Packing can be tedious, which is probably why I wait until the last minute.  My list of necessities seems much bigger and longer than any bag I own can hold.  Black t-shirt, check.  Rain boots, check.  And so it goes.  I feel like I spend most of my packing time picking my own brain about the things I could possibly be forgetting that I will obviously die without. 

I ran across this photo while I was busy packing. (Yes, I'm a little ADD.  No, this is not news.)  I took it from the roof of the school as the kids were being let out.  They thought it was my new post, and that I would be an all seeing eye.  Not a bad idea.  We had just learned that we received the levy the school needed to maintain at current capacity.  The whole staff gathered shortly after the kids left to take a photo to publish in the paper as a way to express our appreciation.  None of that is really relevant.  I'm sorry.  When I look at this photo, what I think of is the things that I need to unpack while I'm away.  This year was equally difficult and rewarding.  We had some major highs with the kids that were celebrated, but their counterpart lows were tragic, leaving us exhausted and disheartened. 

I love the kids.  I do.  But, I think there is a need to take a step back and unpack the last year so there is room to face the triumphs and challenges as we begin again.  Now is the time to make room for new adventures and new little faces trying to explain their naughtiness away.  It is time to laugh and breathe without the residual heaviness working hard and seeing only small results left behind.  Now, to celebrate the small results we did see, with a cup of Guatemalan coffee.  We'll get right on that upon landing tomorrow.