We hit it off right from the word go even though we did not meet outside of school during the first couple of years. She has been in Paris longer than I, has older kids than I and has been more involved in the school than I and therefore was always one step ahead of me. I have learnt a tremendous deal from my friend. I watched her and listened carefully when she spoke trying to stash all the information in my memory somewhere in case it came in handy some day.
It was not until I too had become an "old-timer" at school and hence less involved in all the new parents' activities that we started seeing more of each other and we discovered we had one big passion in common: our kids' education.
This has led us to endless hours with our heads stuck together leaning over issues that would help mould the school into the best it can be. We had the Swiss-Dutch connection going full force and I mean we did everything from photocopying thousands of pages for an assembly to planning for the years ahead.
We got things done - usually in a most efficient way - and we knew we could count on one another to keep deadlines and watch each others backs. Neither of us can stand lose ends!
We both have our own projects on the side and again they turned out to be similar. We have cheered each other on through thick and thin.
The time has come to say "Au Revoir". Our paths are separating and I am sad to see my lovely resilient, adaptable, vivacious, hard-working, positive Dutch friend leave for her new destination.
However, this is what our expat life is all about, we write chapters in each others books and these memories remain with us when we move on to new adventures.
No one has ever said it better than Anais Nin: "Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
Veel geluk en goede reis!