I've just arrived in Kabul after one final week in Herat. It has been the kind of week that seems appropriate as an ending to my time in Herat. Herat was a place, for me, which was filled with tumultuous and passionate love, extraordinary challenge and incredible rewards. In Herat I hit one of the lowest points of my life and in Herat I found my way back into my personal and professional strength and confidence.
So it seems appropriate that this has been a week in which my farewell party was interrupted by explosions all over the city, forcing all invited guests to stay at home (with the exception only of the UN regional security officer); in which my final goodbye dinner with a much-loved ex saw me put on a performance of melodrama and tragicomedy worthy of an Oscar; and in which final departure to Kabul was interrupted after five failed attempts to land in Kabul by a detour to Pakistan.
I am now in Kabul and heading into to my final week of "checking out" - such a bald term, and so inadequate to describe the complex emotional and professional process I'm going through these days. But as hard as it is to move on, I'm finding myself increasingly ready for the next adventure in my life. A year at home in New Zealand studying psychology, writing and refreshing my relationships with family, friends and the land to which I belong.