I thought that amongst all the posts with photos and updates on life in Cambridge (and just a heads up that there'll be mostly that type of blog post on this blog for the next 6 months!) I should write a post about why we are here and what we'll be doing for the next six months.
As part of his job, Dave has one semester set aside every four years which is meant to be used for writing and research - a sabbatical. For his last sabbatical we stayed in Sydney and he shut himself in his study and wrote his PhD thesis. This time around he will be working on a few different projects. He has two book contracts - one for a book on 1 Corinthians and Christian leadership and the other on how Scripture interprets Scripture. There is another book on the future of theology that he is editing. To do that kind of project, it's great to have access to a really good library and a community of scholars to learn from and talk things over with. There's a place here in Cambridge, called Tyndale House, which has been established for Biblical scholars and postgraduate students to come and work on extended writing projects. He has a permanent desk booked in the library here and gets uninterrupted time there every day, with access to loads of books and journals that he needs. Because there are so many other people here working on various projects in the same vein, he has lots of oppotunities to exchange ideas and insights with them and get advice on where to dig in his research work.
So the kids and I have accompanied him for the six months, because we'd miss him just a little bit if he went without us! :). But it's more than us just tagging along. I also see being in Cambridge as a great opportunity for the kids and me to learn lots. I am planning to do a bit of my own research for a project I'm doing at college next semester, but the biggest thing I'll be doing for the six months will be teaching the kids. We haven't enrolled them in school here, but instead have decided to keep them enrolled in their schools back home and keep up with a bit of schoolwork through the magic of the internet. But that will be a small part of their learning. I'm keen to make the most of living in a different part of the world and turn this 6 months into a giant enrichment experience for them. So we'll be doing a fair bit of exploring Cambridge and its surrounds during the week and writing and reading about what we see. There are lots of museums in Cambridge itself and interesting things to explore in the town and the surrounding countryside. The older kids will join a local choir and I'll take Lydia to a play group. Later in our time, we have both set of grandparents coming over (in separate visits) and we'll venture a little further when they come.
I'm sure there will be lots for me to write about in the next six months!