Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Diary: 2/26/2002

Dear friends and family:

We had a small debate this week on whether to save our biggest news for last, or to put it at the beginning of our note so that people who just scan these quickly wouldn't miss it.

In the end, it is more important for you to know than for you to hear things in chronological order.

To make a long story short, we are coming home.

For those who would prefer a little more detail:
No, it wasn't the dryers. Nor was it the car accident, the trips to the hospital, the weirdo workmen, or the 1000 franc electricity bill for our first month here. In the end, our decision to come back home was based on a multitude of elements, many of them positive and some less-so. It will be a hard journey back, but we know it is worth the effort for the entire family.

So what are the travel plans exactly?
On March 16, everyone will fly back to Cleveland. We will all spend 3 weeks settling in - looking for a house, getting a car for Debbie, etc. We'll also have a great time celebrating Passover among family and friends. There have been too many empty holidays for our comfort of late.

Then, on April 6 Leon will return to Switzerland. At this moment, we are not sure of the details of Leon's work. There are several options that Nestle is deciding upon.

However, what we do know is that Debbie and the kids will be back in the US for good, and settling life there while Leon settles the details in Switzerland.

OK. So how was the week?

As we mentioned last week, this was a week off from school for the kids. This is true of many of the schools in France and Switzerland, and many people take this week to go skiing. Of course, the weather didn't oblige very much, as the snow has all melted (even up high) from the unseasonably warm weather we've had.

We decided to stay close to home, and spent the week visiting friends, going bowling, etc. There was something to do nearly every day, but it was low-impact.

On Wednesday Debbie and Karen Ayres attended their second French class, and were promptly dumped. If you think being dumped on a date is bad, it's nothing compared to the rejection you feel when your French teacher, who speaks nearly no English, tells you that it's not you, it's her, but she still wants to be friends.

Actually, like many dating experiences, it was the children that drove them away. After being painstakingly clear that Debbie and Karen could not take a class unless they had childcare arrangements, and after obtaining vehement assurances that this was not a problem, the ladies arrived only to be asked "You still have the children? I thought you were going to do something with them" (what "something" they were supposed to do with the children is still vague, and has sinister undertones). In any case, they were told that they could not return to class until they had made alternate arrangements for the kids.

Which, given the fact that there are only 20 days until our return, means that Debbie at least will not be returning to class.

On Friday Debbie met up with the Knox's for the afternoon, and then Leon and Pete joined them at their house after work. A lovely fondue dinner followed, and we left far too late in the evening.

We then woke up early on Saturday and met up with our Paul and Rory, and took a road trip up to Fribourg. Fribourg is a larger city, but is distinct for a few reasons. First, the river running through it marks the separation between French-speakign and German-speaking Switzerland. It also is home to the Gutenberg museum.

It must be noted that, on the doors to this building, the words "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" are engraved. We never would have imagined it.

After the late night Friday and the long day Saturday, we were ready for a quiet time on Sunday. Just some laundry, homework, cleaning, and writing this note.

Everyone is in good health and spirits. Well, except perhaps Joram who is cutting 3 teeth at the same time.

Debbie, Leon, Heather, Isabelle, and Joram

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