Our bags are packed and we're NOT ready to go, but we don't have much choice.
The guys who kept us safe. I've never seen my dad's bodyguard (behind Booker) with a 5 o'clock shadow. He hasn't been able to go home since everything started.
I say goodbye to Bassant's father (in the light blue shirt). I never got to have dinner at his house like we planned. Inshallah, next time, he says. I tell him to give my love to Bassant.
One FULL van headed out to the airport.
My mom might not ever forgive me for revealing this, then again she might not read my blog...
It was a somewhat tense drive to the airport. The roads were lined with tanks. The traffic was bad and there were lots of checkpoints. We weren't sure where in the world we were headed next. Before we got to the airport, my mother pulled a nondescript brown paper bag out in a haze and passed it up to my dad. Here, Matt. Right after your conference call with the White House, can you make sure you drop my stool sample off at the Medical Unit? Apparently, just before the government evacuated it's employees, my mother evacuated her bowels into a bag.* Her stool sample, folks. Keep in mind, all of the embassy's non-emergency medical staff were long gone at this point. No one was sticking around to run a battery of tests on my mother's poop while the embassy cars were on fire. If you know my mom, this story will not surprise you. It was a great way to break the tension... but seriously, mom. That's gross.
*The State Department requires it's employees and their dependents to have a medical clearance, which involves submitting urine and stool samples every year. They don't require that you submit the sample in the midst of an uprising, but I guess my mom didn't get the memo. I have awful memories of my dad force feeding us bran cereal when we were little and hounding us for these samples. Now I'll have at least one fond memory involving poop clearance. Thanks, mom.
Saying goodbye at the airport.
Band of travelers.