Family Journal: December 17, 2021

Owen exits the terminal of the Tashkent International Airport

I think at international school educators and leaders were looking forward to Friday, December 17. International schools have a longer Christmas/New Year’s break than national schools and December 17 was the day for many international schools that marked the last day of school. This is so families have enough time to return to their home countries which involve international travel. COVID has complicated travel with border closures, quarantines, fewer scheduled flights and the possibility always of not passing a PCR test and being stuck abroad. For some countries like China, international school educators basically have been stuck in the country for two years now. They can leave, but they are not sure if they can return. We’ve been fortunate in Uzbekistan with mostly open borders and light or no quarantine measures. Many friends have successfully gone home and back. However, sometimes it depends on the situation in their home countries. We have 24 days of Winter Break starting from today, December 18, until we come back on Monday, January 10. I will be working throughout the break, but with flexible hours scheduled around family time.

The big news this week was the arrival of our eldest son Owen. He flew from Marquette, Michigan, transiting through Chicago and Istanbul to land in Tashkent early Tuesday (3:00 AM). It was a milestone for Nadia and me as parents, the first time one of our children returns from university. The advent of the internet has changed communication since I left my home for university. We were able to talk to Owen almost every day or at least text with him over our family Telegram group. He has been recovering over jet lag this week and enjoying being spoiled by mom.

My biggest joy in life right now is spending time with my family. It is such a perk to work in education and have your children attend the same school. We are forming a varsity “B” team to develop some of the grade 10 players and it gives me the opportunity to coach Oliver. I am working on his fundamentals. He has a pretty good instinct for the game having played a lot of soccer and he is fast, aggressive and strong which makes him a pretty good player. He needs to add the basic fundamentals of basketball (shooting form, footwork, boxing out, pivoting, etc.) to really make a difference on the varsity team over the next two years.

Oliver with his friends

I also got to chaperone the grade 10 students on their first field trip in 2 years! We took the kids to Joy Bowling Club and everyone had a good time. Tashkent is really inexpensive and we had to laugh to rent about 10 lanes for an hour and shoes, it only cost $60. Bowling is a fun winter family activity and I’ll be taking the family a couple of times during this break. Oliver scored 126 and that was your high score ever! He finished third overall, only being defeated by two teacher-chaperones. Hugo claims it is a “fluke” but we’ll see when we hold the Christmas Tournament.

To end this blog post, I am always looking for those small moments in life that often get overlooked. Earlier this week I was working in the spare bedroom and it was getting late and I laid down for a bit. I was joined by my daughter Ocean who came in to say good night and our dog Obi was nestled at our feet. It gave me a feeling of comfort and completeness, listening to my daughter’s breathing and have Obi sitting on my feet.

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