The end of an era…
Today is my last day at work as the Policy Advisor for Food and Nutrition Security. My nearly five year tenure with the Embassy is coming to an end. I will miss my work, the field trips, the individual stories of courage and the resilience of the human spirit, that this job has exposed me to. I am going to miss my colleagues – some of whom became friends, some became family. I know I will have a place at their hearth anywhere in the world, as they will have at mine. I know I will carry them with me. The love, hope, resilience, courage, inspiration that I have experienced over the last few years.
This whole era has been incredible.
When I joined, I had no idea what Embassies do. When I am leaving, I can only think of all the different things that I got to do. Everything from getting to know my own country, practically experiencing that Development Cooperation actually works & does change lives for the better (I was not always a believer) to getting a Master’s Degree because I loved my work so much. I even got the opportunity to tick off bucket list items e.g. working in Africa, water plane & helicopter rides.
Even though I was told quite often that I am more direct than the Dutch, I think diplomacy did eventually rub off on me. I am very sure that I survived (despite my brashness) in Development Cooperation because I worked with the Dutch with their “polderen” mentality. I loved that no matter what, everyone got a chance to argue their point of view – a very important lesson in life and management. And I appreciate the fact that even verbal commitment holds weight in the Dutch way.
These people had my back through some of the worst things that can happen in a person’s life. They had my back! not just in words but in actions. And for that, I will forever be grateful.
So while I am eagerly looking forward to kicking off a month-long vacation from work, from any and all commitments from tomorrow. Today I am pensive, sad at the prospect of not seeing my friends on a daily basis. Today there’s melancholy.
Tomorrow, I unplug from the digital life and bury myself instead into reading, writing and traveling. In existing wherever I am wholeheartedly – present in the moment.
See you all next year 🙂