It has been a crazy week in the Cyberbones house. A week ago handshakes came out. If you're not part of the Foreign Service family, handshakes are what we call it when you are notified of your next assignment (aka posting). It is an exciting day. Facebook and blogs across the world were busy announcing the news.
We had placed bids on six posts. Two in Asia, two in Europe, one in the Middle East and one in Washington DC. I know the list looks a little crazy, but there are all sorts of rules and regulations about bidding, so we bid on a variety of geographic regions, just like we are supposed to.
For a number of reasons we had become a bit fixated on the DC option. For one thing DC would require finding and renting or buying a house in a ridiculously expensive real estate market. The day I said, "Hey look at this one it, its pretty nice and only $500,000." is the day I realized that when you start thinking half a million dollars is reasonable, you have been looking at DC houses too long. We had also pretty much decided we would continue homeschooling if we were to go to DC. I am not totally enamored of the curriculum I chose this year and would do it differently next year if we were to continue homeschooling.
In the evenings after the kids went to bed and Dave and I did our obligatory Facebook check in, we were on the net surfing DC real estate (Dave) and homeschool curriculums alternating with house decorating sites (Me). So Monday when Dave finally got the long awaited e-mail my reaction was not "SQEEEE!!! We got Oman!!" I think what I said was more long the lines of a very puzzled, "Really we're not going to DC? Seriously? Are you kidding me?" Not quite the reaction Dave was looking for.
Of course once I had a chance to start really looking at Oman I became VERY excited and remembered why we bid on it. David is now spending his evenings looking at 4X4 vehicles because he is totally planning on doing this.
With the kids. EEEEK!
I am spending my time looking at the three English language International type schools in Muscat, trying to decide which is the best fit, because the kiddos ARE going back to school after all. YAY! I get my life back. SOB! I'm going to miss having them home all day. (*note from husband yeah right!)
I think it's down to two schools: The American International School of Muscat (TAISM) which I have been told is fabulous, and the American British Academy (ABA) which uses the IB curriculum. Colin's beloved 4th grade teacher taught at ABA for 5 years before coming to Malawi. Mr. B has lots of good to say about that school, but TAISM is the school where most FS kids go, and I've heard great things about it too. It's going to be a tough choice. And then there's the British School Muscat which also looks like a good school, but my kids have never been on the British national curriculum so it probably isn't for us.
When I am not consumed with schools, I am busy trying to figure out how I am going to get in shape between now and August, factoring in a 2 month holiday R&R starting next week during which you can bet I am going to eat my weight in turkey, ham, and Mexican food. Later there will be pack out stress and associated goodbye parties, and then home leave this coming summer, during which I will again eat my weight in Mexican food and BBQ. Sounds like a plan destined to fail, right?
In spite of the odds stacked against me, I am feeling fairly confident I can succeed. I am not-at-all worried about losing weight. I am happy with my weight for the first time in decades. It has taken me 7 years and 3 continents but I have gone from 168 to under 140, barely under, but under. No, I am good if I don't lose even a pound. But instead, I am worried about getting in shape, being able to have the strength and energy to keep up with the kids. Apparently Oman is a hotbed of outdoor adventure sports. I am pretty sure that as fun as canyoning, rock climbing, sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving look on the computer screen you have to have a certain level of fitness to make it even remotely fun in real life. Judging from the last few hikes I have gone on with the kids, I'm not quite there, but I WILL be! After all, I have this to inspire me.