Our week in Doha has centred on discussions about what next in life's big adventure for Wozza and Jay Pea.
How come? Well mainly because my work contract is coming to a close at the end of July and we have had to think about what next.
Remaining in Doha is not an option - I have loved every minute of working here with the Qatari school leaders and my Cognition co-workers but there has been no job opportunity for Jay Pea here - for lots of reasons that I won't expand on here - and living in Doha without a job focus is a non starter.
New Zealand is always home base so we've discussed that too - all of the immediate family are there or will be soon when Fanfa and Jesse return from San Francisco.
Another option is to continue the general globe trotting but that is both unsettling on the family and expensive. A long term move to the UK has been a thought for some time but that doesn't help with the need to be around immediate family.
What we've come up with, in fact, is a return to Nu Zild in early July... for a little while. How little is a moot point and reliant on a number of things.
Apart from all the family considerations, I've been hankering after some more university study for some time and I think the planets are coming into alignment for that. My brain has been very active of late - thinking about areas of research, and I'm starting to look forward to it. Jacky is keen to get back to nursing and earning a crust. We also miss the animals a lot - Bazil is with Sallie and Finn and Soda are in boarding school at present.
On the other hand we are still keen to further explore the world as well. Living in Qatar has given me a totally different view of Muslims and Islamic culture. In many, many ways they have got it right! The western view has been (probably irrevocably) altered by the September 11 attacks - no one who ever saw that atrocity unfold on TV will ever forget it - but talking and sharing the educational hopes and dreams with my Qatari friends has been an unforgettable experience. One I will never forget. Reem and her husband, very generously, gave Jacky and me a framed excerpt from the Holy Quran - it will have pride of place in our Stratford home and I will remember all of the wonderful people I've met here every time I look at it.
What I have seen in Qatar is a whole world away from extremism. Without the influence of drugs and alcohol they have a safe family dominated world that is heavily influenced by their regard for the Holy Quran and daily prayer. I will be sad to leave that and go back to a hedonistic, devoutly materialistic world again (yes I know the people here love their cars and land cruisers). A news story from NZ about a promising Year 12 student at Kings who has died - probably from alcohol poisoning - tells me all I need to know.
And so the decision has been made. We have a month and a half to gear up for our return. This has so far involved the purchase of a silver box (galvanised tin). It is a beast as the pictures show.
It will soon be full of shoes, cushions, CDs, pictures, coats and knick knacks from our recent travels around England, Belgium, Dubai and Doha, instead of me.
Ka kite ano - Love and peace - Wozza