Friday, December 2, 2022

A Letter to My Children on Learning We Are Moving to Egypt

Peter, Clementine, and Sam, 

I know you are probably feeling a million different emotions right now. You might be disappointed, sad, anxious, nervous, happy, excited, relieved. And you have every right to feel every one of those emotions. I will never tell you how to feel about anything. You are entitled to your own emotions and to feel the way you feel. And nothing I can say will change that. 

I know I will be very sad to leave Sri Lanka. I love living here and I love the lives that we have built here. I'm so proud of you guys. And I'm proud of all that we have experienced and achieved over the past three and a half years. We lived through a global pandemic, an economic crisis, fuel shortages, and political upheaval. It hasn't been easy, but we persevered and grew stronger as individuals and a family as a result. There is no place in the world I would have rather been and no one in the world I would have rather been with.  

There is no responsibility mom and I take more seriously than to figure out where to move our family next. And there is no factor in that decision that is more important than to consider what will be best for you three. 

Early on, mom and I decided it would be best if you all continued your education overseas instead of moving back to the U.S. You guys have grown up in overseas schools. It is where you are most comfortable and it is what you are most familiar with. Similarly, we also decided early on we weren't going to bid on posts that required me to learn a language. For me to take a year to learn another foreign language would have meant you all would have gone back to school in the U.S. for one year which could have been disruptive or difficult. It also could have been really good, but mom and I felt that it would be an easier transition to move directly to our next post. 

Of all the factors we considered, finding a good school was the most important. We only bid on posts with really good schools. We even got a chance to bid on posts with SAISA schools. But when I bid on a post, I am competing with 10-15 others who are competing for the same post. Sometimes, they pick me. Sometimes, they will pick somebody else for the job. Unfortunately, I didn't get picked for the jobs in Mumbai, Muscat, Seoul, or Taiwan. I didn't even get picked for the first job I applied for in Cairo. 

There are jobs available in Chennai and Dhaka. Both posts have really good SAISA schools. But running outside and cycling are two things that are really important to mom and I, and we wouldn't have been able to exercise outside in either Chennai or Dhaka. (Especially Dhaka) In addition to making sure our next post has a good school, mom and I also want to make sure it is a good fit for us, too. 

The thing is ... no matter where we go, I know we will make the most of it. Whether we go skiing in the Alps, shop the souks of Cairo, scuba dive in the Red Sea, climb Kilimanjaro, go on safari in Tanzania, or swim with the whale sharks.  

I thought it fair to explain the process to you and our thinking and rationale. I know this won't change the way you feel but I want you to know mom and I are always here for you.

I love you very much. I hope you have a great day and a good practice. 


Saturday, November 19, 2022

We Are Monsters

Last night we attended the primary school's production of "We Are Monsters" where Clem had a starring role.

A clip of one of the numbers can be found here.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Clementine's Science Fair

Clementine recently participated in the school science fair. For her project, she and her partner studied the effects of mold on different foods. They hypothesized the apple would grow the most mold because it had the most moisture. You can watch part of her presentation here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Destroy my Sweater

Sam studying probability and listening to Weezer. The thermostat is set to 18. 

TISSL Swim Meet, Colombo

Video of Clementine swimming the 50 butterfly can be found here.

And of Peter's 50 fly here.  

Monday, November 7, 2022

Flag Day, Part Six

We have lived in Sri Lanka longer than anyplace else as a family. Twice as long than Brazil, India, or Jordan. And I will be sad to leave. I'm proud of the life we have built here and all we have experienced and achieved over the past three and a half years. We lived through a global pandemic, an economic crisis, fuel shortages, and political upheaval. It hasn't been easy, but we grew stronger as individuals and a family. There is no place in the world I would have rather been and no one in the world I would have rather been with. But next summer our time in Sri Lanka will come to an end when we move to Cairo, Egypt. We're excited, nervous, trepidatious, and eager to see what the next chapter will bring. 

Once Upon a Midnight Dreary

Halloween preparations were somewhat derailed by the presence of coronavirus in the home. My office hosted a Halloween party at the reception center, but the party seemed more geared toward toddlers and adults (you can imagine the type of set-up that would appeal to these two very different demographics.  Bounce houses and beer). 

Starting to feel better, Sam volunteered to help set up. His friend, Tyler, randomly bought them full-body cow suits in the mail, so they were all set for the festivities. 

Peter barely rallied to put in an appearance. I don't know who was more exhausted and bedraggled. Calvin? Or Hobbes? 

Im not exactly sure what Clementine dressed up as but I think it could best be described as an alien go-go dancer. 

The party was Saturday night, but on the actual night of Halloween, a friend organized a trick or treating caravan through Colombo. We drove to the houses of a dozen or so Americans living in Sri Lanka which was much more challenging than it sounds, considering it was rush hour in a city that had no idea it was Halloween and no reason to be on the lookout for little kids dressed as ghosts and ghouls, Spiderman and fairy princesses. 

Clementine got talked into going to track practice by her coach so was completely done by the time she got home. Our house was one of the last on the trick or treat circuit, so by the time we had returned an hour and a half later, she had rallied, donning her alien makeup for the third time in as many days and helping Elise pass out the Halloween candy. (They'd even carved jack o' lanterns out of watermelons!)