Well, yesterday was the last day of work. What use to be my room, my home, is packed in footlockers and mailed home, or is in a 4x3x3 metal box sitting in the living room waiting to be picked up for shipping back home. Four stark white walls that used to be decorated with tapestries, pictures, and a couple of hand painted wall fans, are now bare. The mirror that I had special made when I got here, because the only one in the flat was in the bathroom and that held the pictures of my boys, is laying in the forayer, wrapped in a blanket and waiting for me to finish building the box around it, in hopes that it will make it home without breaking. I have only my computer, the desk it sits on and a packed suit case sitting open, in the floor, left in this room that has been home to me for the last four months.
I stand at the window that looks out over the Persian Gulf and watch the sun rise as it has for every day that I have been here. It is a beautiful, colourful scene. I am on the 17th floor and have a great view of the Gulf. So much has changed inside this room, but it still looks the same outside. Will I miss it? Yes! Am I glad to get out of here? Yes! I, like many others have mixed feelings about the next few days. Home phone numbers and email addresses are being exchanged with the promises that we will keep in touch and we will let the other know if we find another contract job here or somewhere else. Many guys are calling the wife back home almost every day in preparation of their homecoming. Some are making their plans and finding flats because they have new jobs, or are going to stay a while and look for one. And still yet others, like me, have made plans to go on a vacation before going home and are making the final arrangements for that.
The contract has ended. The job is over. But I, like many other here, will never forget what I’ve seen and done, where I’ve been and who I’ve met. Unlike KBR, that has mostly American workers, IAP has had a multi-national force here. The United States, Great Britain, Australia, Wales, New Zealand, and South Africa are just some of the countries that we all come from. Despite the differences between us, we came together, did a job and did it well. I have loved meeting all these people and have become friends with several. To learn a little about other countries and their people, has been great. But the down side to that is some of these people I will never see again. Some that I would like to say, I can call friend, I won’t have the chance or hope, that I could just bump into them somewhere after I get home. Oh, I am sure, that if I stay doing contract work in foreign countries, I will run into one here and there, but ya never know about things like that. So for now, I have a few phone numbers, a few email addresses, and the hope and promise that we will stay in contact with each other, to hold on to. It has been a great four months! I will miss my new friends!