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gros malin

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I've always voted but haven’t really done much otherwise. One of my two big professional regrets is that I never interned or worked on the Hill. (the other professional regret is not getting a Master’s in Public Health) When I was an undergrad you had to choose between a Hill internship or study abroad. I chose study abroad, and as a result I have a very imperfect understanding of the Congressional forces that affect my life and work. There is no Schoolhouse Rock video for what is going on now.

In 2016 the election campaign was a distant event for me; I found it distasteful and abhorrent. I donated money to HRC and voted for her. That was it. Then politics truly became personal, in the guise of policies that affect my family directly - the Muslim ban to start with. Fear for Mohamed whenever he went on a work trip within the U.S. Strategizing on what to do if he were ever stopped on the road or returning to the US.

In 2018 people I knew and appreciated ran for office (Levi Tillemann, Gina Ortiz Jones, and Brent Beal); my home teacher raised money for the opponent of my other home teacher’s boss; I volunteered for Diversity Declaration which supported Andy Kim. We even got involved in the local school board election (in generally disenfranchised DC). Mo got out the vote on election day in Northern Virginia. And I wrote So.Many.Postcards. By myself and in groups. There's so little I can do under the double bind of working for the federal government and living in the District.

So yeah. Complacency in our household is dead.
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We successfully survived the annual children's program at church.

We learned how to make a lantern at the Freer|Sackler.

And crafted with beans at the National Portrait Gallery.

We voted, for what it's worth. (very little in disenfranchised, "taxation without representation" Washington DC.)

Z's class learned about police officers.

We hosted our friends for an evening.

I went to a reception, then met MoBob at the big protest, then we dined at the Hamilton. Just a typical date night!

Christmas season officially begins with parol making.

What else happened? E's first birthday | kindergartners' visit to the farm | confirming my week in Haiti | moderating a panel at an Education Equity Research Initiative event | volunteering with the Capitol Hill Group Ministry | scoring at the St. Jane de Chantal holiday bazaar
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At the Alliance Française.

At the school's fall festival.

T or T at school, followed by the duck pond, followed by T or T in our complex.

By 7:30pm we were ready to end the evening with Charlie Brown.

I dressed up as a working mom with a box of emotional labor (deluxe edition).
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My Haiti trip was postponed to mid-November so I have some breathing room which I spent digging our winter stuff out of storage. This time I tried to be more organized and took photos of my summer wardrobe so that I don't buy stuff that I already have. I've checked out a number of wardrobe apps but I think a Dropbox file of photos is how I'll keep track. So what's been going on in the past three weeks?

the coop festival on the Mall

the Halloween train

torn meniscus

Filipino-American Heritage Month with the Mindanao State University dancers

GOTV postcard parties

T&T at the local police station

hosting a "sleep"over

park visits

what else?
picnic potluck for a neighbor's exchange student | fall festival at church | Global Health mini-university | Gender Practitioners Collaborative meeting | measuring women's empowerment with the Pro-WEAI | monthly neighborhood moms' night
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I had a pretty mellow birthday. I can't believe I have entered the last year of my 40s. I don't feel any wiser or more mature, quite frankly. I'm confirmed for Haiti in a couple of weeks - very excited.

I gave a talk at a conference at the National Institutes of Health on menstrual hygiene management.

I volunteered for Arts on the Horizon's inaugural 5k run, dominated by a high school track team whose meet had been cancelled.

Z and I went to see a production of "A Fairy Tale Day in Court" in Georgetown. (Mother Goose was the judge.)


Followed by ice cream at Thomas Sweet's.

Then playing on the George Washington University campus.

We attended the Blessing of the Animals at the local Episcopal church, followed by a visit to Blind Whino, our local arts center.

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Crazy Rich Asians
Loooooved it. Yeah, so it’s problematic. So are most films. But most films don’t feature people who look like me or reflect my own experience. (My cousin is a former beauty queen turned wedding planner and she was definitely part of the CRA world.)

Exponent II retreat
My annual excursion into the civilized wilderness with my fellow Mormon feminists. This year there were - count’em - three other women of color! Woo-hoo!
with the lovely K

Z’s surgery
My poor Z was diagnosed with hydrocele (excess fluid in his scrotum) and had minor surgery to drain the fluid while I was in Malawi. He has twin scars on his lower abdomen and is super-disappointed to be barred from sports for two weeks.

Family photos
Normally we’ve taken them in the spring around birthday time (Mo’s and Z’s) or in the Philippines. This time we (I) procrastinated. Oh well. This time we worked with a lovely local momtographer in our neighborhood park.

Soul Rebels
Another friend/neighbor/mom gifted her tickets to Soul Rebels because she had a family event - it was our first time to Union Stage. It was so much fun to see a live concert and right up next to the stage in an intimate club setting.

It’s been raining.

Mo has been car-shopping since our SUV was in an accident a few months ago. We can technically live car-less in our neighborhood except perhaps for Z’s swim lessons (in an obscure corner of Gaullaudet University) and his French class in Bethesda.

Naila Kabeer at the World Bank
Naila Kabeer was one of my grad school heroines and I saw her at a recent World Bank event on women’s empowerment. Her talk was actually a little disappointing but I got to see a lot of colleagues turned friends whom I don’t see often enough. Yes, I do refer to the World Bank as “the death star.”
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