[February 17, 2020] Where and Why and What has GMI been doing?

Our last update was sent out on January 13. The GMI team had arrived back to Malaysia from Uganda. The prodigal bags had arrived the next day, none the worse for their adventure. Evelyn and I were anticipating and preparing for our journey to USA.

Many of you have sent messages such as this, “so glad you two have this break to relax, enjoy family, connect with friends, and just get settled into your new home.”

Always an optimist, I have eternal hope that some of these suggestions may become true.

The work of GMI never actually stops as I have shared in previous updates. (People new to our mailing list: you can access previous posts from the toolbar at top of this if you are viewing from your browser).

I will give a quick rundown of our time and activities both GMI-related and personal-life related.

The GMI team was in Uganda December 27 (my birthday) until January 10.

January 1, I ran a 10KM run in downtown Kuala Lumpur.

January 11, the young couple from Nepal, Lomas and Indu Shrestha, arrived to take the course Evelyn was teaching from her skills book which Lomas had translated into Nepalese. This gave him the opportunity to assess if the translation was on spot and to see how the material could be presented in Nepal.

Evelyn taught the skills course at AOIC over two weeks until January 24.

January 14, I abandoned Evelyn to fly to the USA.

January 18, Evelyn participated in the launching of the SLC (School of Lay Counseling) program in Cheras. An all-day teaching.

January 14-21, I was in Virginia, opening and preparing our new home for habitation with important tasks, like getting internet service. I purposefully made appointments for meals with friends to keep me awake during the day so I could get back on USA time instead of sleeping. I also fitted in an appointment with an orthopedic doc to evaluate shoulder pain. MRI showed there are things he could go in and repair, but I opted to just let it be. He said if I find myself back in Malaysia and things get worse, “just suck it up until you come back to the USA.” He is actually quite compassionate and has done several procedures on Evelyn.

January 21-25, a decades-long friend came to Kuala Lumpur for time with Evelyn. She was visiting her daughter in Singapore. She and Evelyn did the city sights and foods.

January 22-28 found me in Texas. I hung with four of our grandchildren and was alone with them for four days while their parents went on a together time.
Back in Kuala Lumpur Evelyn was having meetings, counseling, packing, grading, coordinating SLC materials, mentoring instructors for the program, communicating with Uganda people, beginning an online course through Regent, and perhaps eating and sleeping.

January 29, Evelyn left Kuala Lumpur and flew straight to Texas. We had time with both Texas sons and their families.I realize all the above looks like I was just having fun and Evelyn was focused on tasks. True as always. And to top off this discrepancy, our two Texas sons and I went for an Alpha Dog Weekend together. We ate well, did a 25 miles bike ride, and ran a 10 KM run together which started in a cave. Really unique.

Evelyn had only been in our changed residence for a few days before leaving for Asia nine months ago. She is often asking me where things are. I don’t know either. Still have boxes to unpack.

Plan A is to travel to Uganda the last days of April, teach for two weeks, and then fly from there to Malaysia. We have not yet bought the tickets. I would like to unpack all the boxes before we leave, meet with all the friends on our list, spend time with some of our scattered family, and sit together for a few moments.

February 5, Evelyn, our son Philip, our granddaughter Lydia, our great-granddaughter, Shiloh, and I flew together to Virginia from Texas. Our purpose was to have a five-generation photo with Evelyn’s mom, Iola Manoogian. It all came together in the beautiful picture you see here. Iola will be 99 years old in June and Shiloh is 6 months old.