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So a year has come and gone here. I am amazed. And giving credit where credit is due, let me say that it is only through the Grace of God that I have made it this far in this state. I'm almost ebullient in my outlook. Not only because of our now imminent return to SLC rather more in spite of it. I give Him praise for such a marvelous thing.

So the milestone has passed: one finished, one to go and I'm both anxious and excited about it. The past year has been one of nearly infinite challenge. The challenge of learning to live in a different culture, of learning to live in apparent uselessness of trying to live so far from established family and friends. A personal challenge and a spiritual one. One that will probably affect me for years to come and one which will never be forgotten.

But I'm having trouble on focusing on that. With our trip to the states looming on the horizon it is hard to focus on anything else. The 8 days that stand between now and then seem interminable and my mind is wandering. It's difficult to write. It could be because I'm not feeling all that well. Friday night there was a party for the lab folks (Greg and Joan) which left me with a tremendous hangover on Saturday. I managed to survive that but ended up feverish and drained on Sunday. Last night it was alternatively chills and sweats and this morning I still feel bleah. I may spend the afternoon at home and take it easy. I can't seem to get motivated for much else.

We're still waiting on our tickets too. I received a few letters and birthday cards last week one of which was postmarked the same day as our tickets were mailed. So they can't be too far behind. The tickets are the last link in the chain to home. Once forged, we can relax and concentrate on the final preparations, packing & presents. I don't like to be over prepared to leave. Seems to stretch out the interval to leaving. Hopefully, I'll take next week off from Monday afternoon onward and I’ll take care of all the last minute stuff. It still seems a long way off but I imagine it will go very quickly.