Happy New Year 2009!

31 Dec 2008

It’s the last day of the year. I’m planning to dedicate some quiet time today to recollect and thank God for the many blessings which have graced my life during the year as well as look back at the major struggles, challenges, setbacks, disappointments and “goodbyes” of the year… and still be grateful for them in helping me mature as a person, and hopefully also grow in compassion, kindness, patience and humility.

It would take too long to ponder and list all the blessings of the year here but I would just like to highlight what for me were major graces and memorable events of 2008 including the “blessings in disguise”:
  • Concluding 2007 and beginning 2008 with a visit to my cousins and aunt in Vancouver and Vancouver Island, BC and going skiing and snowshoeing on Mt Washington! (and to be pleasantly surprised that I never lost my skiing skills after such a long lapse!) Thanks to the Lees for starting my year with such a bang!

  • Receiving a totally unexpected handwritten note and a gift from Olivia Newton-John which I will treasure for life and which only confirms her heart of gold and that she is truly kindness personified!
  • Experiencing the “miracle of sight” as a kind and generous friend sponsored my Lasik eye surgery which means adios to my glasses and contact lenses forever!!!
  • Attending my 3rd Suzanne Vega concert - this time in Singapore! - and sharing some precious backstage moments with her. She’s definitely one of the coolest persons I’m honoured to know.
  • Coming to Kenya for my current assignment as a Daughter of St Paul in the midst of the national turmoil but still remaining safe even until now.
  • Saying “goodbye” to my Dad who passed away last March 25, 2008, the 5th anniversary of my perpetual profession.
Uploaded on authorSTREAM by wendyfsp
(song "Unforgettable" by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole)

  • Completing two major productions (among some other minor ones) – the DVD on the Stations of the Cross as well as the CD, His Grace is Sufficient of songs based on the letters of St Paul (as detailed in previous posts.)
  • Encountering new friends in the convent as well as out of the convent, especially a wonderful bunch of Singaporeans based in Kenya.
  • Recently reviving my Facebook account only to reconnect with long lost friends all around the world (some of whom I have not been in touch with for over 20 years!!!)
  • Safari Stupendous! Well the year certainly ended also with a great bang as I went on my very first (and hopefully not last) African Safari! After almost a year here in Kenya, and longing to see some of the wildlife the country is famous for, my wish finally came true when a friend invited me to join her and her family (including a two month old baby!) on a Safari to Nakuru National Park and Lake Naivasha in the Great African Rift Valley area. Below are some snaps of the trip which took place just after Christmas. The highlights for me were the beautiful and elegant antelopes (the impalas) and the graceful and dignified giraffes! A morning boat trip on Lake Niavasha to Cresent Island was absolutely breathtaking as we got to see hippos and a myriad of different bird species on the way. I took over a thousand photos and video clips in all so it’ll take me a while to sort the snaps and edit the clips together which means I’ll probably share them with you only next year! For now, these are some “preview snaps”!

Thanks for following Notes from Kenya thus far. I hope you enjoyed my updates on life here as much as it was a pleasure for me to share them with you. Thanks for your emails of encouragement and affirmation as any missionary like me would appreciate as I continue to adjust to life here as well as embrace the “mid-life” phase! I hope you’ll also have an opportunity as the year ends or as the new year begins to take stock and count all your blessings. Amidst the wars and violence happening around the world, I pray that you’ll be an instrument of peace and make this Prayer of Serenity your very own this coming year.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
(Reinhold Niebuhr)

Happy New Year 2009! May it be filled with abundant graces for you!

Grace and Peace,


  1. A Christmas Contemplation

    I called Dawn, it wouldn't speak

    Sun I longed, it only hid

    Stars I dreamed, shrouded they shied

    Moon I hoped, only moans were mine

    The tides ceased, seas silenced of waves

    Mountains stood but they wouldn't amaze

    Fire set but it wouldn't ablaze

    Why have they all silenced their ways?

    I called, I waited

    Reason I doubted

    I trembled yet I could not leave

    An abysmal labyrinth of silence so swift

    Cosmos and chaos

    they all stood still.

    Then Silence parted its curtains,

    A moan, a chuckle

    Then, the cry of a child

    Now, I hear them all!

    In solemn adoration

    The city was hustle and busy

    But the stable IS history

    The market sewered with plunder

    The manger savoured Living Water

    The temple mumbled its litany

    Here, the sheperds came, The wise kneeled and angels sang

    Only the hand that erases what it writes is worthy of Truth

    Only the life that embraces its death is worthy of Life

    Only the human who shares the divine is worthy of being human

    And only God who has become human is EMMANUEL.

    Now, there is a glow in the ashes

    Brilliance in the darkness

    Blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones.

    Edward Dass

  2. What a touching and beautiful presentation of "Unforgettable You" dearest Sr. Wendy! My times with you are unforgettable indeed, in Signapore, here in SF and someday will be too in Kenya in His time !

    A Blessed brand new Year 2009 to you and your Community in Kenya and all your loved ones in Singapore ! Love - Daphne, San Francisco.

  3. The wild life shots are amazing.What camera you using?it's always interesting reading your blog.Thanks for the updates...Eunice