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big, burly men

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So the movers have finally arrived today, after a flurry of emails and phone calls to HQ and to the relocation company in the US and the moving company here.

I felt sad walking through our house one last time. It's a lovely little house and there are many good memories there. MoBob and I are such homebodies; we'd spend entire weekends at home, just hanging out or having people over. Last night we sprawled out on the bed. The curtains I'd bought in Accra were replaced with taped up flipchart paper (solid enough for discretion, translucent enough for light) and I'd taken out the bed ruffle for washing, so we could see all the boxes underneath, including the emergency kit I'd never gotten around to updating. We had one last smooch and then decamped to the hotel.

It was especially sad saying goodbye to our housekeeper and our two guards. Partly because they're such good people, and mainly because I worry about their future employment. We gave them all an extra month's salary and recommendation letters, and I'd sent the US embassy newsletter blurbs about their availability. I can't think of anything else we can do.

I thought about all the things I won't see anymore: little kids walking around with their tin can pails for begging, moto riders without helmuts, the plant nurseries near our house. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues both American and not. The heavy rain. The dust storms. Barreling along unpaid roads past little villages. African food. French TV.

I hate saying goodbye. Even after 4 countries in 7 years, I just hate it. I always try to leave without saying goodbye but I suppose that's not fair either. At least with our move to Little Rock, we're staying put - until MoBob gets his US citizenship.
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On August 30th, 2006 01:54 pm (UTC), hatter_anon commented:
Good luck on the move. I think uprooting and going somewhere new is always hard, but then I tend to form firm attachments to places and not move very frequently!

4 countries in 7 years is a lot of packing. Hope settling in Little Rock gives you a little rest.
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On August 31st, 2006 08:21 am (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
If I had to do the packing myself I'd have spent those 7 years in one place!

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On August 31st, 2006 07:10 am (UTC), flemmarde commented:
hmmm... one last *smooch* huh? :)

how long will it take MoBob's citizenship to come through?
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On August 31st, 2006 08:23 am (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Only a smooch. We must be getting old.

I'm not really clear on the whole naturalization process (although I should be!) but from what I understand his immigration visa includes a work permit, then after 3-4 years' residence in the US he'll get a green card, and then after that he can swear fidelity to the US constitution. So at least the timeframe meshes with his amorphous grad school plans.
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On August 31st, 2006 08:35 am (UTC), flemmarde replied:
perhaps not old, but a tad tired from the whole moving country thing :)

sounds like you're into little rock for the long haul. and all that crazy ouadawhatsisplace colour and madness will just be a distant memory...
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On August 31st, 2006 09:10 am (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I'll always have the Burkinabé microbes with them though. Permanent souvenir. :)
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On August 31st, 2006 09:22 am (UTC), flemmarde replied:
ah well there you go! never alone and as Laam sings, over and over if h gets his way... jamais loin de toi :)

will you have to get a visa for your little friends as well?
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On August 31st, 2006 09:27 am (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I hope not! MoBob is troublesome enough! (He's getting his French visa this morning.)
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On August 31st, 2006 09:39 am (UTC), flemmarde replied:
imagine! you'd have to look under a microscope to see just how many million application forms you'd have to fill out :)

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