This is a funny time in our lives.
I'm between contracts. Left Armenia at the end of March; aside from some short-term stuff (a week in Jordan), I won't be working until at least October, and maybe later. I don't know what the next contract will be, nor where.
We're expecting a new baby in August, a little girl.
We've bought a house in Germany -- rural northern Bavaria, to be precise. The house was something of a fixer-upper, so we got it fairly cheap. But there was, and still is, plenty of work to be done.
So: it's sort of like a prolonged vacation, or a piece of retirement early. Except not: we're working all day on the house. Really, all day -- it just never stops. We got the basics done (painting, wallpaper, new kitchen, new bathroom) and then our stuff from Armenia arrived, boxes and boxes of it. Four weeks later we're still unpacking.
One complicating factor: Claudia is the one who's got the three-dimensional mind. She's really good at packing and unpacking, and also at putting things together and taking them apart. She's handy... and I'm not. All marriages have differential distributions of skills and interests, but in this case it's extreme: she's good at this stuff and likes it, and I'm bad at it and hate it. The other day we bought a bunch of items from IKEA. Claude had assembled three of them before I was done with one. Anyway: the reason this is a complicating factor is because Claude is now in her seventh month of pregnancy, and starting to slow down. So, I need to do more of the moving, unpacking, and putting-stuff-together stuff. Which is... not my strongest point.
Still, we're chipping away. We want to have a housewarming party in ten days or so, which is good because it gives us something to aim for.
There are good and bad aspects to this life. I don't know anybody here, and I don't speak German very well, and Fladungen isn't exactly full of fluent English speakers. So I'm a little isolated. On the other hand, I really like that I'm getting more time with the boys. I walk them to school every morning, and back every afternoon, and we watch cartoons and do lessons on the computer and read books together in the evening. (We're dipping in and out of The Hobbit right now. Gollum is scary!) I definitely am much more in their lives now than in Armenia, when I was rarely home before seven and often out past their bedtime.
This won't last, of course. I hope and plan to be on a full-time project before the end of the year. (I'd better. We're living on savings, and savings don't last forever.) Then we'll have to move to... somewhere. Another year (or two or three) in Macedonia or Cambodia or Azerbaijan or some such. That's the nature of our life.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to enjoy this in-between time as much as possible.
Throwaway: northern Bavaria is cold! Late May and it's still sweater or light jacket weather most of the day. Lots of flowers, mind.