A little belated but nevertheless I'd like to holler at my little sister, Ava. Hardly little, she graduated from college on Sunday and I couldn't be more proud. She worked really hard to finance her education, as did my parents, and dedicated herself to both her friends and schoolwork while at Lewis and Clark. I stayed up until the wee hours Sunday night/Monday morning to watch the livestream of the ceremony that her college put on the internet. Sadly, the connection was nothing short of shoddy. In fact, I spent the better part of two hours wringing my hands and praying to every deity I could think of that the net wouldn't fail at exactly the wrong moment so that I could see her walk across the stage. But low and behold, between painful blank spells, I managed to catch her stride happily across the threshold to adulthood and towards her diploma, blonde curls bouncing as they cascaded from beneath her mortarboard. I was both elated for her and really sad I couldn't be a bigger part of this amazing occasion. It was especially hard because she voluntarily reduced herself to my personal henchman, cheerleader and photographer when I graduated. Watching the computer screen sputter and falter in the wee hours, I couldn't have felt more removed from my beautiful family. But I am lucky- I know they understand and support my life in such a far flung place. And they know, or at least I hope they do, that I'll be there front and center, cheering the loudest and snapping away, camera in hand, for Sister's graduation party when I return home this summer. Though I will again depart for a life far far away, I hope I can try to nurture her growth every step she takes. The first time I saw her at the hospital at 2 1/2 year old I tried to breastfeed her; hopefully my future efforts will be more effective though filled with the same amount of love. So with my endless affection and proudest words as wind at your back, I wish you well, muffin. Congratulations! You did it! I love you so much. I am truly lucky to call you my Sisterbear.