So the project will end March 1.
This was the outcome of a pretty intense negotiation process, which ate most of the past week. There were funding issues, there were exchange rate issues, there was this and that. It could have been better and it could have been worse. (There was another project that was on a fixed price contract -- paid in US dollars -- with tangible deliverables, i.e. construction stuff. Those guys are in much more pain than we are.) If we're not delighted with the outcome, neither are we bitter; this is very much the nature of the business.
So what happens next?
We don't know.
On the project side, there won't be any follow-on from USAID in the near future, because USAID can't/won't fund any new projects until at least next summer. So, we have to take that into account, and do what we can before our local counterparts are left to themselves.
On the personal side, well, we leave Armenia. We go where the work is, after all, and Armenia is about to go through a fallow patch.
We don't know where we're going next. Two things are in the air at the moment: a Middle Eastern country, and a country with really big problems. (So big that Claudia and the boys wouldn't be able to come with me.) It could be either, or something else entirely.
We probably won't know until near the end. Which means we'll have to sort of... levitate, keeping various contingency plans ready. Will Claude and the boys go to Germany for a while, or get ready to go straight to our next location? When will they leave? How should they pack? What about school? We don't know, we don't know, but we'll have to plan as best we can anyway. Again, it's the nature of the business.
(One detail: ground shipment from Armenia to anywhere -- Germany, Egypt, wherever -- takes four to six weeks. Your ground shipment is your move; it includes all your household goods, clothing, furniture, kid's toys, what have you. So, for four to six weeks you have to camp... live out of suitcases, basically. So do we camp in Armenia or somewhere else? Answer unclear, ask this question again later.)
On the positive side, we have a date, and some time to think about it and at least try to plan. Our last move, we didn't know it was happening until less than 60 days before. The move before that, it was more like two weeks.
Anyway: that's what I've been up to for the last week. As I said, normal blogging may return in a bit.