Three rolls of packing tape, 150 photocopied pages of permits and $833 USD to DHL later, we finally got all our samples shipped home from Kenya on Thursday. This left us with only about 500 water samples, a box full of equipment, all of our clothes and one somewhat suspicious-looking water meter to travel with. We ended up with only one extra bag and one bag overwieght, which in comparison to our arrival meant traveling pretty light!
Despite our generally smooth travels home, arriving back in the US was still a shock to the system. First of all, it's cold. Like, really cold. No more Chaco sandals for a few months. Second of all, being somewhat farther from the equator these days, it isn't light until after 7:00 am and it gets dark by 5:00 pm. After being drenched in regular, predictable sunshine for the past six months, this is an abrupt change. However, the biggest shock by far was walking off the airplane and having our first glimpse of the US be a big-screen television broadcasting the unspeakably tragic events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week, just 30 miles from our home in New Haven, when a young gunman walked into an elementary school and killed 26 people, most of them small children. It was a heartbreaking homecoming, and my heart aches for these children and their families. Very glad to be heading home to Georgia in just a few days to spend some time with the beautiful little children in our lives and tell them how much we love and miss them while we're away.