So, I'm currently getting ready to leave the country. I would love to stay in Al Ain but with a different job so I'll keep my eyes open for opportunities.
I have to say that leaving a country has never been so difficult as far as paperwork goes. My HR person has given me a list of things I have to do before departing and it's crazy. I have to get signatures from power and water, from my internet provider, from my bank and from every department in the college. I also have to get my apartment inspected twice which doesn't really make any sense to me but a lot of things here don't make sense to me. I have to get my visa canceled, which is odd as it naturally expires but this is another one of those things I don't understand. All this in addition to packing and selling all my worldly possessions...anyone need a microwave or an end table or a jeep?
It's been a great three years here and I've learned so much about the Middle East. I really have enjoyed the time with my students and learning about their lives. I got to travel around and see a lot of the UAE and other countries in the gulf. There are a few places I didn't get to visit. I wanted to go to Salalah in Oman, Syria, Libya and Beruit while in the region but it just wasn't possible due to the possible death of me if I went there. Beruit has calmed down (read bombs only going off once and while) and I might try to get there this fall.
I guess the thing that I'll miss most about living in Al Ain is the great group of friends that I've made. There are some fantastic and interesting people here and I'll miss seeing them all the time. This is the most brutal thing about living the expat life...saying goodbye to people you've spent countless wonderful hours with.
If I end up in France for the fall, I'll start a new blog and put the link here for those who want to follow me.
Ma'ah Salamah Al Ain