by the seat of our pants
You’d think that after half a dozen major moves in as many years, we’d be pros at this, but this transition is shaping up to be the most chaotic of our Foreign Service tenure. We have been so focused on tying up a thousand and one loose ends that we have almost completely neglected planning for our home leave. We have our sights set on another road trip out West, but have done next to no research and have just now booked accommodations, with the trip only a week out at this point.
As with our prior transitions, home leave planning has been a focal point for intense family debate. Last time around, we spent months arguing whether to travel as a trio or leave Munchkin – then a year-and-a-half – with our parents. D won that negotiation, with S reluctantly conceding that Munchkin would probably be ok without us for a few weeks. The argument that had carried the day was our parents’ obvious excitement at the prospect of spending so much time with their only grandson, whom they had barely seen during the first year of his life.
D tried a similar approach this time around, but to no avail. Junebug is younger – she will turn one just after we arrive back in the United States – and still nursing, so spending time apart was a nonstarter for S. Instead of a hiking-heavy road trip, we’ve laid out a more moderate route, starting with a visit to our friends in Salt Lake City, taking in the Teton Range, and ending in Boise.
Why Boise, you ask? It’s a reasonable question considering that its airport, from where S will fly back East with the kids, is in no way a regional hub. For D, spending the summer in the States opens up tantalizing opportunities to catch up on live music, the one thing he misses above all else when we are overseas. We had kicked around several potential road trip itineraries to various parts of the country. This one stuck because a band D’s been dying to see will play a show in Boise the last night of our road trip. And if you think that’s a little nuts, consider also that D has already purchased tickets to six concerts in five different states, and has his eyes set on half a dozen more.
But first, we need to finish up in Rwanda. We timed our departure pretty well. Not only is D transitioning at almost exactly the same time as his boss, but also D has functionally wrapped things up in the office a week before our departure. Today is a local holiday, our packout has been scheduled for Monday-Tuesday, and Wednesday D will mark World Refugee Day with a final trip to one of the country’s six refugee camps.
Meanwhile, despite the steady accretion of boxes and bins in various rooms, our house still looks more lived-in than not. S has made a long list of things she wants to wait until the last possible instant to dismantle (Junebug’s crib, the kitchen, our bed), all but ensuring that this packout will remain hectic down to the wire.