‘There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart’

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From world travel to bee stings, summer 2008 was a memorable one for Federal Way folks.

Summer has officially come to an end. Rain will undoubtedly roll in. School has started. Though everyone must say a final goodbye to warmer days and shorter nights, memories created in the past three months will live on.

Here is what some Federal Way residents will remember.

Nicole Hofmann spent her summer break in Africa. This was the first time the high school senior traveled overseas. Hofmann spent her time journeying from village to village via motor bike with Teen Missions International. She stayed mostly in Zambia.

Hofmann will remember Victoria Falls, one of the world’s largest waterfalls. She will remember bathing in a bucket of lake water. She will remember living out of a small tent for a month. Mostly, she’ll remember the kids she helped.

“Everywhere we went, they had nothing, but they had these big smiles,” Hofmann said.

Cary Roe stayed a bit closer to home during his travels. He took a four-day vacation fishing for king salmon with his dad in Sandspit, B.C. Will Appleton also took a vacation he’s not likely to forget. He and a co-worker attempted to summit Mount Rainier. The two reached 13,100 feet before a thunder, lightning and snow storm put an end to the climb. Appleton said he’ll be back next year to try again.

Unlike Hofmann, Roe and Appleton, Jan Zimmer did not get to travel much this summer. Three weeks were exhausted by battling coughs and fevers. Zimmer’s 5-year-old daughter was diagnosed with pneumonia. She has since recovered well.

Staying close to home allowed the family a chance to experience the city’s Red, White and Blues Fourth of July festival at Celebration Park, Zimmer said.

“To be honest I was afraid of it,” said Zimmer, a 10-year resident. “But it turned out to be family friendly.”

Isabelle Heslin, 7, spent several afternoons at the park as well. She participated in a summer camp. Besides playing, Heslin will remember her sleep-over with her cousin, a field trip to Point Defiance Zoo, bowling, watching “Kung Fu Panda” and refusing to cry when she was stung by a wasp.

Sarus Veerappen will remember watching the Summer Olympics. The event that sticks out most for Veerappen is U.S. gymnast Nastia Liukin’s loss to China’s He Kexin on the uneven bars.

A tiebreaker between the two young women was settled by the International Gymnastics Federation by throwing out each athlete’s two highest and one lowest score by the judges. The remaining three scores put Kexin with the gold medal.

“I feel the Americans should have gotten the gold,” Veerappen said.

Contact Jacinda Howard: or (253) 925-5565

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