Okay, the wish is a little late, but it does not diminish with time.
So far, 2011 is okay with me. The skies are getting lighter, the temps aren't getting any colder, and my countdown to redeployment marches on.
I've only got 81 days left in Taji, more/less. When I'm in my room my mind surveys the possessions I have laying around and categorizes them: What to take with me, what to mail home, what to sell, what to toss. It's not going to take long to pack up, once March gets here.
It's an exercise I've done a dozen times before, when I was on the ice. You work to acquire things to make your life comfortable, but at the end, everything gets dispersed. That last day is always a good feeling, because all you have on you is all that you really need for the trip home.
Life is good.
But I get ahead of myself. I still have over 2 1/2 months to go. And later this month I'm taking a little mini-vacation of my own. I'm headed to Cairo for a couple of days to see the ancient sites there, then fly to Dubai where I'll see the modern wonders of the world. I'm sure the places will be the ultimate contradiction.
I'd be remiss if I didn't set foot in Africa while in this area. Afterall, it's my sixth continent. :) Only South America to go. Maybe Jan and I can visit Machu Picchu sometime.
Life in this part of the world is challenging. I'm glad I got to experience it, but have no need to see more. I just want to enjoy springtime in Missouri, float a quiet river with my Honey, and enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted. For all its problems, we really do live in a great country. I'm very grateful for the perspective my travels have allowed me.
Again, life is good. :)
Enjoy it, live it, and have a great New Year.