Sunset Over Waltham

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Well, I did it.  I taught a full year abroad in a foreign country!  The last days of school were very emotional including tears from many around me.  Internally I was just as sad to be leaving, but I am also really proud of myself for being able to do what I did.  A year ago if one was to tell me all the adventures and challenges that were to come my way I could not have believed them in a million years.  But they occurred and I came out a year later a better teacher, a better husband, and a better father.  I am exhausted and exhilarated having accomplished what I did.

How this all will change me as a teacher remains to be seen.  I know that I will approach teaching a bit differently because I really have no choice.  I do not foresee any real radical changes to how I will teach, but I do know that things will probably be a bit different.  I am excited to see what those changes might be next school term.

Of course we celebrated at the pub last night with our neighbors, whose son William and Zachary are best mates.  William is now on holiday, but when he returns Zachary will no longer be around, and that will be really hard for him.  They grew really close.  But it was still fun to chat and eat around various pints of cider and real ales .  My last night in a British pub was a good one.

Today we are continuing our mass cleaning of the home.  I went out and got a haircut, and had the car professionally washed and cleaned out.  We will finish our packing today as well.  Tomorrow we are going to move into the Trigg’s home for one night as we hand the keys to this home over to my exchange partner’s parents.  Monday our last adventure will begin…

Monday we fly to Berlin for three nights.  Then we fly to Budapest for three nights.  Next we are taking the train to Prague for two nights.  Followed by a flight to Pisa for one night, then the train to Florence for two nights.  Next we take the train back to Pisa and fly from there to Paris for four nights.  Finally we will take the Channel Train (Chunnel) all the way back through London up to Melton Mowbray for one final night, again with the Triggs.  On Wednesday the 31st of July our taxi will pick us up and all of our luggage and take us to London Heathrow, where we will fly back to the USA.

Our trip across Europe will be done with packs on our backs.  We are staying in the city centers of all the places.  We are basically backpacking and taking just enough to wear for a while until we need to do the laundry, probably in Prague (?).  We have both walking and bicycle tours planned in some places, will see most of the expected tourist sites in each city/country, and we are expecting warm to hot weather throughout.  I am not sure if booking a seaside holiday would have been a better plan, but seeing five countries and using three currencies (four if you include our coming back to England)  is what we are doing and we all are looking forward to this last, wild adventure.  Rebecca and I have been planning this for months and we got good deals on accommodations and travel fares.

I will be signing off the computer Sunday night, sending the occasional pictures to friends and family when the internet is available, but I probably will not blog again until August once we return.

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5 thoughts on “Sunset Over Waltham

  1. Congrats, man! I’m so glad Susan and I got the chance to get a glimpse of your life in Melton. We look forward to seeing you back in the Pacific NW, where the IPA runs free. Have fun on your Euro travels…tell Rebecca to post some photos on the Facebook.

  2. What a grand finale! You all will have the rest of your lives to re-live this wonderful experience. Jim and Phyllis

  3. Hooray for finishing the year! It sounds like it was a fabulous send-off from your host school. Lots of sunshine in Portland waiting for you and your family 🙂

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