So this is our last weekend in country. I feel like we should be out doing something we haven’t done yet, but we’re just not that motivated. We never did make it to Caye Caulker. We thought of going to the compound pool, but instead we spent the morning watching cat videos on YouTube and chasing our son around the empty living room. Showed him how to do handstands up against the wall last night, which was pretty cool.
We had one jar of caviar that we were going to save for our last evening in country…we ate it with some Triscuits and toaster waffles (in the absence of blinis) during naptime today while watching online episodes of Modern Family.
I was also saving a special bottle of wine indefinitely. It was the wine our Ambassador gave me for my 40th birthday…a nice little South African shiraz…the kind of thing you’d think you’d want to keep as a great souvenir from your first post. Then I thought I might crack it open for a special last night. Instead, I ended up downing half the bottle after a rough day of packing out…and I didn’t even have any wine glasses left. So I sat on the couch and sipped it from one of the small water glasses in the departure kit that the embassy loaned us, which also seemed quite fitting.
I’m definitely not going to miss living here. It wouldn’t have been a bad place to visit. But I am going to miss a few things, like…
Our nanny. She was amazing. Never had a nanny before, and I have no idea if we’ll ever be in a position to have one again. But I’m so happy that our son was able to stay in the comfort of his own home for the first couple years of his life with someone he trusted that took wonderful care of him while we were at work. Now that he’s up and about and so social and energetic, putting him in daycare in the UK will be coming at a perfect time…especially since there really aren’t any boys his age here anymore…and the older ones that used to be nice to him have developed an “I’m too big to play with you” attitude.
The compound. Not that I want to stay trapped on it forever, but we have had a beautiful house here. And the pool is gorgeous, and the playground was fun for the kids when it wasn’t disgustingly hot outside. I’ll miss sitting on the screened-in patio with a cocktail watching the wind in the palm trees and listening to the birds. I talked to a co-worker the other day that had recently left Belize for Afghanistan, and he said instead of birds he now wakes up to the sound of explosions and the live duck-and-cover alarm. Definitely puts things in perspective.
The reef. We didn’t get a chance to dive nearly as often as I would’ve liked as it was tough to get away regularly with the baby. But my hubby did get certified here, and we did get to dive a few times together. The funny thing about the reef is that it’s billed as the second largest in the world after Australia…which is TECHNICALLY true. But it in no way resembles it. The Great Barrier Reef is over 1,200 miles long. The Belize reef is less than 200 miles…it’s actually more like the Florida Reef Tract, which is 150 miles long (and the third longest in the world, woo hoo!). Considering the safety standards and lack of customer service here, I’d be just as happy to go to Florida from now on. So I guess I’m not gonna miss it that much.
Friends. Ah, that’s always the tough one. The Foreign Service is a small organization. So the chances are good that you might run into people again at future posts or in training at FSI. But there is always a certain level of disappointment…that you didn’t get to spend enough time with the good friends you did make…or that you didn’t get to know someone else who had great friend potential as well as you thought you could’ve, etc. But the best you can do is give them all a hug and wish them well and be open to new friends and new memories at your next post.