Life is full of ups and downs and I should have known that when things are going well and you start to get complacent something is always looming around the corner to knock you off your feet and down a peg or two. Usually it's what keeps life interesting; it makes you appreciate what you have when you have it. Usually.
Last week's knock however, was more of a sledgehammer to the stomach, from which we're all still trying to catch our breath. On Thursday the 2nd of February my friend and colleague, Crystal Veytia, died on her way to work. Shock is not really an accurate enough word to describe my reaction, and I think it will be a while yet before I can get my head around it fully.
I met Crystal properly a few days after she arrived in August. Sarah, our Director of Studies, invited a few of us to go to an ice-hockey game, she got a little lost on her way to meet us, but we made it in time for the game. She was very friendly and talkative, and also extremely enthusiastic about everything. At the time I attributed it to excitement about having just arrived in a new country, but later I realised that enthusiasm was just part of her general attitude towards the world. She fully embraced life and took everything it threw at her.