Wow – just about a whole year has passed and I really can’t believe it. I’m excited to be going home but I am also leaving home. Right now I am sitting in a hotel in Dubai and about to fly out tomorrow morning. This moment has seemed so far away all year and already it is happening! For this next month I will be home but living out of a suitcase. Honestly I’m surprised by how sad I am to be leaving our home in the UAE for the summer. In this last month I really felt adjusted here and really felt as if I finally belonged in the UAE. There are so many things I will miss this summer – which is weird to say because while here there are so many things I miss about home now!Here are just a few:

1. Spending weekends and evenings relaxing with the friends we have made here – friends that feel so close they are like family.

2. Driving into the desert each morning to teach and seeing lines of camels roaming on the sand dunes.

3. Driving to Dubai on the weekends.

4. Evenings in the gym at the Danat Hotel.

5. Eating delicious middle eastern food whenever I want – and for really cheap!

And of course on the flip side there are things that I have missed about America that I cannot wait for:

1. Seeing family members and friends!!

2. Our favorite restaurants – Buffalo Brew Pub, Globe Market, Wegman’s subs, The Thirsty Buffalo, Spot Coffee and so many more!

3. Seeing natural grass, trees, and flowers (everything grown here is artificially maintained).

4. Fresh air – I’m so sick of sand!!

5. Not having to worry about what I wear!

I have been thinking about this word home a lot lately. In many ways I feel split. But the split is a blessing because it means I have two homes – one in the UAE and one in the USA. I am surrounded by people who care for and love us in both places. But most of all what I have found in all this traveling over the year is a home in Scott. No matter where we are – Nepal, Oman, Thailand, UAE, Qatar, America – I know that we are there for each other, and satisfied just being together. We have done so many incredible things this year and I am thankful every day for this opportunity to explore the world. Our lifestyle in the UAE is one that we would not be able to have in the USA. So tomorrow I will say “hello” to America and for now a short “see you later” to the UAE. This song has constantly been in my mind as I am getting ready to fly out tomorrow. It reminds me of all the wonderful homes I have in the world – and of the wonderful home I’ve found in Scott . . . enjoy (p.s. this one goes out to you Katie Blackman – Edward Sharpe!!)

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