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‘You can dream — and dream big,’ says new U.S. citizen | Editor's Notebook
We’ve all had our monumental days: weddings, childbirths, graduation days... the list goes on.
They’re emotional moments to say the least.
On Tuesday, 47 local immigrants from 21 countries — including a Redmond family from South Africa and a local resident from Nepal — experienced some heartwarming moments when they were sworn in as United States citizens at a naturalization ceremony at Bellevue City Hall.
“I feel very privileged. It’s a very emotional feeling. It’s been a long road and I feel a sense of pride and joy,” said Enez McCondochie, 43, who is from South Africa. She became an American citizen along with her husband Ian, 46, and son Michael, 24.
Rajesh Maskara from Nepal was also sworn in on Tuesday.
“He came here to study in Tennessee. He was so drawn to the friendliness of Americans, it made him want to stay. Now he’s a software engineering manager at Microsoft,” said Sharon Rummery, the public affairs officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Enez, who works at a Microsoft joint venture on medical applications, moved to New York from Secunda, South Africa, in 2002 with her family to work in software design and never looked back.
They moved to their current home on Education Hill in 2006.
“I love Redmond. I love the trails we have. I love the small businesses and the sense of community,” Enez said.
She’s an official U.S. citizen now, but she noted that the naturalization process took a long time: about four years to a get a green card and then about five more years before Tuesday’s ceremony.
It was all worth the wait, she said.
“The United States is truly the No. 1 country in the world in my eyes,” she added. “I really appreciate the balance of power — there’s no one ideology that dominates. I love the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
“You’re free from persecution and you’re free to be who you want to be. You can dream — and dream big.”
Speaking of “Dreaming,” Blondie cranked out their hit song and then some on Tuesday night at the Marymoor Park Concert Series. It was a stellar evening and you can check out my review on page 9.
Upcoming shows in the AEG Live series are The Lumineers tonight and tomorrow night (both shows are sold out) and FURTHUR, featuring the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, on Sept. 24.
Enjoy the tunes!
A thumbs up for the Redmond High athletic department for participating in Breast Cancer Awareness Month at its upcoming home football, girls soccer and volleyball games.
• Football: Sept. 27 versus Snohomish, 7 p.m.
• Soccer: Oct. 10 versus Bothell, 7:30 p.m.
• Volleyball: Oct. 14 versus Bothell, 7 p.m.
“We will be promoting all students, staff, community members and visiting teams to support breast cancer awareness by ‘going pink’ for the events,” said athletic director John Appelgate.
“The theme of the events is ‘Redmond for the Cure’ and we will be selling pink T-shirts at school lunches for the students and at the events for anyone who would like to purchase one. Please come out and support our efforts.”