I turned 27 years old on September 8th and I think that most of you already knew that Brooke came down here for a couple weeks to spend my birthday with me (more on the trip later). In the months leading up to my birthday, Brooke had been telling me that she would be giving me the “best birthday present ever” when she got here—I could have never imagined what she had been cooking up. I think many of you already know what she got me but I had no idea and I am surprised that no one spilled the beans.
We stayed in a hotel room for Brooke’s first three nights in Ocotepeque so that I could ease her into the idea of no running water to shower or flush toilets with. On our last night in the hotel, the night before my birthday, Brooke gave me the gift (it was a good thing that we did it this night because she got sick on my actual birthday). I opened the box and read a letter from her. In her letter it said, “I hope all the cards from home offer you support and encouragement”. When I read this, I looked into the box and saw a bunch of letters, and when I started flipping through them and seeing all the return addresses I was so amazed. I can’t even begin to explain how nice it is to get a letter from home (emails are good but there is just something about a card). I spent the next two hours of the night opening and reading all your cards and letters. Some made me laugh, some made me cry, but they were all special and I have probably read them all about four or five times in the last two weeks.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for sending me the cards, letters, dvds, cds, photos, magazine/newspaper articles, and money. They all reinforced to me how awesome my friends and family are and how much I miss seeing all of you. So thank you all. I especially want to thank Brooke for putting all of this together it was literally the “best birthday present ever”…and I have gotten some pretty good birthday presents during my life.