The End Of An Era


When we made the decision to move to Texas in late February I knew that leaving Doha was going to be hard on all of us. However I don’t think that anything could have prepared us for the emotional roller coaster the following months and weeks brought. 

The going away parties, get togethers and play dates started in early May. It seemed like every hour of every weekend was  booked, that everyone wanted a little piece of us before we left and to be honest I wanted to hold on to every last piece of Doha that I could. 

When we arrived in Qatar almost seven years ago it was the last day of Ramadan. It was after midnight and as we walked off the plane with our three small children we were greeted by a wall of heat and the soundings of our new life. Over the next few weeks we learnt to navigate the city, how to entertain small children in 52 degree heat and to never leave your house with out a bottle of water. We had to learn to communicate with people who didn’t speak English as their first language and figure out which products in the grocery store resembled those from home for our fussy children. There were days even weeks when I wondered if we had made the right decision moving to the Middle East. 

However the following months and years brought about amazing friendships and we found a sense of community in the school and organizations the muppets were apart of. The day to day struggles that we faced in our first few weeks here became a normal part of everyday life and the muppets adapted to their environment. 

We created our own family which we shared Thanksgivings, Christmas’ and Easters with as well as the occasional Thursday night BBQ. They became our emergency contacts, shoulders to cry on and the people we could count on no matter what. We fell in to a comfortable routine of spending the school year together and saying goodbye for 8 weeks every summer as we all traveled to different countries to visit friends and family. 

Over the past few years we have watched good friends leave and move on to exciting new countries and jobs. Some people we knew that we would see again and others we weren’t sure. But we knew that this was all apart of expat life. 

Yesterday we said goodbye to the place we have called home for the past six years. The walls have been stripped bare and the only thing that remains is the markings my husband made of the growth of the muppets from year to year. 

You realize that once you have downsized your life in to 10 suitcases and a 20 foot sea can that all of the stuff we have accumulated over the years doesn’t really matter and we can probably live without. 

The things that truly matter we will take with us where ever we go. 

Tomorrow we leave the place where my children have spent half their lives. We say goodbye to our life here and move on to something new, exciting and a little scary. 

We have been truly blessed to have had this experience, as a family we have traveled to 8 different countries, had many adventures and made some amazing memories. We are all sad to leave but Doha will always be apart of us, because it has given us so much and we will take a little piece of it where ever we go. Off we go on to new and bigger adventures! 

So long Doha it’s been a slice! 

Not Goodbye… just See You Soon!

248581_10151230268395395_454826272_n

When we moved in to Doha we had two weeks of bliss living in a hotel, then we got moved to temporary housing which felt like we had been dropped in the middle of New Delhi! It took the company just about three weeks to find us a compound to live, we moved in to our new Villa the middle of October. It was a big adjustment, we didn’t know anyone in the compound so it really pushed me to make new friends quickly.

The muppets and I settled in to a routine and we went to the pool every day until the weather became too chilly, then we started going to the park. Everyday at 4:00 o’clock the play ground would be filled with young children the biggest muppet was probably one of the older ones there and almost 80% of the kids were boys! My kids were in heaven and I slowly got to know the parents of the kids on these cooler afternoons.

One much cooler afternoon as I stood at the park shivering one of the ladies on the compound drove by and stopped to say “hi”. She said that they wouldn’t be coming to the park today because of the weather and was wondering why on earth I was sat out there in those conditions. I explained to her that our cleaning lady was cleaning the house and it was easier if I kept the kids out of her way, I didn’t really know what else to do to keep them busy. She laughed and invited the boys and I over to her villa for a cup of tea and a play and on that day our casual park friendship turned into a friendship that I will cherish for years to come. It was so easy to slip in to a friendship with her, there was no drama just laughs and smiles! Our kids got a long so well that we never had to break up a fight and our husbands became friends which made family barbecues, beach days and camping trips effortless.

I met my girlfriend for coffee about a month ago and we continued our conversation through the grocery store. We stopped at the deli counter both deciding what to make for dinner when she blurted out “We are leaving, it’s official…well it’s not official but it will be tomorrow and then that’s it we are going home!” I stood there in shock for a moment I knew that this time had been coming since we met because that is the thing about being an expat you never know when goodbye is going to come. It did not seem real for a few weeks until we started making more plans to see each other and she slowly started selling off her possessions. At their going away party she hugged me as we danced on the dance floor and made me promise that our kids would grow up knowing each other. That we would try really hard to stay in touch and meet places for vacations and visit in airports on our way to Canada. I made the promise knowing that neither of us knew where life would be taking us but that we would hold each other in our hearts where ever we are.

I told the muppets as we drove to their pool one last time today that they would not be seeing their friends for a while.  I watched the boys play with their friends as if nothing was going to change, they gave each other high fives, punches, hugs and we said our good byes. As we drove home the oldest muppet said that he was going to miss his friends a lot.  I agreed with him the whole family will be missed dearly. But it is not goodbye forever, we will see them again somewhere, some day soon.