Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Goodbye, Dubai

Well, my work here is done. I'll be flying back to the United States in a few hours.

I'm looking foward to going home and seeing Lori and Kirby again. I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed again. And, I'm looking forward to the week-long cruise to Cozumel and Belize that Lori, Kirby, my parents and I are planning to go on this Saturday.

Originally, the plan was for me to return here after the cruise and stay until mid-November. However, the staffing plans for this project have changed and my presence here in Dubai will no longer be needed.

And I'm not complaning. Between this trip, the August trip and the January trip, I have spent a total of nine weeks (give or take a few days) in Dubai this year. That's a lot of time to be away from home, and it gets old after awhile. I can only begin to understand what it must be like for our members of the armed forces that are required to be in places like Iraq, way from their homes and their families, for a year or even more at a time.

Not that I have anything against Dubai. This is a fascinating place to be, with its mix of cultures and its mind-boggling growth and development. I have a feeling that this trip won't be my last visit here by any means. But being away from home and family for weeks at a time takes its toll, and I miss being in Houston during the fall (which is my favorite time of year).

This evening I attended my company's annual Iftar buffet at a nearby hotel. Iftar is, of course, the sunset dinner that breaks the Ramadan fast. It was an enjoyable experience, and I was able to say goodbye to a lot of people I've worked with over the past several weeks. It was a fitting way for me to end my trip.

I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the folks here at the Rihab Rotana Suites who have taken such good care of me over the last couple of months. If you ever plan on traveling to Dubai, I recommend staying here.

Anyway, it's time for me to pack, shower and get ready to go to the airport. I'll try to post another entry once I get home, but if you don't hear from me for the next week or so it will because I'm somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ramadan Kareem.

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