Sunday, March 1, 2015

FRIENDS COME TO DOHA!

Yesterday's post, continued... FRIEND VISIT!
(Can you tell I was just a little excited to see familiar faces from home?)

So our friends S and J came to visit this week- for a potential job!  S is an academic advisor like me, J is a faculty member.  He was interviewing for a faculty position starting in the fall, and she could be working with me in the advising office if everything works out.  They got here about 11:00pm on Tuesday night, and since their hotel is a block away I walked over to see them for a bit.  SO good to have hugs from home!  Also, they needed an adapter...

So J spent most of the next day in meetings, but I got to spend time with S.  We had some time to talk about the current advising situation (my boss is leaving Wednesday of this week for good.  The other advisor is likely to be gone by the end of the semester, leaving li'l ol' me...) and also showed her around for a campus tour.  Thomas joined us for that, then we all went to lunch and caught up.  Lots of questions asked and answered on both sides, then we went back to campus for a couple more meetings.  We brought her back to our apartment to relax and see the place (it will be one of their housing options if they decide to come over) and just chat... and nap.  They had a dinner scheduled later that evening with the faculty bigwigs.  Thursday we went down to the Corniche, to the coffee shop there, and had breakfast and a tour of the waterfront and park before heading into work.  It's been a bit hazy the past few days, but while they were here the weather was perfect.  They had their housing tour that afternoon, and had visited a school the day before (they have small children), and then J had a dinner so S came over to hang with us.  Then on Friday we did breakfast again and they headed out for a city tour with another faculty member.  They headed back to the States very early on Saturday- too soon for my taste.

But really, the best part was just seeing my friend again.  We easily fell into our old rhythm, and it was so wonderful to have that again, however briefly.  Don't get me wrong, I really really like it here; and the longer we are here, I know this is where we are supposed to be.  But DAMN I miss the people.  I knew this would be the hardest part, and some days are better than others.  As we were driving in to campus on Wednesday (S and J would meet us there later) I was so excited to see her I was literally in tears.  And when the door closed behind them, I turned to Thomas and sobbed.  (But then they called me and said, "We still have your adapter!"  So I ran over to get it and stole a bit more time with them waiting for the car to the airport.)  Anyway... I Facebook chatted with another couple of good friends today, and Skyped with my parents.  Ten years ago, that would not have happened- we are so lucky to be living in this age of super connectivity and I can type something or say something on Skype and my people will hear or see and respond instantly.  That has eased the transition somewhat, and definitely eased the homesickness.  If I'm honest, though- I might be a teensy bit jealous that they are still in CS together and can see each other regularly.  There is an advising conference coming up this week, one I've attended with a tight group in the past- they are going and I am not.  And it will be great yet hard to see the photos and know I am missing the fun and adventures, and I won't be part of the stories told from this trip.  And knowing this group, there will be EPIC stories.

I will have other opportunities, I know, and I will make friends.  I'm not shy. And the community here has been nothing but helpful and welcoming- I just wish there were a way to combine the two and have them all... BUT! I don't have to wait as long as I originally thought to see them all again!  Thomas has a conference to attend in San Antonio at the end of April, so I will tag along and we will get to see everyone soon.  I'm counting the days 'til I can have a beer with my Binnie, a Sazerac with Sam, froyo with Huong and Sarah... soon!  Very soon!  I.  CAN'T.  WAIT.


These are two of our new friends, Kerry and Eric, that we work with and also live in our building.  This was taken at the Doha Aggie Club's annual Boot Scoot dinner and dance, which was a GREAT night.  Tex-Mex, good music, cold Corona... happy Mathers!  And they are Aggies- and Aggies take care of Aggies.  They have certainly taken good care of us, and I am grateful for their friendship.

Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver and the other's gold.


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