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Masalama, Bahrain

The Long Goodbye


One of the most emotional moments of a Foreign Service overseas tour is the long goodbye. From about mid-May to late August, most U.S. Embassies and Consulates experience a massive turnover.  Calendars become filled with goodbye dinners, lunches, parties, tears, laughter and memories.  I've said goodbye now to about a dozen co-workers. The most difficult part has been watching people who arrived after me, leaving before me.  Mrs. Crab has been back in the States for more than a month. And now it's my turn. In a few days I'll be permanently leaving Bahrain. It seems like just yesterday I hit the 6 month milestone, 100 days, 50 days. It did not seem real until about 30 days, when I really started my "Check Out" list, packing, planning, drafting "Welcome Notes" for my successor, sharing my "institutional knowledge" with colleagues, and attending my own going-away events.  This is my last weekend in Bahrain. I've given away all the food in my house, surviving on delivery and take-away meals. In one week, the Two Crabs will be back together again, barbecuing in our own back yard in America. Masalama.