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I’ve condensed my blogs into one.

Check over here, from the flat, for subsequent and regular updates of my time in London.

How was your Christmas and New Years? I went back to the America for about ten days and spent Christmas with my family in Maryland.

Then one of my teammates and I flew back and spent New Years with a friend and her family in the north of England.

Also, two separate members of our team got engaged!

And one of my work colleagues and her husband announced they are expecting their first child!

So I’ve just sent off my second official newsletter earlier this week. If you wanted to receive the email and didn’t please give me your email address.

I have just a few short weeks here before I’m back to America for Christmas. I’ll return to England December 30, spend New Years a bit further north with a teammate, and return to my work here in London on January 3.

November 5 comes just once a year. I was so excited to celebrate Guy Fawkes day legitimately this year, being in the UK and all. Apparently, it’s just “bonfire night” in the vernacular, although it can be called Guy Fawkes day. And contrary to my research, none of my friends knew anyone who burned a Guy Fawkes in effigy. But that’s kind of okay with me.

It appears it is celebrated with firework displays and eating out of doors.

Sadly, I had to work at night, so I marked the day by making my first trip to the Tower of London, where Guy Fawkes was imprisoned before his execution. I could hear firework going off at night. We had a little celebration planned for Saturday night, so that consoled me.

So two nights later, when we were out in the country, we had our Bonfire Night celebration. Grilled chicken, sausages, “chips”, and toffee for dinner and then the boys set off fireworks.  Now that I know what the common Brit does, I shall continue to mark this day myself.

My dear friend and former roomie (roommate for three full years! top that.) is celebrating her birthday today all the way across the ocean from me. I really miss you, Brenna Joy.

In other news, I’m not generally an observer of Halloween, but exactly one year ago today, I was navigating four little Saudi kids through a neighborhood to ring doorbells and earn candy for their costumes. Half of the time, we were trying to curtail the youngest’s attempts to run out into the street, and it was a really hot evening to chase kids. But it was such a good time.

And still yet, I have had a really good week here. It’s probably the best week I’ve had in London thus far. Several days, I’ve just found myself musing about how this is so unreal and how grateful I am that I am here. Oh, and I ran five miles today. First time ever in my life. Stranger things have happened.

Epping Forest.

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