This week’s work caused a brief spell of nostalgia; I was asked to review and report on a project that will come to an end by December.

In 2013, I was contacted on LinkedIn to interview for a project in Qatar. We discussed design and 9 days delivery of a leadership development course. The client was concerned a youngish American woman might not be the right person to work with operational leaders in Qatar. Despite his concerns, the pilot went well. So well, in fact, it’s led to over 150 days work myself and over 50 days for someone hired as backup. I’d worked in Qatar prior to this project, but spending months in the region, getting to know leaders at every level of this client’s company changed the way I see the world.

This retrospective reminded me that in mid-2013 I was with another company in Turkey. I’ll never forget an evening out with executives, when an entire restaurant erupted at the stroke of 9 pm in clanging spoons on glasses in what was a ritual protest that summer across the country.

In September 2013, another client company, in a third industry, asked me to work with their leadership team for Syria, Libya, Lebanon and Egypt. That work went so well they asked to review and reprise it in September 2014.

This week’s project review made me reflect on lessons learned working across the Middle East. Everyone says I should write about these experiences, so off went pitches of that nature. This week turned out to have a writing theme, as a proposal has been shortlisted for a book chapter inspired by my time with these three companies, too. Fingers crossed that proposal’s accepted.

I’ve also spent a little time this week working to establish a Swiss (& next European) chapter of University of Colorado alumni. It turns out there are over 250 of us in Switzerland, nearly as many in Spain and far, far more (well over 400) in France. A gang of us hope to meet you all soon.

What have you worked on this week? Any surprises? What has your work made you reflect on?