Dear Williston: A Holiday Letter to the Community by Abigail Rogers-Berner ’14

Editor’s note: Abigail Rogers-Berner ’14 wrote and presented the following message during the Community Winter Banquet on December 17, 2013.

Dear Williston,

2013_holiday cardHappiest of holidays to each and every one of you! I found it difficult to single out just a few people for whom I am grateful—for I cannot imagine my experience without everyone as a whole. Each of you has changed my life for the better, substantially so, and I am so incredibly fortunate to call you my friends and teachers. More often than not, the two overlap.

We often reflect upon our blessings during the holiday season, and we should, for we are able to go home to our families, our other friends, and our warm homes and appreciate all that we have. This year, though, I have come to realize that what we experience at home during winter vacation is a pretty parallel feeling to what we have here, every single day. When I am at school, I am also at home.

You are my family, my rock, my delight, and even if you don’t even know my first name, you lift me up because you are a part of a community for which I care deeply, and by which I have developed into the person I am today.

As we go “home” on Thursday, be excited. But also think about how fortunate we are to be at Williston and to be in one another’s lives. Our time is not much longer here, with this specific composition of incredible individuals.

I, for one, could not consider myself luckier. Thank you for all that you do and for all that you are. Thank you for touching my life so powerfully.

All my love, both in the holidays and out,
Abigail Rogers-Berner ’14

William Kamkwamba at Williston

Editor’s note: William Kamkwamba is the co-author of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, which is based on his life in Malawi. He visited the Williston Northampton School on December 5, 2013 as part of the annual Sara Wattles Perry ’77 speaker series. The following is an except from his question and answer session where he spoke about traveling to the United States and seeing snow for the first time.

What was it like the first time I saw snow? It was exciting because it was the first time, but at the same time it was also challenging because it was so cold. The funny thing, the funny part, was that before I came here… My first visit, I was told it would be cold. So I was like, “Okay, it will be cold.” In Malawi, it gets cold and I can wear a tee shirt and put a long sleeved shirt on top of my tee shirt. Then I’ll be okay. I’ll be fine. That’s what exactly I did when I was coming here. I put up my tee shirt and then put up my long sleeve on top of it and I was inside the airport. When I came off the plane, inside the airport it was so warm. I was like, “These people are just joking. It’s not cold at all!” I didn’t know it was heated during the day inside the house, inside the airport. Because in Malawi when it’s cold outside, it’s also cold inside.  So I had that idea. I was like, “This is not cold at all.” It was like hot outside. And then I got outside… I was like, “How did you guys manage to be in this area!” That was challenging. So it was interesting.

Read the full article on his visit here.