Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hello Friends and Family.
Little did I know at my last post in March that it would be December 5 before I saw Kosovo again! We have a beautiful new grandson, Leo Aaron Ludwick, who was born on May 11 as healthy as could be. Charlie came home in June to see little Leo and to take me back but unfortunately our Kat contracted a very serious type of staph infection from the hospital and was deathly ill. She was in the hospital almost two weeks and then on very heavy duty intravenous antibiotics for 45 days. Thank goodness the antibiotics worked and she is now much better. Of course, I stayed to take care of little Leo and his mommy. I was so glad to be there! I feel so very fortunate that this ended well. I also have a new appreciation for life and living it. Don't ever take it for granted.
So we are back in Kosovo. We returned on December 5. There have been quite a few changes here. Charlie signed up for another year here and has a new job as the Vice-President of the Assembly of EULEX Judges and as such sits on the Kosovo Supreme Court. He moved to Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, in October so I am learning a new city and meeting lots of new people. And we also decided to bring our dog, Sadie, with us. She is adjusting but the noise, smells, and new environment have been a bit stressful for her. We did find a very nice pet store and vet so that was good.
It has only been four weeks since we got here but we have been very busy. The first couple of weeks I think we ate out with someone practically every night. I enjoyed meeting Charlie's co-workers and friends and they do have some very good restaurants here. We took a quick trip up to Mitrovica (our first home here) for a holiday party with old friends from there. It was so much fun and I really enjoyed seeing all the familiar faces. The new mayor of Mitorvica has an ambitious new plan to "beautify" the city, especially along the riverfront. It was nice to see that they are trying to improve their city.
We spent Christmas with our good friends Piero and Renatta Smaniotto in Lucca, Italy. We were there a week and it was a week in heaven. I'll write an entire post about it later - with photos. Piero and Renatta are not only lovely, warm, kind, fun people but also the best host and hostess ever! We had a wonderful time. Poor Charlie did come down with the flu Christmas night and was sick the rest of the time but what a place to be sick! He laid on the couch reading and enjoying the Italian hospitality.
So now we are back and settling in. We are planning on traveling - Charlie has found some beautiful places in the area to visit - and we are looking into trips to Istanbul and Egypt during the winter. We are going to Dublin in March for Maggie's birthday.
Welcome back to the blog! I hope I have some interesting and fun stories for you all.
Happy New Year!

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