Dear Dr. Akila:
How are you? Its
Zane. I don't know if you remember me, but you graciously had me over your
house when you lived on Earth. How is Mare Nectaris? I really hope your move is
going well. I wanted to update you on my life.
I recently got engaged to a
very special girl named Valdis. She is 21 and is finishing up her astrophysics
degree at the federal compound.
The wedding will be in
August. If by chance you or anyone from your family will be on Earth, it would
be an honor to have you attend.
Here are some pictures from
our engagement party. Sorry that my tie isnt straight. Have a great
Mekhi and I remember you
fondly and are delighted that you are keeping us up to date on the important
events of your life. Congratulations to you and Valdis!!
I don't think any of us
will be on Earth. Both Mekhi and I are up to our helmets with research. Might
you be visiting the moon? We have a guest pod big enough for two.
Also, do you have any
thoughts of immigrating to Luna?
As you probably heard on
the news, the moon is experiencing a military moment. Those colonists on Mars
must have realized that ours are the greater resources. Oh well. Our shields
Zalikii is a full-fledged
teen. Today, I began teaching her about eyebrow tweezing in zero
gravityit costs too much to always switch on the Gfields. That daughter
has friends, attitude and gumption. I love that kid!
Rasmus has blossomed into
adolescence. At thirteen, he is confused, angry, expressive, and sensitive. I
hope that he and I pass quickly through this stage of his developmental. While
he's a good kid, hes simultaneously a good growth opportunity for me, his
mother. Whats more, he sometimes forgets to turn in before nightfall.
Nightfall lasts half of a year, here.
Svana, too, at almost
eleven, is starting to become emboldened. She has strong opinions on
everything, especially on the Lunar/Martian Conflict. Thankfully, she has
mastered Galaxy Speak without an accent and has made friends, some of whom are
Earthstock and some of whom are not.
Ren, who is going into
third grade, is happily chirping, in Galaxy Speak, to his buddies and is doing
what eight year-olds do; lots of virtual architecture, a little whining, sand
pictures, reading, and playing on the cliffs with other kids.
Mekhi regularly travels to
Venus and to Earth. He's made five trips since Nightfall and will likely make
two more before Sunfall. His travel was a condition of our move. Oh
As for me, I: cut off all
of my hair, dyed my scalp neon shades, enjoyed an unexpected pregnancy,
suffered a miscarriage, and, most recently, experienced both pneumonia and
Additionally, I now enjoy the sort of backing I was missing when
we first landed; Ive found friends among my fellow scientists as well as
Yet, my self-care is
mediocre. I hope, next week, after my post-pneumonia checkup, to again pursue
outdoor bouncing. I hope, too, to engage in swimming when the subterranean (is
the right word for a deep-set structure, here?) sports complex is
competed. Plus, Ive found: a wonderful Venusian faith healer to be
my primary care physician.
Ive discovered a
scientists support group, too, that fits my schedule. Additionally,
Ive come to adore the community originating from our rocket, have a
reasonable work schedule, and am getting help with various other
At the moment, Im
studying the relative rate of condensation above ground, below ground and way
below ground (Im skipping scientific terms to make this message more
readable). My goals for the coming year, now that my family has: some sense of
the culture, some sense of the language, friends, schools, and a permanent
place in which to live, are: more mastery of Galaxy Speak, a return to
photography, and a return to teaching biochemistry.
My first year, here, has
been tough as well as wonderful. Please ping me soon.
I have two rooms left for
the free getaway. If you are still up for it I can give them to you. If
your older daughter wants to bring a friend, too, thats ok, too. I need
to know ASAP, so ping me.
You are a gem as well as a
generous person. Thank-you for your kind offer. Today, I bought a weeks
worth of food.
Truth is, Im whooped.
Between the hours of five and eight, tonight, I dealt with: job problems,
sexual harassment from a coworker, a friend who tried to take
advantage of my cultural naiveté, and getting all four of my kids, who
didn't see me til seven at night, to bed (Mekhis on Venus.)
If it were just me, I would go away in a beat. Ive heard that Mare
Foecunditatis is lovely this time of year. When I went on the virtual trip,
which you sponsored to Oceanus Procellarum, I had a swell time. Traveling with
children is a moon rock of a different texture, however.
At least, at home, the kids
are contained and a routine is in place. I wish I could say yes,
but I dont have the energy for supervising them outside of our home.
On balance, today; Zalikii took up my challenge to have a play
date with someone other than her best friend, Rasmus loaned me his
stuffed dog after I finished dealing with what I hope is the last boundary
issue of the night, Svana persevered with an assignment from school, and Ren
remained extremely cuddly.
Its very special for
all of us to live on the moon. In truth, despite the challenges, my life is
filled with small smiles, including, but not limited to the gap year girls who
think I have more answers than I actually do (one just called me to ask for a
connection at Mare Imbrium. I told her I only knew of the hotel where our
family had stayed during the past Sunfall, not of individual families from whom
she could borrow a pod.)
Eventually, I will learn decent Galaxy
Speak. Eventually, I will be sufficiently promoted to pay off some of our
immigration debt. Eventually, my kids will outgrow this part of their lives and
will be less needy.
You are sweet. I think you for your generous offer
to be included on a getaway. You are one of the extraordinary people inserted
into my life to smooth the way. I wish I could go on the trip, but it seems,
especially given today's events, that it would be better for me to stay
PS: I tried to call the
unit you suggested for Galaxy Speak tutoring, but the number turned out to be
that of a private home. Oh well.
good to communicate with you yesterday. The lab is trying to figure out what to
do with me. For now, I will remain at my first assignment. The director is not
sure that I belong in the bench work sector. She might insist that I learn
Galaxy Speak during a paid furlough so that she can move me to autonomous
refaxed you the sheet from Serenitatis University. Did you receive it? Are
there any more files you need to help me get my private tutoring money
reimbursed? Any word, yet, on the money thats supposed to be sent by that
education organization? We could use that sum several times over; were
still paying for Rasmus tutoring, too.
I always love hearing from
you! I think you will be happier once you graduate to autonomous
I received the fax and will get the ball rolling. I still
don't know if I can secure funds to reimburse your tutoring costs. I will keep
OK, so you all remember how
I told you that I was gonna come visit in the summer of 3007? Well,
its almost time. I talked to Mom about it. I told her how much I
really, really wanted to return to Earth, and, well, she understood.
She understood why I would
wanna come and she agreed with me, but we have no means of getting me there
this Sunfall, so Im sorry. I know I said that I was gonna come
soon, but Im not. I really tried, but its not gonna
happen. You should come and visit me, though!!! And, of course, you should
all move here!
Ok, I have more news, but I dont know if you
people even wanna hear any more, so yeah, if youre not brave, dont
Ok, here it is: Im
coming, after all, during Sunfall!!!! For those of you who already guessed,
either based on the questions Ive been asking, or because you are
psychic, way to go! Yep, Im coming in two rotations!!!
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH its seventy-five per cent
yes and that number gets higher every day, though we wont
know for sure until a week before my trip. Plus, Im coming with my dad,
who has to come for work, so it depends on him.
So, I wanna talk at
your schools about Lunar Charities Inc. collect money, and come for the day and
stuff. So, can you send me your principals phone numbers and ping
addresses? SEEEE YOUUUU SOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!
Springtime was very nice.
Mekhi did call and I told him we would love to have him and Zalikii visit. I
also invited the Ines Family for a fortnight. If there are some girls
that Zalikii would like to see, we would be happy to invite them. Your
government is generous in supplying us with funds for your familys
Meanwhile, we will be
missing you and thinking about you while Zalikii and Mekhi are here. Take care
and be well.
Zalikii will be visiting
for a little more than a season, and raising money for Lunar
Charities Inc. an important organization that feeds impoverished immigrants to
the moon. Please help Zalikii raise funds. Checks, all of which are tax
deductible, can be made payable to: Lunar Charities Inc. and left
at the Lucia Family's house. Thank-you.
Meanwhile, Akello asked to
visit us for all of Nightfall, I told her I couldn't accommodate her and her
six children as our home has limited guest pods. If she came alone, she could
visit, or, if she came with Bran, wed have enough space. Anyway, I
haven't heard from her since. I asked one of my other friends, who lives in the
same absorption center, to greet her.
I wish I could attend your
wedding, too. I'll be thinking of you! Good luck with the relocation. It sounds
as if you are taking smart steps around your transition. What does your future
husband do for a living? How movable are his kids? So many factors are in flux
in your life.
I heard that your future husbands city is supposed
to have an active science community. Either way, good things will happen! I
love you soooo much!
Long time no ping. How are
you? What's new? I saw Mekhi and Zalikii the other week. Zalikii looked
adorable. She's really blossoming into a beautiful young woman. She looks sooo
much like you!
It was so nice to hear from
you and to receive information about Zalikiis efforts on behalf
of Lunar Charities Inc. Why are you a chemist and not a fundraiser?
How are you all?
Though I know it's hard, I trust y'all are integrating into lunar society. I
hope you are enjoying Sunfall! Our springtime was wonderful; the weather
outside was problematic, but inside all was warm and sweet.
I wrote Akello some time
ago and also haven't heard from her. Are you two in touch? How is she? I am
sending you an invite to our wedding party. I know you can't make it, but I
wanted to send you an invite, anyway.
Were doing the
wedding in two parts. In the morning, we will be getting married at Luca
Browns farm. The next day, we'll host a dessert reception at our
communitys police department. Did you know they rent out a catering hall?
There will be very few people at the actual wedding and only about one hundred
people at the reception. I wish you could come!
Thank-you for your kind
ping. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to respond to you.
I understand that Zalikii
was able to see you. Im glad. When you and your family come to
the moon, please visit us. If your stay is brief, please, at least call and say
We are integrating to
various degrees. Life is full of tests, that is, of passages that are meant to
refine us. The difference is that we are now receiving that refinement
Please give my warmest
regards to your departments staff.
It was great to get a
chance to spend a few minutes with Zalikii. She looks great and seems to be
happy and handling the transition well. Her eyes, as always, are
bright. She gave me a run-down on your homefront and all sounds great,
Next to moving to Luna,
ourselves, it's nice to be able to close our eyes and pretend. The
pretend approach does avoid some of the messier aspects, but, of course,
doesn't carry with it the wonderful aspects.
We surely will get in touch
when we get back to the moon. Even though we have gone regularly, each summer,
for the last number of years, this summer looks bleak in that regard. Our
daughters moving to another city and we want to help her and our
son-in-law settle in (our son-in-law finally finished his training and will
actually begin being gainfully employed as a professional.) In any case, if not
this summer, then we hope to visit, again, at latest, next summer.
Im so conflicted and
confused. This trip just wasnt what I expected. Its not
that I was disappointed-- its the opposite; I feel like Ive never
left. I wanna talk to you about it when I get home.
I await your return home
with open arms!
People with balanced
character, i.e. with good self-esteem, who have been educated in the ways of
compassion, find friends, and happiness wherever they go. Your cognitive
dissonance is not a sign of disloyalty to the moon, but is the remarkable
blessing of being loved and of knowing how to love.
So, I went to a STEM
meeting last night with the Valentina daughters and I saw Arianna Helen and
Amrita Calithea there. I have so much to tell you, but I only have ten mins
til the shuttle. Just wanted to say I love you.
I'm glad you made it to
STEM. I can't wait to hear about the rest of your day!
You can only go to the
Earth if Dad will also be traveling there. Ask Dad if he is planning a trip
If Dad goes on
business, you could ask some of your relatives for a ticket. Were a
little tight, so if no one wants to gift you the ride, you might have to wait a
My other conditions are:
Galaxy Speak lessons completed, other high school prep, as your tutor deems
necessary, completed, and a week or two of camp to improve your Galaxy
We would love Rasmus
to come for a visit this summer. We would sure love to see him.
We would love to see you,
too. Do you think that might be possible?
I am deciding if/when I am
going to send my little guy to overnight camp. So, if you think Rasmus might be
coming, please let me know as soon as possible and please let me know his
schedule. Of course, we understand if he cannot make it this summer, but we
would love to see him.
Our next Girls' Get
Together" will be in one rotation. Are you game?
How is your foot? It
sounds like good news on the romantic front. Just be careful not to get hurt.
Review those questions I pinged you. Keep me up to date.
I will be on Earth during
the next rotation, at Galaxy Speak Lodge, which is basically a big sleepaway
camp for business professionals. In exchange for my talking to them in Galaxy
Speak all day, my room, board, and roundtrip transportation are paid.
I wish that I could come see you, beforehand, for a quick lunch. Can
we work that out? I know you have a busy schedule.
Jibri and I are
having ups and downs, but we are communicating much better. I will keep those
questions in mind. Don't worry. I make my own gut check almost every day
because of his prior infidelity. No more rose-colored glasses!
ankle is not so well, actually. The swelling is still very much there. Thank
you for asking. Im still in pain.
Your trip to Galaxy Speak
Lodge sounds awesome. Getting your vacation paid for sounds smart. You are one
savvy gal. Fanaka say "hi;" she's rocketing to the moon in two cycles. Do you
want to join us when shes here?
Have you taken your foot to
a doctor appointment? Just asking. Keep in touch!
have to let you know later what my schedule looks like. I don't want to book
anything right now. My headspace is all over the place with my new job, my new
apartment, Jibri, various government office snafus, and more. Life!
Ok, Im off to the medico building to return my crutches. Woo hoo!
Maybe once your finances
are more solid, you will be able, again, to buy a motorcycle. Im glad to
hear that you graduated to an air cast! What's next?
Send me pix of your new
apartment. Do you think you will marry Jibri? What's with the government
Let me know about visiting
in two cycles. Fanaka wants to see you. Get well soon!
Girls Get Together?
Our new apartments been a
hassle and I need to rocket off to Earth very soon. First, the landlord told me
he would install a kitchen before we moved in. The day we moved in, the
installation was still incomplete. The workers said something about weremen and
patience. So, Jibri and I stayed in our craters only hostelit was
I now have a sink, but no
shelving. As well, our apartment smells a bit like the reconstituted food
factory in our neighborhood, but at least we have an invection stove and,
hence, can cook.
Jibri and I are doing great. We had a super serious
talk about our past and about what we're looking for in a restored
We're going to miss you at
our next Girls Get Together. Hopefully, you can join us once
you return from Earth.
It sounds like you and
Jibri are being careful. Please take care of yourself. You are
Send updates on the
apartment and on the rest of your goings-on, too. Your volley.
I need to find a safe,
clean place to take my preteen daughter to get her ears pierced. Please ping me
We hired that old female
from Jupitar to pierce my daughter's ears. She claims to have been piercing
ears for over two centuries. Either way, her work is sterile, gentle, and
quick. I don't remember her ping address, but I can find out, if you'd
like. Good luck!
Thank you VERY much! We had
a good experience.
I went through your
research and called some of the folks listed on your CV. However, before making
any decision about your candidature as a freelance chemist and assigning you
work, I would appreciate if you would evaluate the attached equations.
I previewed all of the
equations that you attached. They are similar to some of the ones that were
rejected by NASA fifty years ago. My minor was in silicon life forms. I think
the Venusians would be insulting by these expressions.
Moreso, the emphasis in all
of these calculations seems to be on what we old-timers call "colorful
equalities," with a bit of Earthly algebra thrown in (the abelian groups ought
to be corrected to at least another decimal. Worse, there are distributivity
problems throughout the work.)
I believe you are looking
for someone to quickly crunch a lot of numbers. I came to the moon to escape
crass commerce. Although I like whiz bang findings as much as the next lunar
scientist, I also insist on careful calculations. Thus, I graciously decline
any of your future offers.
The other night, I
said to Mekhi that without the encouragement that you have been giving me, I
might never have returned to autonomous research. Accordingly, the least I
could do was to write a letter on your behalf. I hope it
Anyway, I have a story for
you. There was a Martian, who, when she met me, couldn't get over, in an
uncomplimentary way, that I wasn't Lunar-born. I shrugged at her,
figuratively, and continued to be gracious to her, anyway.
Time passed. She said the
warmth I extended to her was unique, and especially needed during
her immigration year, particularly in certain situations in which other
Luna dwellers hadn't realized that she needed a hug (which
appendage gets hugged?) The point is that our deeds count. End of story.
Recently, the same lady,
who claims I am one of the reasons she is happy here, asked why I don't write
about being an Earthling. Again, I figuratively shrugged at her. I answered her
with two responses, a superficial one and a deeper one.
Superficially, writing on
that topic already exists. More deeply, I do a disservice to other immigrants
if I focus on differences.
I embrace my life, here.
Intentionally, or not, I model that progress in adjusting is not a
unidirectional business. It's painful to me when I hear folk emphasize
differences. Our lives are not supposed to be about creating excuses for
separating ourselves from each other. All of us need to be reaching, in our own
ways, at our own paces, from our own points of departure.