We've been back home for over a week now. Our trip home was a bit...interesting, but we finally made it about 7 hours later than originally planned (with our luggage another 12+ hours behind us).
Now that we're settled back in, having fought a war with some pesky ants and cleaned up the remnants of the tree that feel in our back yard, we thought that it would be a good time to share a few final thoughts. So, here we go.
1. In one sense, our month in Spain was the tip of the iceberg in regards to the work, preparation, and planning that went into the trip. In any major project I've been involved with, there has always been those moments were you quietly ask yourself whether or not what you are doing is worth it. Seeing our students thrive, forming personal connections and (for some of them) honing their teaching craft, made it all worthwhile. I chose to go down the path of being at a teaching school as opposed to a research school; watching my students grow like they did reminded me of why I made that decision. I think it is always a good thing to be reminded in the present of why you made certain choices in the past.
2. Speaking of students, it was a delight to live with a number of them for a month. As a linguist, I was able to collect all kinds of useful data on current word usages and slang. In short, it was tots (sp?) awesome.
3. Some people thought we were crazy to take a (then) 8-month-old and a 5-year-old to another country for a month while we led a group of college students on a missions trip. In response, I would have to say that yes, we were. That said, it was a very positive experience for both boys. I had the chance to spend a lot father-son time with Tobin, and Ian had his cultural and linguistic horizons broadened.
4. Delta Airlines as a company is awful.
5. However, related to #4, there are a number of Delta employees who are wonderful.
6. In regards to ministry in Alcoy, I feel confident saying that our team met one of the primary goals I had going into the trip. Namely, the students we took, through their hard work, prayer, and dedication, opened a number of doors in regards to the ongoing ministry of the Spanish church there.
7. Next up, Lithuania in 2013. Maybe.