2012 has been an amazing year for me! I hope it has been good for you too. As I think about all that has happened this year, in many ways I hate to see it end. Every New Year’s Eve, my family writes in a Ray Family Memory Book all the wonderful, fun and exciting things that happened to us over the last year. Here are some of the things that I will definitely include in our book this year.
- The Aqua Girls: Ava, Caroline, Eliza, Grace, Olivia and Patty. You are the best teammates. I love working with you. I will miss our DI (Destination Imagination) meetings and competing with you while I am in South Africa. I know you will do great at competition this year. I can’t wait to hear about it.
- The Aqua Girls’ Beach Clean-Up: Our Huntington Beach Clean-Up was a lot of work but so worth it. I will always remember the people that helped us make our beach beautiful on that cold, rainy April day. We spent hours preparing for the clean-up, doing things like working with community partners, advertising and writing articles for The Observer, raising money and buying supplies. Thank you again to our community partners, friends and Bay Village citizens that helped us have a successful clean up.
- Winning the Destination Imagination Regionals, taking second-place at the DI State Competition and 11th at Global Finals.
- Global Finals: Traveling to Tennessee, The University of Tennessee, staying in college dorms, meeting people from all over the world, pin trading, watching other groups’ shows, and competing. It was an unbelievable experience!
- Girls on the Run: I love running and learning about eating healthy and drinking lots of water. 5K’s are a lot of fun!
- Starting Bay Middle School: It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about that next year.
- Superstorm Sandy: Living without electricity for several days was not easy. We are lucky that it is over for us, but I think about the clean-up that is taking place in New York and New Jersey. Some of them still don’t have electricity or some of them lost their homes. I hope we all remember them this holiday season.
- Malala: Her bravery is remarkable. I think of her every day as I go to school.
- Getting my ears pierced! Finally! It was a birthday gift from my mom and dad this year. I’m so happy to have earrings now!
- Planning for South Africa: We have our passports, tickets and visas. Now we are packing things up. I’m getting excited, but I know I will miss my grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and teachers. I hope to stay in touch with all of you while I am gone.
It’s been such a great year. It’s hard to imagine 2012 ending. I know 2013 will be so different from 2012 because I will be spending seven months of it in South Africa. I will continue to write from South Africa.
I want to thank Mr. Denny Wendell and Ms. Tara Wendell for letting me write a column for the newspaper. I also want to thank all my readers. I wish you all Happy Holidays!
Fifth-grader at Bay Middle School