Hey ho, the blog's still here. I took 40 days offline for Lent. -- Well mostly offline. Could still read, of course! Ha ha, imagine trying to live without reading the Internet. No. But I couldn't write anything, from Ash Wednesday to Easter.
Okay, Easter was a while ago. What's new?
Here's the big picture: I'm once again between long-term assignments. That means we are once again back in Fladungen. This by itself is just fine -- we like Fladungen. But it's complicated by the fact that I don't know when (or, really whether) I will have another long-term assignment. Moldova was great for ten months, but it ended, and my employer did not win the follow-on project. I'm likely to be bid on something in the next little while, but nothing that gets bid in May or June will be awarded until September at the earliest. So it's likely that we'll be in Fladungen through at least September.
This is somewhat worrisome because if we're here that long, we should be putting the two older boys into the German school system. Germany doesn't allow home schooling, you see. It looks like the system is willing to not-notice kids at home for a month, two months, maybe three months... but six months or more is probably pushing it. And we're not enthusiastic about putting the boys into school here. (That probably deserves a post of its own. In a bit, perhaps.)
An additional wrinkle is that I'm also not getting a lot of short-term work just now. Not none, but not as much as I'd like. I survived tolerably well for three years as a self-employed consultant doing short-term stuff here, there and everywhere -- that's why all those posts from Congo and Zambia and the West Bank. But (to make a long story short) about half my work was doing CLIR assessments, and for various reasons there aren't likely to be many CLIR assessments for the next year and a bit. So I'm having to scramble a bit.
No, we're not starving -- there's food on the table, we're paying the mortgage, all that. It's just not where we were hoping to be right now.
Anyway. That's the big picture; what's happening right now?