Sabbatical Year by the Numbers

Ben is a data guy, and here are some numbers he’s calculated in the last couple of days:

1st half (July 1, 2014 through December 31, 2015)

# of days in Vermont – 150
# of days on the road – 27
# of days in Dedham – 5
# of miles traveled – 15,250
# of flights – 10
# of days with Ben & Margot Snyder (ages 94 & 90) – 30
# of countries visited – 2 (US & Bahamas)
# of nights Sarah @ MGH for knee replacement – 1
# of books read by Ben – 27, Sarah – 30
# of courses taken by Ben – 3 (Wilderness First Aid, SCUBA, Intro to Finance
# of courses failed by Ben – 2 (guitar & Spanish)

2nd Half (January 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015)

# of days in Vermont – 18
# of days on the road – 159 (plus another 7 for Ben to Israel in June)
# of days in Dedham – 6
# of miles traveled – 46,825
# of countries visited – 8 (Rwanda, South Africa, Turkey, India, Laos, China & Tibet, Japan, & Israel for Ben)
# of books read – Ben – 25, Sarah – 25
# of flights – 19
# of red eye flights – 8
# of schools/NGOs visited – 20 (RW – 6, SA – 5, TK – 1, India – 1, Laos – 3, CH – 3, JA – 1)
# of consulting reports written – 4 (Agahoso Shalom Youth Village, Kepler, African Leadership Academy, Mtubatuba Football Academy)
# of nights hosted by friends – 66!
# of days with Ben’s parents – 15 (in January)
# of hot showers in Rwanda – 2
# of miles driven across South Africa – 1300
# of photos lost with iPad mini snafu – 400 (Laos, China, Tibet…)

# of journals Sarah finished – 3   


 biggest unanticipated expense – Amazon Kindle!

difference between monthly expenses between 7/1 through 12/30 vs. 1/1 through 6/30 – about 15% less on trip

So I guess we should travel more 🙂

Thanks so much for being interested in our lives these last few months; we feel so lucky to have family, friends, warmth, and love to return to…


Easing back into life after sabbatical…in San Francisco, heading to Boston tonight…

How lucky we are to be in the Bay Area – staying with Ben’s sister, Amy, in Oakland:

Seeing good friends, like Mark & Donata:

Ben Rewis, Melanie Gideon, and their son, Benj:


William Kamkwamba, our host ‘son’ who graduated from Dartmouth last  year and now works in San Francisco:


We also had a beer with Chris Gaither (Nobles ’93) in Rockridge (Oakland), our home for three fun years.  Such a great place for  re-entry: 




Lucky us! 

Sapporo Send Off

We leave this special place so filled with gratitude for our  many welcoming, new friends at SIT. What a lovely send off; first a performance of Stevie Wonder songs by the brass band, ending with a moving song that is a tribute to the victims of the 2011 earthquake by the band and the chorus:


Then a Tea Cermony performed by these lovely young ladies:


And a quick trip to the top of the impressive ski jump of the 1972 Sapporo Olympics:

And on the train to the airport hotel, all of this and more thanks to the diligence and kindness of Mr. Nakamaru:

On the plane in an hour!

Still in Sapporo

How warmly we have been welcomed into this beautiful part of Japan on Hokkaido Island! We are so thankful to Mr. Nakamaru for setting up our exceptional homestays with the Chiba and Takahashi families and our wonderful conversations with Mr. Kimura and Mrs. Sakai and her daughter, Manna. We had a great day hiking with Mr. Nakamaru today.
And Ben and I are loving the Japanese cuisine!
We leave on Friday for San Francisco to see Amy, Ben’s sister, and some friends in the area and back to Boston on the red eye on Sunday night.
Here are a few recent images:
Our new friends, Mrs. Sakai and her daughter, Manna, who attends Hokkaido University::
The Takahashi family:
Our day of fly fishing, hot springs, and delicious food:

Spending time at S.I.T., our partner school in Sapporo:
faculty office area –
In front of their Nobles bulletin board –
In and around Sapporo today:
Lush greenness everywhere:
Stumbling upon a Shinto blessing preparation:

Tomorrow we look forward to a brass band performance and tea ceremony before we leave this special place.
Nearly homeward bound…