Our good friends the Riches left Malaysia today, heading back to the States to find a new home. I really have to take my hat off to the embassy families...they have to be so adaptable, so adventurous, to pick up their life every few years and make a completely new one in an environment completely foreign to the last. They have to make new friends, learn new streets, find new stores, navigate new cultures...honestly it sort of sounds exhausting to me. I had a hard enough time acclimating to our life here without the idea of doing it all over in a few years hanging over my head.
Anyway, as I left their house this morning and they were loading up a van to take their stuff to the airport I realized that I didn't get any goodbye pictures with them. We went on a trip with them a few months ago so hopefully we have some pics there, but I regret not having any recent ones. Their daughter Karina has been John's main babysitter for the last year and he absolutely adores her and all the kids in their family (the older ones have basically all taken a stab at watching John for us and we will be forever grateful to them for giving us those glorious nights out without kids.) I also left their house feeling blessed and relieved because this week getting ready to travel to the States has suddenly become so packed that I'm not sure we'll even make it out the door with all of the things done that need to be...but when they were packing up they basically shoved all their food toward me and said "enjoy!" which was a huge blessing because I had no idea how I was going to get to the store to buy bread & stuff to last us through the week.
I have to say, the Riches were one of the first families to invite us into their home and make us feel more than welcome--they made us feel like family. Within hours of meeting us we were making plans to buy season tickets to the symphony together, they were offering their children to us as babysitters, we were planning game nights...things that were totally new to us in our married life. So many people here have made a difference in our lives, in the way Michael & I see the world, and hopefully in the way we treat other people. So we want to say thanks to the Riches and good luck with their house-hunting and basically starting their life over...again. You guys are awesome and we look forward to seeing you again.