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A walk in the woods.

We took a nice walk in Cowleaze Woods after church today – beautiful day for it, and really feeling the benefits for it now.

We saw the memorial to the plane that crashed in the woods back in March 1944 – having being involved together with 1,000 other planes in a bombing campaing on Nuremberg, bright moonlight exposed the planes to enemy fire. This plane made it several hundred miles, almost delivering her crew home, before crash landing in these woods.

We also enjoyed watching the Red Kites soaring above the hill – expending so little energy as they rode the ridge thermal. The Red Kite always reminds me of home, as this graceful bird is used as the county emblem for Powys.

» more about Cowleaze Woods.

» more photos from our walk.

Inaugural invitations.

I’ve been reading Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope (more on that to follow), and came across the following video when browsing today. If nothing else, it shows what a good team Obama has gathered around him for both his campaign and subsequent preparation for office.

I’m particularly impressed at how decisions that may seem small and less-significant are being taken in light of Obama’s stated values – the values that contributed towards his successful election; decisions like printing the inauguration invitations with a small Brooklyn company and on environmentally-friendly paper.

Embedded video from CNN Video

S Novym Godom!

Or, “happy new year” in Russian.

Enjoyed my belated Christmas dinner today, followed by a visit to Caergwrle to see Natasha (working in Russia), and friends (2 Russians, 1 Kazakh, 1 American) over for Christmas and new year.

It was lovely to hear Russian being spoken around me: “our hearts burn for this ministry” – what a great phrase.

What an amazing year it has been, and what a privilege it has been to travel to 2 new continents with IFES this year.

Happy new year.