Monday, April 19, 2010

Into the Home Stretch

It's been a busy few days since my last post. Yes, you guys back in the States have this thing called a "weekend", but we don't. Saturday and Sunday are just two more days to work 10 hours.

We held an evaluation board on Friday to determine which contractor, out of three, would get a contract to help one of the provinces develop a master plan for economic growth. It was a very interesting exercise. We had to go through each of the proposals beforehand, noting what we thought were strengths and weaknesses, and determining how well the proposal matched what we needed. Then on Friday, we got together in one room to hash it all out. With four people doing the evaluations, we had four very different sets of notes, and it was actually fun to kick our ideas back and forth and eventually come to a consensus. It was very clear to us which one should get the contract. What was most interesting to me was how well some of the proposals answered our concerns, and how poorly others did. Especially the "poorly" part: you would think that companies that routinely get multi-million-dollar contracts would be able to put out a high-quality, very in-depth proposal, but that is not necessarily the case.

Once the board was done, I had the honors of preparing the report. Worked on it all day Saturday and most of the day Sunday before finally getting it out to the other board members for review and comments. But this 12-page report was my swan song: the last major task I had to do here in Iraq. Everything now has gone over to my replacement, Joyce.

So now I'm starting my wrapup and checkout tasks. Yesterday, I went over to the medical center and got my post-deployment health assessment done. (Still breathing, not inclined to kill myself or anybody else - good to go). This morning, I took my two big gorilla boxes (plastic trunks) and several smaller boxes over to the Post Office and mailed them home. I've got my checkout sheet and need to get some signatures on it this week. And I need to clean a bunch of crap out of my room. We've been watching that volcano in Iceland. The flight route between Dulles and Kuwait passes right by Iceland and through the ash cloud over Europe. However, they must be diverting to the south, since the planes are still flying - yay!

Seven and a wakeup before I leave Baghdad.

1 comment:

Kanani said...

Hey, that's great news about getting that report all worked out AND also coming home.
Well, maybe they could drop you off in Provence for a few days? You could hang out over in Grasse, make a dip into Saint Tropez, go see the Picasso museum too?