Wow, it’s December 30th 2010 a few more hours and this year is over, too. 2010 was a major year for us. Talk about change. It started with a fantastic christmas gathering in South Dakota with the family tribe that adopted us over the last six years. I love big family get togethers where everyone catches up on everyone’s life, stories and laughs shared over constant food intake and use of everything we gave each other for Christmas as presents, Well needless to say, the trip ended bitter-sweet, when we bade farewell to go to Switzerland. I have written sufficiently about our experiences in this little geographically and mentally land-locked country, so no reason to regurgitate.
Fast forward to the end of March, where I fond myself on a plane back to Minneapolis – home. I had a great week before I left. I was able to take a few days vacation and spend it with my parents and in-laws as well as friends in Germany. It was great. I saw how my friend Ralph and his wife are working so hard on getting their chocolate and coffee import going. How deliberate they are when it comes to creating a unique product portfolio, that will differentiate them fork their competitors. And I have definitely enjoyed the unimaginable generosity they have shown me when it comes to sampling their basement – Jesus H. Christ, think of The wine cellar at Chateau Lafitte, but for Chocolate lovers and the really good stuff in larger quantities at more affordable prices – Thank you two for these moments of bliss. As a side comment, we all know the Italians are the true masters of style and taste (you don’t believe me, my aunt in Italy out-cooks your aunt blindfolded anytime. My cousins look is what the high fashion models want to look like when they are grown up. Rest my case with this little shout out and live to Stefan, Claudia, Judith and “Auntie G.”), but they are also the masters of marrying Chocolate with roasted hazelnuts – to die for.
Anyway, so I arrived in Minneapolis, where we were greeted by friends. I had a great Summer – as you may have gathered – the Summer of Markus. Lots of mountain biking, running, swimming, lots of photography a bit consulting. Plenty of thinking and reading. All of this was a great gift, because it allowed me to re-evaluate my life and determine what I want to do in the future. It also showed very clearly, which people are there for me no matter what it’s showed my true support system ad I have a lot of people to be grateful for. Grateful for the laughs, the conversations, the help in finding a job and getting interviews, the words of encouragement and an unwavering faith in me and last but not least to make a few dollars assisting and teaching me at the same time – you can’t argue, when you are getting paid to learn.
Fast forward to August 30th 2010, where we embarked on another epic adventure to Bangkok Thailand, where I have found employment and a real mission in life. I can honestly say: “I love what I am doing, everyday.” Yes, I fall asleep on the way home because I am drained, but I know I have made a difference everyday. I have helped to make progress, to develop people to reach their full potential and best of all, I am learning at the same time so much myself. The first four months flew by so quickly, amazing. What a wild ride it has ben so far.
Over Christmas, we had to go back to the States to take care of some personal business. Talk about a time and seasonal shift. We were leaving Bangkok in Sumer temperatures and arrived with a six month and thirteen hours time shift in sunny, but wintery Minneapolis. This was the first time in months, I had to wear socks or an undershirt or a hat or a scarf…I was motherf$%#*#$g cold the whole time. But it was also great to walk through the snow, see the sun glisten, soak in the cold air, walk on frozen lakes and of course shovel that snow. We got to met with a few friends and we got to spend another Christmas in the bosom of the Westphal-Hansen-Reinbold clan – always a huge treat.
Well and now, is 5:30AM on December 30th 2010, I am still suffering from the thirteen hour jet lag and wide awake at the oddest of times and dead tired when it’s most inconvenient and I have just strolled down memory lane for the last twelve months.
So all that’s left to say is, I wish to all of you a happy new year. May your dreams come true, may you enjoy life, may better things come your way in 2011 and may find it in your heart to still count your blessings.
Thanks for a great year … on to 2011.