The Olmsted network never ceases to amaze me. Over the course of 50 years, there have been approximately 600 scholars and families to study around the world. When Mike was accepted, we went to an orientation where previous scholars raved about the connections they made and the experiences they had. This blog has been a great way to share the experiences we've had, but I hope that it provides a little insight into the friendships we've made as well. I never feel awkward or strange staying at another scholar's house, even if we've never met them! I think that says a lot about the scholars and families in the program.
One of the amazing scholars we met in the program is Melissa. She's in Mike's class and is currently studying in Rabat, Morocco. We visited her and her husband, Ryan, in Rabat last February, despite not really knowing them. We had a BLAST! We stayed up late hanging out and got up early to go sight seeing with them in their new home.
So, when the evacuation happened and Melissa heard I was headed to Ramstein, she messaged me to say that she had to come to Ramstein to do her flight physical (she has to do one each year to keep her pilot's license). After some calendar comparing, we figured out that she could come the first week in May and come and stay for a few days while getting all of her stuff done. At first, I felt a little bad about having her come for Karen's last week, but it worked out well because Karen was swamped with work.
Monday afternoon, I headed to Frankfurt to pick up Melissa from the airport. I was so excited to see her! After the drive back, we stopped to get German food on base before heading "home" and introduced her to Karen. I felt bad because, since their schedules were opposite and Karen was swamped with work, they didn't have a ton of time to hang out. I had so much fun, though because I had someone to hang out with all the time! It was awesome. It was so great to catch up with Melissa and hear about her Master's program (she just started this semester) and, of course, it was so great hanging out with my favorite Kare Bear. Melissa and I spent one night out and got Indian food while Karen worked. The next night, we stayed in and made fajitas and Melissa worked on some homework, while I blogged and Karen worked.
We didn't do anything too crazy, but it was just so nice to have friends to hang out with. I'm so thankful for friends like Karen and Melissa who make this crazy evacuation a little bit easier.