Lunch With Nancy

Rememberance by Catherine Machingauta, Friend in Washington DC

I met Nancy a few years ago when she came to Washington DC. While I wasn't part of the USAP family, and we just happened to be from the same country, Nancy became a sister to me. I found Nancy to be fun loving and easy to get along with, and I'll always remember her for her positive attitude, her beautiful smile, friendliness and zest for life – her great personality. One of the many things I'll miss about Nancy is simply having lunch with her at work. It's something that can easily be taken for granted – just lunch- but that time was a gift and we won't be able to do that anymore. Since we worked in adjacent buildings that are close to a TGI Fridays, some Friday afternoons she would suggest we go and have some ribs for lunch. Of course after looking at their lunch specials, everything looked so appetizing that we would drool, forget about calorie counting and end up ordering more than just ribs, then stuff ourselves and waddle back to work full. The waiter may have smiled as he picked up the empty plates, knowing the amount of food we had ordered and noting the size of the people that had cleaned the plates. After lunch we would jokingly call, text or email to check on each other make sure no one was dozing off instead of working. Sometimes when the weather was nice we would walk to the park across the White House and have our lunch there together with her colleague.

Nancy Tinoza Birthday

I am grateful we got to enjoy one more lunch in the park the week before the accident. During these lunches, if there was there was something bothering me, even though she was my 'little sister' (and called me 'sisi' or 'mkoma'), Nancy always had some very wise and encouraging words to share, but she would also tell me outright if she thought I was I was being stubborn or unreasonable – something I greatly appreciated. Hanging out with her was always refreshing and something I looked forward to, and having lunch with her is just one of the many things I'll miss. I know for certain that she was just as loving, kind and friendly if not more, with many other people. She was always willing to lend a helping hand, or lend her time when she could. I've lost much more than a lunch buddy. She was a sister, a great friend and encourager, and a voice of reason when I needed one. I will miss her big time. While her passing comes as a painful shock, I am grateful for the time I got to know her, and I take comfort in knowing that we will meet again someday in Heaven. I pray that God comforts her family and loved ones during this difficult time.