I am hot and sweaty. I recently arrived back home in Suly after spending two days trekking across Northern Iraq to see the schools in Dohuk and Hawler (Erbil). It was an interesting adventure of bumpy roads, security checkpoints, and back roads. I was again impressed with the beauty of this country. The mountains and valleys and rivers are all breathtaking. Multitudes of wild-flowers line the roadsides. Sleeping in a hotel with air-conditioning all night long was a pleasure. As I said, it is already getting warm. It has been up over a hundred easily. It was entertaining to try to convince another of our staff that it was actually hotter than this last summer when I came in July.

I came in July last year. Now, as June approaches, I realize how much time I have spent here and how attached I am. I had to say goodbye to my 6th graders and that was very hard. Hugging each one as they went in to take their final tests last week, a Ministry of Education official (there to proctor the tests) said, “The students, they love you!” And I love them.

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