Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beep

Hi!

You've reached Nick and Liz's blog.

Liz is too busy visiting family, buying new clothes and shoes, stuffing her face full of fruits and vegetables, and simply just enjoying being home from Kabul to come to the blog right now. Please leave a message at the beep, and she'll write you back just as soon as she tires of the Whole Foods salad bar.

Beep!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lasts

I thought I'd have something epic and poetic to say about leaving Kabul. Leaving here is all I've wanted for months. I thought I'd be tap dancing for joy, and that Nick I would go out in a blaze of party glory...just as we've sent off so many friends before.

Instead, I'm just.....kind of numb. And pretty much speechless.

There was no blaze of party glory. Just a regular Thursday night at the D&C, and a Friday night spent tossing our unused consumables into boxes for people to pick through in the morning.

Nick and I cracked open the two bottles of wine we saved from our wedding. We drank, we packed, we watched a little TV. I tried not to think about how much money we're throwing away in unused consumables.

And then tomorrow it's done. Breakfast, lunch, and then we leave. And life in Kabul will go on without us. With the high rate of turnover, pretty soon there won't be anyone here who remembers us ever being at post.

I'm sure the emotion and shock of the change will hit me later, and then the words will come spilling out, whether I want them to or not. But for right now, all I can really thinks or say is....I can't believe it's ending.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Brain, please be quiet

Things about which I am worrying right at this moment:



  • the prospect of signing a short-term lease on an apartment, sight unseen

  • how to keep from going crazy with boredom spending every day by myself while Nick is in language training and all of my friends are at work

  • the fact that come Saturday I am unemployed

  • becoming overwhelmed by being back in the states and overindulging on groceries, new clothing, dinners out at restaurants, going to plays/movies, etc

  • what percentage of our belongings we shipped home from Kabul will arrive in DC intact. The movers already broke one of our big pieces of furniture while packing us out.

  • the horrible guilt over leaving so much work undone, so many goals unaccomplished, and so much additional work on my colleagues' shoulders

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Here We Go Again

Tomorrow is P-day....packout day.

Two years, done and gone. It's gone both excruciatingly slowly and surprisingly quickly, especially these last 30 days.

I wish I could say that everything is on track and we're ready to head out. Unfortunately that's not the case. For those of you that follow fellow FS blogger The Perlman Update, endless HR drama is nothing new. For those of you that don't follow her.....please enjoy our little tale of woe.

In order to get our belongings packed out and our plane tickets purchased, we have to get a Travel Authorization (TA) from HR here in Kabul. Nick filed for our TA one month ago...pretty much as soon as he received his assignment cable clearing him to depart post June 11, take some home leave, and then start language training in DC in July.

Cut to this week, and we still don't have the TA. The movers keep emailing us saying that they can't finalize our packout date until our TA is authorized. HR keeps telling us that the TA is coming any minute now. As late as this morning, HR told us that it was on the desk of the very last person who needed to authorize it, and that we'll be ok to packout tomorrow.

Cut to this afternoon, and we have now learned that our TA is LOST. As in gone. *poof* No more. And we have to start all over with getting it drafted and cleared.

And cut to Liz's brain exploding.

Oh yeah...did I mention that tomorrow morning I'll be serving as the communications officer for an event with Ambassador Eikenberry tomorrow morning? At exactly the same time as I'm supposed to be packing out.

Oh yeah x2.....did I mention that HR Washington just cancelled our mandatory high-stress outbriefing session that we booked for June 13 six weeks ago? The course around which we scheduled our home leave, which involves many expensive plane tickets? Yes indeed. They did suggest alternate dates: A) June 10 (when we're still in Kabul) or B) any time the week of June 20, when we're criss-crossing the midwest visiting Nick's family on our aforementioned home leave on the aforementioned expensive plane tickets.

All I can do at this point is repeat the mantra I stole from the lovely and wise Sister J -- "Everything will work out in the end. If things haven't worked out....it's not the end." I just have to trust that HR will sort itself out, go get the house ready for packout tomorrow, and keep my eye on Saturday as the day we'll fly back to the US.