our friends and family:
2008 was a pretty boring year. Until we hit the road.
January, Mary Margaret went to a conference in New Orleans and also got
to see Terri Antholzner (35 years seemed to melt away), and her nephew
Marc and his wife Irma Nuar. In February, Mary Margaret headed to
Maryland for a Board Meeting for Camp Mark 7, while Jim stayed home and
practiced with the choir.
In April we went to Ireland
with the St. Joseph (Lee Center) and St. Mary's choirs. We chartered a
bus and toured the south part of the island from Galway Bay to Cork to
Dublin. Mary Margaret enjoyed staying in Limerick to see where
her Great-great grandparents (Fox) met & married. Jim enjoyed
the beer and whiskey. The scenery, people, history, architecture, and
shopping were pretty cool too. The Rome Observer story tells some of it; our photos tell more.
We had a “120 year” (the sum of
our ages) birthday party for the two of us in May. In June we went to
Boston to see Marieke walk in the graduation ceremonies of Harvard
University. We were there to help celebrate her masters' degree
(December 2007, actually), and enjoy speaker J. K. Rowling. Oh, the
In July we drove two Deaf students to Michigan to a Leadership Camp in the Irish Hills, and visited some of the family.
years of planning by Mary Margaret, the Van Hout family International Reunion
happened August 1-3 in Rhode Island and was attended by over 90 people
from Belgium and across the US. It was a grand, fun time.
mid-August, we were off to Madagascar to see Kateri. We lived among the
Malagasy for a week, and as Vazahas (tourists) for two weeks, so we got
to see many aspects of the island. We came back with lots of stories
and memories, and no malaria. Glad to rest our
Leo's family went to Wilmington NC for the baptism
of their Godson, Christian Clinch, in January. In May, Leo and
Katie headed to Las Vegas for business & pleasure, while we had fun
with the little girls. In August they joined in the reunion and
planned the BBQ finale. Katie was in her friend Sue's wedding in
October. Leo judged an apple pie contest (tasting all 42 pies),
and insulated his attic (Jim helped, and MM tended the girls). The
girls are growing fast. Avery had her 3rd birthday in November and
Annika will be 2 in January.
Jan-Luc had the best year ever -
and it started with a fire in the new apartment he moved into! He overcame this setback by building an
authentic German Beer Garden
in his backyard straight out of the middle ages. That took some time
but he also worked on several documentary, narrative and commercial
pieces. He's currently writing an Alternate Reality Game and has his
toes in other mind bending, cross-media endeavors. He lives in New York
City with his roommates' cat Fera. Check out his blog and his movie
2008 has been a year to remember. She continues work in downtown Boston
at The Bostonian Society as Collections Manager, researching and caring
for the museum's object collection. She also moved back into Boston
from the suburbs and happily dumped her car for public transportation.
In May she participated in a session at the Salzburg Global Seminar and
visited friends in London. Other trips this year included New York
City, Rochester, Chicago, and Acadia National Park with her boyfriend
Curt. Highlights for this year include graduation, greeting family at
her museum during the Van Hout International Reunion 2008, and
having a blowout party for her 30th birthday. She does a great walking
tour of Boston, so come visit!
Kateri is still in Madagascar, teaching English, and will return next summer. The Rome Observer is there with a front page story.
|Kateri Van Damme|
Lycee Victor Miadana
has a blog which describes her activities; Marieke controls access to
it, so you need to write her (or us) to see it. She checks
her e-mail and Facebook only occasionally when she gets to the
capital, but has good cell phone reception (except for the 1 second
time delay, and 7 hour time difference). Texting works pretty
Mary Margaret still is the
Director of the Syracuse Diocese’s Deaf Ministry. It's part-time,
so she has taken on other part-time jobs as a free-lance interpreter.
So now she's working more than full-time.
MC, our old deaf
cat, still complains about everything. So does Jim, who still works as a consultant at
the Air Force Research Lab. He tends our asparagus patch and websites,
and sings and plays guitar in St. Mary’s choir.
E-mail us at vandamme (at) juno dot com (no forwards or hoaxes,
please) and be sure to see the rest of our news, pictures and
stories of Madagascar, Ireland, the reunion, our kids and grandkids,
starting on our home page. We hope you are healthy and happy. Best
wishes for 2009!
Jim, Mary Margaret/Tunkin, Leo & Katie & Avery & Annika, Jan-Luc, Marieke, and “Miss Kateri”
Last polished on 7 December 2008