Normal missionaries spend four years in their country of service and then one year on "home assignment" in their sending country (furlough). During that year "home" they attend some interviews designed to ensure that they are OK, coping with cross-cultural work, that family life is OK, that they are in an appropriate sphere of service, and that their support is sufficiently strong for them to return overseas.
Never let it be said that we are normal. Anyway, France is not that far from Britain and our kids are in French schools, not in UK-style ones. For us to return to Britain for a year would be a mess on all sorts of fronts, normally (though if we hit some kind of crisis then a year in Britain may be helpful.
Anyway we came to France in September 2005 so we have been due for our five-year review. We were scheduled to undergo this in July but the car broke down on the way to the interviews so we set it up to be done by Skype last weekend.
Thus it was that Patricia spent a happy hour talking with, I think, Doreen last week. I had a nice long conversation with Bryn on Sunday evening and then we had our Personnel Panel by Skype yesterday. I imagine it went OK. If not we will find out in due course !