In the 80s, Madonna sang: “If we took a holiday / Took some time to celebrate / Just one day out of life / It would be, it would be so nice….”

Well, today is that day for me, my friends.  It is my 44th birthday which in and of itself is not such a big deal as I creep ever forward into middle age – which might as well be Middle Earth for as many jots I give that notion! – but it’s always a nice time to take stock of oneself and one’s life, to think about what you have achieved and what you still want to achieve, and of course to think about the stuff you may not be so proud of, how you can learn from those things, and correct them going forward.

So, this morning I am doing a bit of work simply because I actually really like my job (!!) and also because it’s become a natural reflex to always do something Toa-related every single day.  I will then go for a loooong, reflective walk from the Upper West Side down to SoHo and maybe window-shop or get my Ferdinand on and stop and smell the roses.  To end, I’ll spend time with family and friends this evening and enjoy being back home and over my jetlag and flu for the first day since I left Moshi last week.

Ten days from now, I will celebrate another holiday with family and friends and fellow Jews around the world.  Passover has always been one of my favorite holidays.  It is a time for people of the Jewish faith to commemorate their freedom from slavery at the hands of the ancient Egyptians.  It is also a celebration of Spring, the fruits of the Fall harvest finally ripened and ready to consume.  As the product of a mixed-race marriage (Jewish father and African American mother), the concepts of slavery and persecution, discrimination and hate have been part of the dialogue all my life.  They may have even influenced what would become my career with Toa.

Quickly, I want to take a moment to give a shout-out to one of our tutors at Toa, Glory Mongi, who recently became a mama for the first time.  Little baby Mongi, welcome to the world, kid!  I can’t wait to meet you, who almost shares my birthday, and see if you have this April Aries fire in you!!

Finally, thanks everyone for indulging me with this sentimental post.  With so much happiness and love all around us, it’s impossible to let the bad guys win, si ndiyo?