up north to Viera, FL for Regina’s big 70! What fun we had.  Another alumni reunion from our years of living in Bulgaria.  Counting the days for the next pachanga!


My running decreased quite a lot in 2018 as my lower back and neck decided to act up too many times.  I don’t remember being out so much from work, especially because of pain and because I couldn’t move.  Too many visits to the doctor and to many drugs to see what would make me feel better just made me physically and emotionally worse. I decided to start doing more Yoga and Ta Ichi in addition to bicycle riding and walking…more lower impact exercise.  My goal is to continue doing the same in 2019.

And the girls continued to have fun and more fun, and read a little less :-)! We did manage to sneak in two books, “Origins” by Dan Brown (didn’t like that much) and “A Gentleman in Moscow : A Novel” by Amor Towles which I adored! L.I.F.E.’s therapy sessions, world solving conversations, book discussions, and silly conversations are the best medicine after a long and intense week at work.  Girls just want to have fun!

At the beginning of August I went to visit my sister in Charlotte as she was having cataract surgery.  Everything went great and a couple of weeks laster, Sahid went to spend time with his aunt and take care of her for the operation of the other eye.  They had a great time together.  I was much more stricter with her recuperation than Sahid was.

As for the boys, Pedro continued to travel for work.  He was in Malawi, Trinidad & Tobago, Peru and at times, several times a year in those places.  Johann is still in Tanzania and we’re so proud of the work he is doing with Sanku .  Sahid is happy as can be now that he has graduated.  In the fall he decided to take for fun a sign language class as he has always been fascinated by this.  He also completed his FCC General Radio Telephone Operator License.In the new year he will register to do the Principles of Project Management (CAPM®) and take the certification test. He has been offered a job at an auto body shop where he will train in welding so that he can then become certified. 

We had quite a number of visitors this year.  At the beginning of the year our dear Bulgarian friends came from DC to visit.  My cousin and her husband also came to visit and stayed with us one weekend.  And an unbelievable surprise was my high school friend Norah that lives in Germany.  She came to Miami for a wedding and she was so dear to take time from her busy schedule to get together.  Our traveling companions, Colbert and Isabel, also came to visit us-that was a fun night at the Lebanese restaurant.  My college friend, Joe was here on business and also took time to have breakfast with us – too bad that the service at the Rusty Pelican was so awful.  What one sacrifices for a great view on a gorgeous day.

In the fall Pedro and I took a trip to Peru with our traveling partners Colberg and Isabel.  Talk about being ambitious and wanting to see everything there was or ever was in Peru.  We started in Lima where we visited the famous Larco Museum and Gold Museum.  We also ventured south to visit Paracas, Ica, Nasca and Islas Ballestas.  We had seen a desert, or an oasis, and this was quite an experience for us.  More so because, and this was not included in the tour package, we experienced a 4.1 earthquake that had me screaming like crazy and the rest of us running our of the hotel room in our pijamas.  The Nasca lines were fascinating – but the tiny plane and the turns it took so people on both sides of the plane could get a good look at them, was quite impressive.  Islas Ballestas was unbelievable – I had never seen sea lions so close.  Of course the highlight of the trip was Machu Picchu, which I had visited in 1975, and would see now as a seasoned tourist.  On our way there, we stopped to visit other ruins, in addition to the wonderful tour of the City of Cusco: Sacsayhuaman, K’enko, Tambo de Pucapucura; Tambomachay, Pisac, and Ollataytambo where we took the train that would take us to Aguas Calientes, the last stop before taking a bus up the mountain to get to Machu Picchu.  I took a couple of pictures and compared them to when I had visited in 1975-I’m a lucky girl to have been able to visit twice. What a memorable trip, the people so nice, and the food, everywhere you went, no matter how simple or how fancy the place was, you ate like royalty.  It was an awesome trip and the one thing that I will never forget is the traffic in Lima.  I will never ever complain about PR or Miami traffic again :-)!

Sacsayhuaman Ruins 1978 and 2018

Machu Pichu 1978 and 2018

What a way to end the year than to be at home with our family.  And were we happy to see Puerto Rico back to the Puerto Rico we have always known, pachangas in the plazas, the beaches full of tourists, everywhere you went, there was happiness and hope. It was also a very special vacation because the four of us were together.  And the icing on the cake was Tyler’s visit.  Christmas in Puerto Rico with your family is absolutely the best!



With my Father’s best friends!



And so they year went. We are looking forward to 2019, a new year and a new beginning with the hopes that we all can contribute to make this a kinder world, a safer world, a cleaner world, a tolerant world.

It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.” ~Nelson Mandela~


Wishing you love & peace!  Pedro, Mili, Johann, Sahid, Lupe and Rocket

Entry filed under: Newsletter.

Souss-Maldonado Newsletter 2017 Souss-Maldonado Newsletter 2019

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