I’ve written and rewritten this blog three times now. First, sometime during my second to last week of my internship, then on my last day at my internship, then again on my flight out of Beirut; and it’s not that I don’t like what I’m writing or that my last two weeks were uneventful (quite the opposite), I think it is just that posting this last internship-specific blog makes it feel so real.
I mean, I have been abroad before, three times now with Lebanon. Even though they were all short periods, they taught me so much – but there is something different about this time. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m older or because there is so much uncertainty in my career path right now, but I wasn’t ready to let go of my new life yet. So, I decided I’m going to keep this blog rather short and come back later once I have finally accepted that I am home again.
I’ll start with the not-so-exciting part of my last few weeks in Lebanon. You all know how much I loved my internship, but the last two weeks were kind of boring for me. I’m not at all mad about it though because it was, however, a very busy time for more important World Learning staff. World Learning Lebanon is currently writing a proposal for a huge project set to begin in the last few months of the current QITABI project, and we (I like to believe I’m still a part of the team) are up against some serious contenders. I don’t want to give much detail, mostly because I am not sure if I’m allowed to say much, but also because I don’t want to jinx anything – even though I know we got this *insert dancing woman emoji here. Because this project deadline is rounding the corner, about 7 people from the DC office were in Beirut for two weeks working with our team on the proposal. Though I was not involved except for one or two small desk research assignments, it was such a cool experience observing how intense these proposals can actually get. These people were working from 9am until 7pm most days they were in Beirut, and still when I asked one of them the day he was leaving how much progress he made, he said he felt good but still had so much work to do. But besides just admiring how cool, and probably stressful, it must have been in those meetings, I was not doing much in the office. Which I didn’t mind; it allowed me to soak in my last days in that office.
My last day in the office landed at the perfect time. I shared “my” last day in the office with two other girls who were getting ready to move to new countries with their now-husbands (mabrouk ladies!) and the DC staff. Thus, saying goodbye wasn’t so hard. It felt like everyone was saying goodbye, but God was it still so weird walking out of that office for the last time that Friday afternoon. It really felt like I was leaving a home.
Like I mentioned, I feel like I don’t want to fully accept that it’s over yet. I’m home now, okay sure – but in the past year, coming home has meant being here for a short visit. I feel like I will only be here for a few days or even weeks and will be returning to my new home in Beirut shortly. Sadly, that is not the case. All I have been thinking about how grateful I am to have experienced this internship.
As they say in Lebanon merci ktiir (thank you so much). Merci ktiir World Learning, merci ktiir Beirut, merci ktiir Lebanon. Inshallah I will be back.