Saturday, December 24, 2016

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came

Happy Holidays to all! I hope you had a wonderful 2016. I know what John Oliver had to say about it, but for me 2016 was an all time great. For me, 2016 was filled with amazing experiences in India, Turkey, Rwanda and Central Square, Cambridge. I’ve enjoyed being settled in Cambridge and exploring Boston a bit. Regular readers will note that this, the 13th annual edition of my holiday letter is one of the latest editions ever (Dec. 24!) and that is just one more data point that this whole year really raced ahead of me. All through 2016 work was beyond busy, but I continue to love the colleagues and the content and I’ve never done more interesting work with a more talented team.

This year for Dimagi I continued to work with my Cambridge-based Global Services team who is delivering a wide range of projects in Haiti, Nepal, Seattle, Ghana and many places in between. I also spent a fair bit of time working on my own project, a large comprehensive app to streamline treatment of Tuberculosis patients in India. That project team is huge, committed and inspiring and I’m lucky to be a part of the effort. 2016 had 2 more trips to Delhi (and I finally made it to Mumbai, thanks Anushree!). On a trip in July, I attended a fabulous wedding of a colleague and got Mehndi decorations done on my hand:
Erin's amazing wedding in Delhi
I spent a week working in Cape Town in April and it was great to climb Table Mountain again. I also attended some fascinating conferences this year, one on Innovation held in the main assembly hall in the UN in NYC (yes, used the cool translating headset) and also joined the World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey. Istanbul was a great city and I hope to visit again with a bit more time. Our team had a fun off-site retreat in New Hampshire in September and I’d like to go back there for a longer spell as well. Add it to the list!
Me on the floor in the assembly hall in the UN

...and me in Istanbul at the World Humanitarian Summit

While busy with work, (did I mention work??) I also had a really fun year. Working from a Tiny House for a week in Vermont made a particularly busy time at work more pleasant, and now I know where I want to retire. Thanks to Keri for driving up from Philly to cap off the trip with a birthday celebration!

Now for the time warp: In March, I visited Raleigh to see Kate’s senior dance with the Rainbow Dance Company. It was beautiful and Lindy was great in her dances as well. Kate is loving being a freshman at UNC Greensboro (Deans List!) and Lindy is a freshman at Cary High and the second tallest member of the family! (Fine, a low bar but still... She is the baby!) I also got to see the nieces at the beach in August, over Thanksgiving and I’m writing this right now from my sister Lynn’s house in Raleigh for a few days near Christmas.
Lindy, Mom and Kate at Kate's Senior Rainbow show
This year I went to Yellowstone National Park for the first time. It was so cool and I can’t believe I waited this long. The Grand Tetons, really are grand. Old Faithful really is faithful. It was a beautiful trip. If you haven't been, go. If you have, go again!
Me at the big Yellow Stone

In October, I took an amazing journey back to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village to see the young ladies of Eleanor Roosevelt family graduate from High School. It was wonderful to be back in such an amazing place and I’d forgotten how much I love it there. Ornella was the valedictorian and gave a rousing, inspiring speech. I am so proud of her. The sky is just the beginning!
Back in ASYV for Eleanor Roosevelt Family's Graduation!
I also took a quick side trip to nearby DRC to hike up the Virunga volcano. Without being too dramatic, I'm pretty sure it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Thanks to Avi for singing me down the mountain on the hike back down when my fear of heights kicked in. If you can think of an excuse to get there, it’s an amazing view.
Atop the Virunga Volcano in the DRC
Looking ahead to 2017, I’ll be back to Delhi and Cape Town at least and I expect another trip or two will pop-up. If you’re swinging through Boston try to give me some warning and I'll try to be there as well!

Wishing you Peace on Earth and Happy New Year!