Posting from Fladungen -- here for a week on vacation. Claudia drove with Alan and David, I flew with the two little ones. Which was fine. They got a little wiggly on the plane, but that was my fault for not bringing any toys or distractions. For a five year old and a two year old, they did great. (And they got to eat popsicles on a train.)
It's strange to be back! We've been gone four months. The house is the same but it seems smaller and full of stuff. (Our back yard, on the other hand, is pleasantly huge.) Neighbors seem surprised and happy to see us. Hans and Annemarie have been feeding us large midday dinners. Claudia's brother Michael and two nephews are also in town, which means there are a lot of little boys running around. There's a lot of bouncing on the trampoline in the back yard.
My compost pile got ruined. A squirrel moved in sometime after we were gone and filled it with walnuts. Walnuts are bad news for compost -- the hulls give off an oil that's slightly poisonous -- and Annemarie didn't discover it until too much time had passed. So, half a ton of good compost had to be thrown behind the shed with the grass clippings. (It'll eventually be usable, but only after a couple of years.)
What else: well, it looks like we'll be leaving Moldova in November. Kind of a shame, since I had some hope that we might get the followon project. But it appears now that the followon won't arrive until the end of the year or later. So, come mid-November, we'll have to pack out and leave. (What happens after that? We do not know. Watch this space.)
Meanwhile, I go back in a week to continue working. Claudia and the boys will stay here in Germany through the first week of August. Then we'll all go back to Moldova together, for our final three months there.
Until then... I have a week of vacation. Trampoline!