Archive for the ‘Foreign Service’ Category

Today’s the day!

Sunday, December 8th, 2019

Chairs waiting to go to storage

The packers and movers descended on us Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Tuesday was a long day, with them here until 10 PM. It was a stressful time – the movers were extremely disorganized and the day felt even more chaotic than a normal moving day. John and I just hope that we see our things unbroken on the other side! We also bid farewell to our cars on Friday; mine is going to Liberia and John’s will go into storage since it’s past the 10-year-old limit for import

And away she goes!

We kept Flavia and our suitcases in the otherwise-empty apartment, and are sleeping in a guest room in our building. She’s ready to go – we went to the vet this week to get her paperwork in order. I hate putting her through such a long and stressful travel day, but there’s no way around it.

I went to the office on Thursday to do my check-out and deal with some things for my soon-to-be office, and walked over to Main State to meet with the West Africa team and some others.

We did have some good times this week! John and I went to Aperto’s Thursday night after work so I could have their wonderful seafood stew one last time. I had lunch with my colleague Chris on Friday – we’ve enjoyed working closely together this past year. We laughed with Tammy and Scott over pizza in Georgetown Friday night.

Street selfie in Georgetown with Tammy and Scott

Yesterday morning, my step-brother Chris and his lovely wife Lisa happened to be in DC and met us for coffee – it was great to catch up with them and get to know each other better.

Last night, we had a wonderful farewell dinner with our college friend Neil and his amazing wife Emma – they have been so gracious to us while we’ve been in the area, hosting us for Christmases and Fourth of Julys.

At Ris with Emma and Neil

We’ve really enjoyed living in DC, and especially enjoyed our wonderful Columbia Residences apartment – the staff here have been so nice to us, as well as our wonderful housekeeper Rocio. We’ve been very lucky to have landed here and will be sad to leave it behind – maybe we’ll be back someday!


Final days in DC

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

Rainbow colors at the Kennedy Center

We’re in our final week in DC – I can’t believe we’re actually heading to Monrovia. I worked this week, and went to the office on Tuesday for more consultations and to chat with my RCO successor.

I spent Thanksgiving day preparing closets and cabinets for packout, then we headed over to Roslyn to meet my high school friends James and Chuck G for a Thanksgiving meal, along with Chuck’s delightful wife Susan. We enjoyed the view and had a great time talking and laughing.

With Susan and Chuck

Yesterday I drove up to Maryland to get a good haircut before I go, and stopped at Walmart on the way home for a few more consumable items.

We’re definitely in the “OMG” stage that precedes a move!

Roger the Cat visiting the salon

PT Graduation!

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

Love that Avisha!

After almost six months of physical therapy, I had my last session on Thursday! I got pretty teary telling everyone goodbye – what a great bunch of folks who literally helped me get back on my feet! I got especially attached to Avisha – what a doll. I also got to know and like a fellow patient, a  young guy going to university here who had a bad wreck. It’s been such a long, hard road back to walking but I made it thanks to so many people who helped me along the way.

We had two fun social events this week: Friday night, John’s co-workers Thomas and Adrian came over for a game of Catan and chili, and brought their girlfriends. We had a big time. Saturday, Juan and Gloria invited us and a few other Juarez folks out to Manassas for paella. We loved seeing them, along with Laura, Roger, Dee, Graham, Jaime and Arachelli! What a treat to be around such smart and interesting folks, and I was especially glad we got to see them before we head to Africa.

Love my Juarez folks!

With Thomas and his girlfriend, and Adrian

I had consultations at the Consular Affairs building on Monday – it felt so odd to be back in the building for the first time in six months. (Before heading to a new post, you “consult” with different folks about the work you’ll encounter there.) It was fun to see people again, and I had a fun catch-up with my former boss Angela. The rest of the week I was on annual leave, busy going though closets and separating things into piles – hard work!

Shout-out to my blog reader Katie!


So much to do, so little time!

Sunday, November 17th, 2019

I’ll miss these views!

The weeks leading up to a move always fill up fast, and this week was no exception. My to-do list keeps getting longer! I’ve started the process of going through closets and drawers to decide what goes in my suitcase, what goes in the small air shipment (that we’ll get in about a month), and what goes in the slow-boat-to-China shipment. In addition, we will ship consumables since shopping is so expensive and limited in Liberia, so I’ve been estimating how much toilet paper and laundry detergent we’ll need for the next two years – argh.

Meanwhile, we’re trying to see as many friends as possible! I had dinner with my lovely friend Stacie on Wednesday night. Joseph and Sunera came over Friday night – John made delicious homemade pizzas on (store-bought) vegetable crusts (cauliflower, butternut squash, etc.). Saturday morning we met Nick and Wendy for breakfast at the loud-but-yummy Taco Bamba – and we got to meet the very beautiful Lana for the first time (and what a happy baby, too!).

With Stacie

Wendy, Lana, and Nick

I didn’t make her cry!

I was happy to be invited to a small lunch with our friend, the ambassador to Angola, Nina Fite, who we worked with in Pakistan. It was fun to meet and network with other women who know her. We were in the private dining room on the 8th floor, which always feels fancy to me.

With Ambassador Fite

We’re also doing last-minute doctors’ visits – this week John and I were in adjoining dentist chairs getting crowns (ouch)!

Flavie enjoying her friend the sun

Gorgeous light outside our apartment


Talking to goats

Sunday, November 10th, 2019

Talking to goats

We had a fun outing yesterday to southern Maryland to meet Tammy’s family at her brother’s house in the country. It was lovely and (squeee!) they have goats! We loved their family and finally got to meet her two sons (we had met her daughter once before briefly). There was lots of food, fun, and laughter (and did I mention goats?!). We were so happy to be included.

Monday evening, our old friends Missy and Sofia from Juarez came by for a drink – we hadn’t seen them in years. They are so sweet and fun, and just made us laugh so hard – and made us miss our fun Juarez days.

Thursday morning, my former boss Ian was in town from Baghdad and stopped in for coffee, along with his wife Michelle. We had a great time catching up for a couple of hours. Later that evening, the junior officer formerly in Bermuda came over with her adorable nine-month-old for a while – it was fun to get caught up with her in between her assignments.

Friday night I met the Pink Ladies for a drink – it was a small group, but I finally met a woman who I’ve known via email for years! She was in London when I was in Pakistan, and we sometimes had visa case overlap – it’s always need to put a face with a name!

I went to the doctor on Wednesday for my final visit to him before moving!

Selfie with Tammy

Tammy’s family

I want a goat!