Thursday, January 1, 2015

Well, hello there, 2015!

So... it's been a bit since I've written, apparently.  It seems I managed to go all of 2014 without posting anything here.  Huh.  Shoot me, I was busy!

But there's another reason I'm writing again.  WAAAY back in February/March-ish, Thomas and I both applied for jobs at the Doha, Qatar branch campus of Texas A&M.  We'd been talking about it off and on for years, but never actually followed through for reasons.  Good ones, I'm sure.  This time, though, was different.  There were actually jobs posted in both of our areas, academic advising and IT.  There was a lot of uncertainty on main campus at that time, given what was going on with they TAMU System personnel audit, and some big, not-necessarily-good changes were expected.  So this time, we pulled the trigger and applied.  We figured the time was right, the jobs were right, we'd both wanted to live and work abroad, so what did we have to lose?
So, APRIL, I did a phone interview with the advising office.  Went well.
MAY, we did a dinner/interview with the advising manager who was in College Station on business, and we closed the restaurant down.  Went well.
JUNE, we get emails on a Thursday morning asking if we are available to fly to Doha on Saturday, for an interview and campus visit for Thomas.  So we said sure, we can do that, and by 1:00pm our travel arrangements were done (by them!) and we took a whirlwind trip to visit.  That was the last quick thing about this process. But, went well.
JULY.  Waiting...
AUGUST. Waiting... occasional emails...
SEPTEMBER. Job offers!  Finally!  Accepted and paperwork and relocation process begun.  We've been fingerprinted and background checked by the FBI.  We've gotten bloodwork and been immunized, and we've had our college degrees and transcripts notarized and authenticated by the TAMU Registrar's Office (thanks, Stephanie!), the Texas Secretary of State's office, the federal Secretary of State's office, and then the Qatar Consul in Houston. I swear, we really did graduate.
OCTOBER and NOVEMBER are packing and taking care of the house, making decisions about the dogs, wrapping things up.
DECEMBER.  Christmas parties and more packing.  Visas are approved.  Flights are booked. It is really happening. Last days at work, going-away parties.  Movers are scheduled to come get our boxes and ship them to Doha.  It's REALLY happening.
We leave January 12.

So, as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, and partially as cheap therapy for me, I've decided to blog about this new adventure we've embarked on.  Come along for the ride!


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