After being in Casablanca for over three months we finally received our household shipment on December 21, two days before leaving for Christmas with friends in the Basque country in Spain. Needless to say we left a mess behind which we just spent New Year’s weekend unpacking and setting up house again. In this case the delay was due to my former post in Harare where the shipment sat from our pack out in late June, until late October when it finally headed our way via first a truck to Durban, South Africa and then by ship to Antwerp, Belgium and then onto another ship to bring it to Casablanca. Once it finally arrived here we had it within the week. Lesson learned is to start checking on shipments while still on home leave and not wait until getting to post.
We went on a whirlwind of trips to Europe at the end of last year spending Thanksgiving in Lisbon, making a trip to Paris in mid-December, and then Spain at Christmas. The Paris trip came up at the last minute when we received an unexpected two day local holiday making for a 4-day weekend. There was an art exhibition at the new Louis Vuitton Foundation that I wanted to see this winter, plus the holiday party at my former post at USOECD made it hard to resist going. The holiday lights and displays were also fun to see. Christmas was spent in Irun in northern Spain near St. Sebastian.