We are all still here instead of on a plane today. Simon's departure has been postponed until the 28th, which is much more human.
Since several people have emailed me and asked what Simon does, here you are:
Simon works for the Education Development Centre (sorry, CentER), which is a Washington, DC based NGO. His project is taking the national elementary school curriculum (grades 1-6) and adapting it for radio for children who are unable to attend school, for whatever reason. The project also runs a mentor training program to enable people to run "classes" without having to rely on finding a qualified teacher. It has been incredibly successful here, and so he is being asked to replicate it Malawi. Ok?
Right. Simon leaves the 28th. The house is packed out on the 30th, we move in with Grandparents until the 15th, and then we fly out to visit my parents in Oregon for the summer. I am dreaming of berry juice sticky on my fingers and dribbling down my chin, of oceans and forests, paddling in the creek, the smell of the fields around my aunt's farm, and drinking tea in her garden... Of quilting and toy and ice cream stores, of late summer evenings and watching stars from a glacial rock... Of staying up too late talking with treasured family, lingering in libraries and whizzing down slides...
In the meantime, I am sure you can imagine the chaos. For example, my work-in-progress pile as I sat on the patio this evening looked like this:
I have a tote, purse, two softies, two quilts, a patchwork pillow, baby booties, handmade stickers, three art smocks, three placemats and a nursery redecoration (complete with decoupage and murals) for a friend in process. Will I finish it all? Of course not. But I'll enjoy trying, and it's a darned sight better than sorting through the thirty boxes of Simon's papers in the office (don't even toy with the thought I might be exaggerating. I. am. not).