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off we go

When does the inevitable become truly real? At what point does the near future undeniably intrude on the present and color every moment leading up to its imminent arrival? When did our move to Rwanda morph from being the next chapter in our Foreign Service career, which could be compartmentalized and vaguely ignored, to a fact of life as undeniable as an onrushing Mack truck?

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Was it when we tested out of French and officially began the countdown to our departure? Or perhaps when Munchkin had his last day of daycare a couple of weeks ago? Was it when S received a job offer in Kigali? When D took his final training exam and put in the paperwork to transfer his work email overseas?

Moving is always stressful, and we have different approaches to dealing with the tension. D prefers to zero in on the present, to try to soak in every moment and avoid thinking about the next step until the page has been turned. It’s not that he is unexcited about what the future holds; it’s just that he prefers to give his full attention to the here and now. S sometimes wishes she could function like that, but it’s just not the way her brain is wired. She plans, and organizes, and strategizes. D sometimes jokes that he has become more relaxed with each move because S stresses enough for the both of us, but that is not entirely true; it is impossible to be completely stress-free when one’s life is about to be upended.

Compared to our previous sojourns in the United States, this has been an extended stay. Between training and home leave, we have spent nearly ten months in the United States – long enough to settle in, spend some quality time with friends and family, and fall back into our old hobbies and routines. D has been especially thankful for the comparatively relaxed training schedule, which has enabled him to spend a lot of quality time with Munchkin.

We still have several days left before our departure, but for all intents and purposes the future is now. Our tiny apartment has been transformed into a battle zone, the closets and wardrobes disgorging their contents as we try to pack suitcases and separate the rest of our belongings into sea and air shipments. The movers come on Monday, and we’re holding a farewell soiree this weekend.

Kigali, here we come.

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