Excursion

I had gotten up at 3 AM to get a 6 AM flight to Washington for a two day meeting. I could have gone the night before but with the baby coming, any moment now, I decided to keep my time in DC to the absolute minimum. Any other time I would have taken advantage of seeing friends (yes you Larry) and indulge in the luxuries of the wonderful Westin hotel; but not now.

As a result of my early rise this morning I started fading rapidly at 8:30 PM while still in the company of a young Indian colleague who I had gotten to know in Kabul, with his wife and darling little girl who just turned 2 and was born while we were still in Kabul.

I had knitted her a little bunny made from authentic Afghan goat hair – sturdy and a little scratchy. I was touched to see her holding the bunny close to her heart. Two years of wear and tear had softened it a bit but it was every bit as solid as the day it was finished. I can just imagine this bunny making it into the next generation. Wouldn’t that be nice?

All during the day I luxuriated into the kind of intellectual exercise – discussing junior and senior leadership programs – that we had very little time for when I was still in Afghanistan – but that I now remember as being among the more fun HQ activities. How one forgets.

During the breaks I had wanted to socialize, swing by offices of colleagues I hadn’t seen in a long time but a deadline for a proposal draft review trumped that until the end of the workday. I had been able to complete the review during the breaks and so was able to join a few colleagues for a drink after work, and then dinner with my Indian colleague and his wife and daughter.

After dinner we went for a stroll through the neighborhood. I had forgotten what a summer evening in the city was like. Everyone was out, young and old, enjoying the green spaces from benches that were everywhere, even though we were in the middle of a high rise neighborhood. I counted once more my blessings of being in a peaceful place; no guns, blast walls or well-funded evil empires.

Axel called to say there had been no action on the baby front and so I hope to squeeze in another day with my Washington colleagues before heading home tomorrow evening; then baby Bliss can come.

Back in the hotel I realized I had gotten an upgrade (I prefer to get these on flights) with all sorts of luxuries I didn’t need, such as an all-in-one printer/copier/scanner and a gadget to help me relax, offering choices between the sound of rain, a summer evening, rainforest, a waterfall, ocean and heartbeat. The latter was a little creepy.   I choose ‘ocean’ so I could pretend to be in Lobster Cove but it was an ocean sounds that was not from here, more Caribbean than Massachusetts Bay. It also got to be old quickly as the loop was very short, with the same seagulls flying by my bed over and over again.

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