Since August 2011, this has become our home away from home. We attend regular community events, belong to a local church, developed traditions (yes, we will be doing our annual holiday cookie decorating), and we run into friends whenever we leave the house.
Our lives have changed a lot. Professionally, I have become the grade level coordinator for my school and helped further develop the curriculum for the Abu Dhabi School Model. I've become educated about different learning models and discovered that I was IB before that was really a thing (now onto getting some official training in it, so I can claim the qualification!). Socially, I've made some great friends and had some heart wrenching "see you laters." On the plus, that means we have friends all over the world (but that is also a negative too, as it means they aren't nearby)....Personally, our family make up has changed as well. I came with a family of three, and I'll be leaving as a different family of three... Birthing and divorcing in a foreign country was an experience, but not really something I want to write about at this time.
The move is predicated by Zofia becoming school age - preschool next year! - and Belle's tuition continuing to increase (as well as other cost of living expenses) with no correlating income increase. We've started to sell off the non-essentials (like the dishwasher), and my car has been listed for sale, with a sale pending. I've rented what I believe will be our final UAE car, a Toyota Yaris, and we'll continue the reduction of things you accumulate, but won't go on to the next adventure with you. I think the next items on the block will be a gently used recliner and the two extra mattresses I've somehow accumulated (one day I will count the number of beds that were somehow collected by us during our UAE time....).
And so begins, our long goodbye to the UAE....