May is here at last, and we all know what that means: finals, the turning on of the AC, mosquitoes in the evening, and a huge trip somewhere international.
At least, that what it's been like for us for a few years. We've never spent a May (or June, or July) in Tucson, and so I can't help but feel like we're overstaying our welcome. Fortunately, we'll be gone by the end of the month (to Middlebury).
But all this beginning-of-May-ness has got me reminiscing about the Mays of the past.
There was 2000, when I went on a study abroad to Japan. Here I am on my first night there, in our ryokan (traditional inn) in Kyoto. Those few months living with a host family in Kyoto remain some of the awesomest of my life.
2001 brought the return of Jeremy from Syria on his study abroad program. It was nice to be able to talk to him in person, with an added bonus that the secret police would no longer be able to listen in on our 67-cents-a-minute phone conversations....on a phone that he shared with 60 other people...that was often mysteriously "disconnected" mid-call.
Ah, 2002, a relaxing trip to Estonia and Finland (we were living in Moscow at the time). Even if we did have to stay in the House of Evil.
2003. Camping. What can I say? We were living in American Fork. I remember being scared all night that we would be eaten by a bear (it's probably a good thing this hadn't happened yet, or we wouldn't have gone at all).
2004, just before we left for Syria. We went on a rafting trip on the Green River in southern Utah with what is best described as a big group of Palestinian shebaab. I think this trip was the best preparation I had before heading to the Middle East for the first time.
2005 - a day trip from Damascus to the Boukein spring and the Bludan general area. Our friend Sterling arm wrestled an elderly man. I don't remember who won.
In case you can't tell, this is 8-month-old Miriam in 2006 with Jeremy, catching some z's at a stopover between international flights in Vienna, Austria. If for no other reason, I am glad to be Mormon because it meant we could stop at the church building and take a nap before boarding another plane to Amman that evening.
Also 2006, in our own bed in Amman, at last. You'd be surprised how well Miriam adjusted to the time change (of course, it probably helped that she was still waking up at night a few times anyway).
Fresher faces in 2007 - ready for a day in New York City before going to Amman again.
Jeremy and I did our best to get some sleep on the flight, even though 20-month-old Miriam did her best to take up as much of our seats as possible.
As you can see, this year's beginning of May is one of the least exciting yet (except for maybe that camping year...). Oh well. We'll see what we can do about that when we finally get going to Middlebury.