New Friends, Old Friends, & a Rush to the Finish

Trip Start Oct 24, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The rest and relaxation of two weeks in the Philippines didn't last long: we returned to loads and loads of work that continued to pile up as the summer got closer.  The summer was the busiest time of year at our school.  We (and by "we," I mean "I") had to hire scads of new teachers, for all the locations nationwide to support the massive increase in hours.  And in 2008, our job was bigger than ever: we had to double the number of teachers in Hanoi over the first six months of the year -- not a small task, especially since we were already starting out with more than 40 teachers in January.  Meaning I had a mountain of work in front of me... and so did Konrad.

Basically, I brought the teachers in and he worked on keeping them sane and happy.  He had to find housing for all the summer teachers, of which there were about 40 in Hanoi, all starting on May 22nd, June 5th, or June 26th -- meaning lots of work for him.  Lots of work meant long hours for both of us, but we always made time for fun, which gave us plenty of opportunities to forge strong friendships with some of our new coworkers.  Thankfully, since most of them ended up becoming some of our best friends in Hanoi, and people we miss today very, very much (shout out to all y'all!).  

In the middle of all of the goings on, our good friend from Madtown, Lerner, dropped into Hanoi to spend a little QT with us.  It was so lovely to see him and to show him some of our favorite spots around town, but one of the best parts of his visit was the merging of our old and new lives as we introduced him to the Hanoi crew.

June not only ushered in the beginning of the summer program, but also the inaugural Geminipalooza birthday party to celebrate mine, Konrad's, and Diego's birthdays.  It was my 30th, so a bit of a milestone, and I milked it for all it was worth, stretching the festivities out for a week.  We felt very fortunate to have so many wonderful friends around to help us toast to our birthdays and rode into the second half of the month on a birthday high.

We also felt a bit of a rush at the thought of going home for the first time in almost three years -- far too long!  We were headed home on June 27th for about 5 weeks, and we were really looking forward to it.  True to form, we had too much on our plates and were running around like crazy as we prepared to leave: shopping for souvenirs, sorting out Diego, finding someone to take over our jobs for 5 weeks... there was tons to do before we left!  The question was, would it all get done?
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