I have been spending this week tying up loose ends in preparation for my departure. I have my flight to Kuwait confirmed for Sunday, and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s going to be strange leaving this place where I’ve established a somewhat peculiar existence with a somewhat eclectic group of friends. The past year has been interesting, and I’ve forged good friendships. I have to wonder, though, how many of my Iraq friends I will still be in touch with four years, 12 months, or even a few weeks from now. Life’s funny that way. I do hope I can keep in contact with, or at least cross paths with, these great people again someday, in the real world.
I have spent the last few days packing and frequenting the post office, and I am just about ready to depart. I just gave away my mountain bike, shoes, pedals, and helmet, and I feel surprisingly indifferent about it. I don’t think I’ll even miss it. Anyway, even though it’s a high-end bike by Baghdad standards, it doesn’t hold a candle to the two babies waiting for me at home. My bikes miss me at least as much as I miss them, I think.
This week has been filled with logistics chores. Gear inventory, vehicle turn in, gear inventory… This whole gear accountability thing is pretty intense, especially with items scattered all over Iraq. And to make it worse, this idiot US Army Major has some sort of a grudge against me (maybe because I am female and she hates women, or maybe because she just hates contractors?) and has been totally unhelpful. It’s a long story, but we have managed to get tons of stuff accomplished in spite of her, and she said, in a meeting with MY BOSS, that the difficulties we experienced with turning in broken gear is “Nancy’s fault, because she didn’t tell the supply guy that it is contractor gear and not on an Army property book.” Funny, but the first sentence out of my mouth, after telling him who I work for and where, was that I have “contractor-acquired, government-owned” gear that is broken and needs to be turned in, but that I am having trouble finding someone to take it because it’s NOT ON A GOVERNMENT PROPERTY BOOK. If I weren’t so averse to conflict, I would go tell her to stick it. When I heard she had bad-mouthed me again (this wasn’t the first time) for something completely fabricated, I dropped some profanities that I am seriously not proud of. I want to tell her she was wrong to do that, but it seems so petty. Dangit.
Thank you for allowing me to vent. Now I am finished. I just wonder what in the heck I did to offend her, because she has been a snot to me since the first moment I met her. I find that a lot of women here really dislike other women (and they especially hate civilian women). I don’t think the major knows that she and I are peers. There’s a staff sergeant here whom I smile at and greet every time I see her, and she has not once even so much as nodded, murmured, or otherwise acknowledged my presence. I almost feel sorry for mean people. They must be very unhappy.
Anyway, but OH have I digressed. Most of the people here are awesome, and that is why part of me is sad to leave. This is an experience unlike any other, and it has been such a privilege to have had the opportunity to come to Iraq and work with a lot of awesome folks to try to do something good over here. What an adventure.