Merry Christmas

Riding Santa's Sleigh The word of the year for 2008 has been “anticipation.” In the fall of 2007, we applied and were accepted into the Peace Corps. We knew nothing more until March, when we were told to expect a placement in Eastern Europe. We waited longer, until August, when we received our official invitation to Ukraine beginning in March 2009. And, now, we're eagerly (and nervously) anticipating this next big adventure!

Barackolantern In the meantime, we're trying to get our fill of life in Carrboro, NC, and the USA. We still really like our little community of Carrboro. Emma loves wandering around the weekly Farmer's Market, and we've been trying to eat lots of good, fresh, local food. Alex started our volunteering with the Obama campaign in July, and we both met lots of great people doing that. Every weekend we were in town between July and election day, we knocked on doors, registered new voters, and talked with people about the election. We were very proud to have helped “turn North Carolina blue” in November!

Alex was promoted to a management position at iContact in March. He enjoys working at such a growing company (Alex was the 15th employee in 2005 – they now have 150!), but misses some of the web development work he was doing before. Alex has been playing hockey at least once a week, on the Pylons rec team. He's a great skater, and with the exception of a dislocated pinky finger, he's holding up alright.

Riding Camels in Mali Emma continues to teach sexual violence prevention programs in area schools, working at Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Chatham County and volunteering with the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. She enjoys working with a variety of classes, speaking with Kindergartners through High School students. Emma's biggest event of the year was a trip to Mali, West Africa, with the Griffises to visit sister Anna. After a week and a half of exhaustive traveling ( Timbuktu, camel rides, Dogon Country, boat trips, Djenne), they spent a week in Anna's village of Kourouma. It was a tough trip at times, but very interesting to see how people live in such a different part of the world.

The McHardys in Hannibal Other travels included a week of skiing with the Griffises in March at Alta, Utah, a weekend for Emma in New York with college friends, Thanksgiving with the McHardys and Kunzas in Missouri, and a number of weekends spent in Ashe County, NC. After Christmas at the Creek and New Years in Hannibal, we're looking forward to a calm January before our lives are turned upside down! If all goes as planned, we'll leave our jobs mid-February and spend 5 or 6 weeks traveling the country and visiting family and friends. We're scheduled to depart for Ukraine the last week of March – fingers crossed!

We hope your Holidays are filled with family, friends, and some time to relax. Here's to a peaceful, happy, and exciting 2009!


Alex & Emma

Now take a look at our year in pictures!