Nu Alpha Phi
President's Letter (Mar)
President's Letter (Nov)
Editorial (Paul's Last)
Odds and Ends
Editor's Back Page (Redux)
Update Your Address
I have a new home address and e-mail address. My home phone number is still the same, and is now working.
[Sent dues and a Scholarship donation in the name of Abe (Albert Butler) Crittenden ‘34 #146.]
[Sent dues, and Wash and Scholarship Fund donations.]
[Sent dues and back dues.]
Alison and I will be attending the Oikocredit International meeting in Bonn in June [2005 –Ed.]. This is a development bank, now the biggest funder of microcredit funds in the world. I spend most of my volunteer efforts promoting it.
[Sent dues and cabin, general, and Scholarship fund donations.]
[Sent dues and back dues.]
[Sent dues and back dues.]
[Sent dues, back dues, and cabin, general, and Wash fund donations.]
All goes well. I’m still making better emissions control catalysts—now for diesel engines and fuel cells for Delphi Corporation. “Hi,” to all the ‘66 guys.
Happy Holidays [2005 –Ed.]!
I am breaking down and sending an email letter this year. I wish I was a little more computer literate and could manage something beautiful without spending the next 6 weeks reading manuals ... 2005 in a nutshell (hah!):
We now call Bangkok, Thailand home and are quite settled in with house, friends, school and work. Sharing the highlights of the year would take a novel, so I will suffice it to say that there is a banana tree out my office window, our kids order Gai Pad Met Ma Muang for dinner at restaurants (but still prefer pizza when it is on the menu) and call a baby elephant their friend. Todd plays rugby in Lumphini Park in Central Bangkok and works with a woman named Pig. We live in a lovely old house which has an ancient propane stove offering the choice of OFF, Low Flame and High Flame for baking - not that I'm inclined to use it!
Our manic states of awe and frustration at many things here have led Todd and I to the inescapable conclusion that Thailand should be the recommended treatment for control freaks. We have learned to do what the Thais do - smile while saying “Never mind!”
What started as Todd spending 6 months opening a small software development office for a subsidiary of Reuters, has become a sizeable and growing endeavor and a great professional adventure/challenge for Todd. Todd's growing group of software developers is part of the huge Reuters presence in Thailand. He gets in some rugby and golf now and again and often finds himself assigned to pony ride duty at the school fairs.
Sierra and Ethan are enrolled at a small international school that is closely affiliated with the Washington International School in Washington, D.C. They have settled into 1st and 3rd grade intl. baccalaureate curriculum nicely, and although they speak English at school, are learning Thai with the facility of youth. Life here is an adventure in affection for them since Thais love children - especially blonde ones who can hold a simple conversation in Thai.
I am mostly doing the job closest to my heart - helping at school, cheering on sports teams, monitoring homework, etc. In February, I will be doing an exciting project with the Thai Red Cross to provide three theatre and self-expression workshops with tsunami orphans in Khao Lak on the west coast of Thailand. There is a lot to do here, but I am trying very hard to avoid my genetic heritage; chronic-over-commitment syndrome.
The eternal construction in urban Bangkok is to blame for our most recent relocation which occurred in November. We have moved a measly 7 blocks, but it is enough to get us away from the 26 storey condo building that was blossoming from the earth (17 hours a day, 7 days a week for the next two years) 15 feet from our bedroom window. Our latest house has Aussie and Kiwi kids next door, a basketball hoop, a pet friendly garden, and a community pool next to the house, which makes our house the neighborhood kids' favorite haunt.
Currently, we are enjoying some remarkably cool weather and feeling fortunate to have Barb and Walt (Kel's Mom & Dad) here for Christmas. Somehow it makes up for having to buy our first faux Christmas tree.
With any luck, you can find us at the address below until August 2007.
We wish you a wonderful 2006!
Love, Kel, Todd, Sierra and Ethan
[Rich has a new e-mail address.–Ed.]
[I wrote to Sabine, living in New Orleans, and asked after her health and safety. Here’s her December 22, 2005 reply (with permission, of course). –Ed.]
Hey! Thanks for the email. Yes, I am safe, and mostly sound. What a crazy thing to have happen in one's life! I mean, the storm, flooding, etc. happens to communities all across the Gulf of Mexico almost every hurricane season. But what happened here in New Orleans is just bizarre: the mandatory evacuation of an entire city....for months!
The short version: We got about 4' of water in our house for about 2 weeks. I was living and working in Houston until I could come back. Donnie was living and working in Baton Rouge (also bizarre, as that city doubled in size overnight, which causes all kinds of infrastructure issues.) I came back to New Orleans October 29th and lived in my brother-in-law's apartment (without gas service - no hot water or heat) until a couple of weeks later when our house got power. We didn't have gas service either, so we basically only slept there and I would get up every morning and go to my in-laws to shower, before going to work. We now have all utilities and are living in the upstairs of our house, the downstairs is gutted and still drying out (wood studs take quite some time to dry out after having been submerged in water for 2 weeks!) I lost my job, and found a new one, but our offices are in a downtown building that is not currently being renovated. They are only allowing limited access a couple of days a week, haven't had power and haven't even boarded up the broken windows, so I've been mostly working from my house.
An interesting angle: a few weeks ago, the newspaper published a map of the city during the 1870's, showing the developed areas and right next to it a map showing the Katrina flooding. And what, might you ask were the similarities? Well the 2 maps were almost identical! Reason: before the levees were built, the entire area flooded regularly! The older structures were naturally built on the higher ground. The building of the levees actually created problems instead of solving them: allowing lower areas to be developed in addition to creating a barrier that prohibits the water to recede naturally, after the area has flooded. (Our house originally had an unfinished first floor, sort of like a beach house. It most likely flooded numerous times in it's 80 year history. Also, the older houses are built out of cypress, which grows in water, in the swamps, and is therefore impervious to rot.)
Thankfully, all this means that all the old areas that really define much of the charm of New Orleans, as well as draw in the tourism dollars (i.e. The French Quarter, The Garden District) fared quite well.
So, that's about it. New Orleans is a very interesting place to be right now. There's such a feeling of working together, of closeness, of re-established priorities among the residents. No one gets upset when you're late for a meeting, or when there's a wait at a restaurant. Every business is short staffed and is operating on limited menus, limited hours, limited inventory, etc. Every business meeting starts off with a conversation about how everyone fared or an update if the participants already know each other. And yet, no one really complains - because more than likely you would come across as selfish because everyone knows at least a dozen people who have it worse than they do. It is a place where you can witness the triumph of the human spirit on a daily basis. As crazy as it might sound, I am glad to be here during this time.....
Love and light,
Sasha Devi Panisset (9lbs, 9 oz.) was born Sunday March 5th at home on Oakland. We are rolling with the challenges of having a newborn and a toddler. It's amazing how much one forgets. Kira loves her baby sister, and is really embracing the role of big sister. Colin and I are doing well.
We're at two kids now (and it looks like it will probably stay at two). I'm an Associate Professor at CWU (just tenured/promoted this year) and Michelle Foster ‘89 #1009 is an Assistant Prof at CWU (hired tenure-track last year), so we're pretty rooted in Ellensburg now. You can find some of the stuff we're doing online, I've got a photo album on our website. Some hiking along with the typical family vacation stuff (Florida last year was interesting, we were evacuated when Rita came through).
Hope all is going well with you and yours,