We now have six months until Cairo is just a memory. This past week Brandon was officially 'paneled,' which means that we're really going to Baku because there's no real reason that we shouldn't go and hey, why not? Now that we're official, Brandon has been receiving all of the welcome information about Baku. And now that we're official, Brandon has a long list of things to do before we leave Cairo.
One of the great things about the Foreign Service is the opportunity to live all around the world, and one of the hardest things about the Foreign Service is that we have to move so much. Six months, in reality, is a very long time. Our 'living' in Cairo the first time only lasted seven months, and that felt like an eternity. But somehow switching over to 2011 has made our departure feel like it is just around the corner.
When I looked through the new Primary handbook at the songs to teach, I stopped after July because after July somebody else will be teaching the children songs. Rere mentioned that Ramadan will start in August, and I realized that Ramadan won't affect me. I pulled out my reserve bottle of Karo syrup last Friday, and was about to write Karo on my grocery list, but stopped. Would I really use up two bottles of Karo syrup in six months? I ordered winter clothes for the children, and had them sent to my mother because next winter we'll have a winter.
I have a tendency, when departure is imminent, to shut down every day life and not worry about anything because I'll be leaving so soon anyways, so who cares? But six months is a long, long time to abandon all schedules and purposes. It's hard to prepare to leave while pretending in your everyday life that life will not be blown apart to pieces in six short months.
And of course all I can see around me is the things that I won't miss - living the life of a shut-in, not having a car, not having a yard, not having seasons, and the people, people everywhere I go anytime I leave my house staring at me, staring at my children, and never leaving me alone.
But after I leave, I'll only remember the things that I won't have again - fresh aish from the bakery, strawberries all winter long, mangoes in the summer, swimming in October, and sunshine almost every day of the year.
This life is a strange one, when I think of my friends and family in the US who largely get to live where they want, as long as they would like. I find much less attachment to place then I had growing up. We live in Cairo now, but we'll live in Virginia soon, and following Virginia we'll live in Azerbaijan, and after that who knows. The thought of never coming back doesn't sadden me as I will form a trail of places lived and never returned to. As Rere is fond of saying, "But what can we do? Such is the life."