Today I shared photographs of my family with some of the female students here.  Nella, Elisiana, Hana, Diksierta and Etmira all agreed: my sister Anne is shume bukur.  Flipping through photos of last Christmas in Arizona, it hadn’t occurred to me how taken they would all be with her.  My little brother has been movie-star handsome since he was two years old.  But with Anne, it was like they were watching fire-works.  There would be a lull as I went through photos of everyone else, including myself, but as soon as a picture of Anne was on my screen there were audible reactions as well as the more than occasional finger reaching out to point.  You have fans in Albania little sister.  You should be proud, the women here are beautiful. 

I have been missing my family, and missing my church family lately.  I would love to have a few hundred of you move here, if that is a possibility.  I miss Greg Vammen’s laugh, Mary Cowin’s words, and Matt and Charity Weitkamp’s smiles.  I want a hug from Jim Killet.  I want Pastor Bill to look at me and open one half of his mouth while raising his eyebrows to say “You talk to the guy about that thing?  We need to get that taken care of.”  I want to see Dana and Leigh Nunn beam as their son Jack stuffs his hands into his mouth.  I miss the Rohrbach sisters.  I want to see Brynn and Matt looking like two freshly-ironed-million-dollar bills; Cody Rieff on the drums, Wookie on bass; my mom and dad in the nursery; the Roots everywhere at once.

This Sunday or next, I would be honored to know that you gave my folks a hug and said “this is from your son.”