The Circle of (Diplomatic Baggage) Life

A couple of days ago JG and I attended a small gathering with his counterparts at work, wherein wives were also invited. It was mostly dinner, on a more casual setting, something I prefer than the usual more formal ones with the mingling and hors d’oeuvres.

Anyway while the men had their own chat, I had a chance to talk to the other Diplowives who attended. I was talking to one wife who has been here for four years and another who recently arrived about two months ago. The former I met a year ago when I was new here, and although we rarely see each other, she is one that I have considered a friend here in Libya. A couple of weeks ago she informed that they have finished their stay here in Tripoli and will be flying back home, which made me sad to learn her leaving, but days later was surprisingly happy to learn that her husband was extended for another six months. Such is another part of a diplowife’s life, sometimes last minute changes happen. She says that she is currently living out of boxes since she was already packed and ready to go when they learned of the extension. The other Diplowife in our little conversation as I have mentioned has recently arrived and is only starting to get used to life here in Libya. She too is also living on limited resources at the moment since their staff hasn’t arrived from their previous assignment.

As we were talking, I found myself relating to a lot of what the former says about everyday Libya, the people, places, culture. And was also surprised to hear myself telling the latter of stuff she can do while living here, and was surprised to answer some questions she had about where to go even risking giving tips on where to buy things. I also couldn’t help notice the pattern that we were in, three women sitting together representing the cycle in the life in the foreign service and their Diplomatic Baggages; one almost leaving and near the end of a posting, the other just arrived ready to start again, and me at the middle who is only coming to terms that she has in fact gotten through half of it (well a quarter of it, for Filipino diplomats).

It kind of hit me how days seem to pass so quickly here, even though it seems that there is nothing much to do. It only seemed like yesterday that I was the one who’s been here a month and asking questions on languages and places to visit. Although I have been here more than a year, I never gave myself the comfort of branding myself at home, and well enough to claim that I am familiar with the place. Truth is I don’t think I will ever be (especially until I get my own car) but I was really glad to know that even though I don’t get to get out much, I am able to relate and understand how life is here in our part of the world, and was even more glad to realize that I have taken in a lot of things since I got here. Plus, I know it’s a bit of bad of me to say, but I am glad that I have already gotten pass the first six months on a new posting – “the adjustment period”.

However still it is also unavoidable for me to think about how it is when it will be me at the other end of the pattern, when it will be my turn to prepare to leave. I have to say that I really have a lot to learn, I haven’t even hosted a small party yet, heck I haven’t gotten around to properly furnishing our house. I am both excited and nervous to accomplish such feats, mostly excited and nervous about how I will expectedly screw it up and laugh as I write about it on this blog of mine. But I can’t really look that far ahead, for now I’m just going to enjoy being in the middle of it…

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Good byes are the saddest part 😦 and we say it so many times as diplowives… We just said our first good-bye to a Thai colleague who has also become a good friend. It was very sad indeed. I’m glad your friend got extended!

    1. diplowife says:

      Yes I know, but as much as I’m happy she gets to stay longer, I also know she was looking forward to going home. But like I said thus the life of us trailing spouses.

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