…the end of jet lag, that is. We got back last Thursday at about 3:30 a.m. We woke up the kids and had a joyous reunion. One of my friends, going BEYOND the call of ordinary friendship, not only kept 2 of my 3 children for 3 weeks while we were gone, but also brought them back to the house and stayed up till we got home, so that we could see them right away.

Of course we woke them up at 4 a.m. Wouldn’t you? I ran into their room and yelled “I’m home!” and they all tumbled out of bed, bleary-eyed and barely able to stand, and staggered over to hug me. I never ever want to leave them again for so long and it’s mutual—they don’t want me to leave again either. I honestly don’t think I’m going to be able to manage college—I’m going to have to follow them, get a room in the dorm, decorate with some fantastically outmoded posters, and give them a kiss goodnight every night. It won’t embarrass them—they love me.

Jet lag has lingered because we didn’t really get to rest. After hugs and some unpacking and gift-giving, we went to bed round 4:30 a.m., and I had to teach a class at 10 that morning. I did absolutely no prep, just opened up the book in front of the class and started teaching what it said. The truly frightening thing is how well it went. I don’t think it’s good for me to know I can teach just fine with no prep at all. Good thing there are only 2 weeks left of the term.

International communities are transient, and our little one here in Nouakchott is no exception. Many people are leaving for the summer, but we’re leaving permanently in August which is before they get back, so we need to say our good-byes now. Good-byes usually involve a meal and several hours of hanging out. So we stayed up till midnight that first night, and again the second night, and again the 3rd night. Our lives are a social whirl, and we are surviving on the occasional snatched nap and the  2 pounds of Starbucks Sumatran we brought back with us.

Soon, we start thesis juries. Can’t wait. In the meantime, we have approximately a million things to do that involve an international move, which are of course the best kind if you thrive on stress, which we seem to.