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A taste of home for Western New Yorkers across the globe

They won't be home for Christmas, so a small group of Western New Yorkers gathered for a Christmas celebration -- complete with wings -- to Kenya in early December.

Lisa Kurbiel, her husband Johnson Kimuyu, whom she identifies as "NT by marriage," and their children Sofia and Roman Kimuyu, hosted Kurbiel's parents, Christine and Steve, for their annual Christmas reunion. But they welcomed other Western New Yorkers to a get-together earlier this month at the Kurbiel-Kimuyu home in Nairobi.

Enjoying wings, celery with Kraft blue cheese and home-made chicken wing nacho dip with the family were Dr. Ben Piper, from Lewiston; Dan Corrigan from Williamsville; Jackie Corrigan from Grand Island; Sarah Skorupski from Buffalo; and U.S. Ambassador Steven Schwartz, from Williamsville.

"We’re a mixed bag of teachers, dental hygienists, UN humanitarians, State Department junkies, grandparents, retirees, and everything in between," said Kurbiel, who works as a human rights advocate for UNICEF. Her husband operates a business assisting newcomers to Kenya.

The family and its dedication to visiting each other, no matter the distance, were the subject of a News article in 2014.

"While fame and fortune is not our primary goal, a few giggles and messages sent to those we miss at home would certainly bring a lot of smiles to this gang who will all be in Kenya for the holiday season," she said.



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