Following the end of Ramadan there has been a lot of socializing! Amazingly, this has even included eating while the sun is out, in public – and – dare I say it… alcohol (shhh).
The first celebration was a great night cooking out with new friends and colleagues in Dave and Karen’s back yard. It is amazing that we felt like it was a “cool” night, but it was still in the mid 80’s past 9 PM. I cannot believe I have adjusted to the point where a day in the low 90’s is cool. I am missing fall back in the Midwest, but I am starting to enjoy fall in the Mid-East.
The next day 25 amazing people went to a wonderful brunch at the Marriott Hotel. Bottomless champagne and a buffet with amazing food choices was a perfect way to spend the day. We spend about 4 hours eating, drinking, and talking. My favorite part was the fact that the meal was a break from Arabic food. I love Arabic food (well – not lamb), but after Arabic food for every meal during my vacation, I needed a break. The buffet had good Japanese food, Mexican food and other choices that are rare in Doha. This was the first social event I have been too where I felt like one of the group, and not an invited guest. It is great to finally feeling like this is my home, and that I am starting to make friends.
Sadly one of the reasons I took this job has changed. Kevin, the main individual who recruited and hired me has taken an amazing opportunity and another institution. While I am sad I will not be able to work with him, his leaving has provided many opportunities to bid him farewell. Even this event meant to say goodbye brought fun and connections with amazing people.
While there are moments I feel homesick (especially when thinking about my nephew August), overall I have never been so confident and happy. I know this opportunity came at the right point in my life, and I know I am loving it! I can’t wait to get to know everyone better.