We began packing yesterday for our big move. Bali is so pissed at us. I think she realizes that we're not leaving her, but she is aware that traumatic things are on the horizon. She's withholding her purrs and most general affection. Poor Bali! She's so ornery!
Many emotions swirl as we look down the tracks of the roller coaster of the next 2 and 1/2 weeks here (and the summer beyond). We have 2 weekends left. We're going to be leaving some wonderful friends, both local and other American and international teachers. I'm leaving a group of kids I've spent the last two years with and love dearly. I've already shed a few tears. And I also feel a small pang of regret for things not accomplished while here.
--No trip to Cyprus to see Chaddy
--No trip to Jordan, Petra and the Wadi Rum
--Not enough time in Israel or Egypt
--No trip to the Turkish Kachkar Mountains
--No trip to Nemruit Dag (think Easter Island but up high)
--No African safari
*Okay, perhaps I get a tad carried away.
Still, what an incredible part of the world we've had a chance to occupy! We've been to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and all over Turkey--the cradle of human civilization. I also feel fortunate to have lived in a secular Muslim country. I feel so much more prepared to understand the politics and difficulties of a global world, how religion informs politics, to think in different ways, and to keep an open mind in ALL matters. I've had the unique opportunity to make friends from this area and Pakistan--many Muslim, many agnostic, but all wonderful and they have informed my understanding and world view. So, in many ways, it is so hard to leave.
But we're excited for so many things too:
--the opportunity to build a dream school
--the opportunity to form the community of a new small city
--travel in Asia (climbing in Thailand, skiing in Japan, trekking in Nepal, China, etc etc)
--a SIGNIFICANT furthering of our cultural education
--a new climbing community
--an expat running community
--proximity to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands
--proximity to more of our friends we've made over the years of this gig
--the opportunity to spend our summers in the States
There are many things to be excited for. And so I'm ready. Ready to start again. Ready for more new experiences. Ready to get home for the summer (it's been 2 years--we're so excited for this trip!) to be with friends and family.
The travel schedule looks like this:
--June 22nd we arrive in NC. That weekend we go to Leatherwood (where we were married 6 years ago) with our parents
--From then till July 1st we're in Boone
--July 1st-5th we're in DC
--From July 6th to July 14th I'll be in Colorado (Tim will be there till the 19th)
--July 14th-31st: time split between Boone, Greenville and Asheville
And on the 31st, we fly to Seoul.
It will be a whirlwind, and not enough time spent anywhere to make everyone happy. But we'll have longer next summer. We'll not have to go 2 years without being home again. And that should make people happy. Us too.
And with that, my Turkey trotting is finished. I'll still be trotting my trails for the next 2 and 1/2 weeks, but I won't be blogging it. I'll post one last time with a new blog address later--and I imagine this will be a more permanent address. An I-may-move-but-the-blog-will-stay-the-same sort of concept.