December 4 Book. What book – fiction or non – touched you? Where were you when you read it? Have you bought and given away multiple copies?

The book that I read in 2009 that most touched me was Mountains Beyond Mountains: Healing the World: The Quest of Paul Farmer, the Man Who Would Cure the World, written by Tracy Kidder. I started reading this book while I was on the plane to Port-au-Prince (see my December 1st entry), which is appropriate, considering that Paul Farmer started his Partners in Health program at his clinic, Zanmi Lasante , in the Cange region of Haiti. Cange is in the central plateau area of Haiti (if you make a C with your right hand, it is the area in between your thumb and your pointer finger), and it is one of the most depraved areas of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Paul Farmer’s story is truly the story of a man who has been determined to save the world. He is brilliant and passionate, which is a slightly odd combination, considering that many of the brilliant people in the world work for their own gain. His family story is also incredibly hilarious, because he’s from this eccentric family. I recommend it to every and all individuals, although I’ve only gotten my Momma to read it, and no one else. The book is not new to 2009, but it was new to me.

December 5 Night out. Did you have a night out with friends or a loved one that rocked your world? Who was there? What was the highlight of the night?

My “best night out” of 2009 could probably be condensed to a series of nights in the spring of 09 with my friend from grad school, Hillary Harner. Hillary and I (and sometimes our other comrade, Kim) would go out and dance at a club in Adam’s Morgan called Heaven and Hell. Every Thursday night, they had 80’s Night, which involved the employees there dressed up like a Cyndi Lauper video, and only 80s music, and old 80s commercials or videos being projected onto the walls. We were usually the only people there under 30 (people who actually grew up in the 80s prevailed), but it was the most fun OUT that I’ve had in a long time (or at least what the stereotypical “night out” consists of). There was no drinking, but just dancing until we were sweating.

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