Archive for November, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

With Robert and Della at Thanksgiving

Our classmate Mary and her husband Tony (a great cook) invited several folks from our class to Thanksgiving dinner at their house – we had a wonderful meal and a good time. It was really sweet of Mary and Tony to share their holiday with us! We also played a few rounds of Catchphrase, which is a pretty fun game.

We went to school on Friday; my regular class didn’t meet, but I joined another class for the day. The rest of the weekend was pretty low-key – we went out to lunch Saturday and ran errands, then we watched Grizzly Man (rather odd – not sure I’d recommend it).

Wednesday was a fun day in Spanish class. Our teacher, Giovanni, brought lunch for us: delicious salte̱as from a Bolivian bakery nearby (so good that I found the bakery myself on Saturday Рcould be dangerous!). We also adjusted our schedule so we could leave early, which was great. The weather here that afternoon was crazy Рalmost 70 degrees!

Last Sunday, Mary and Ander went to the Spy Museum and did some other sightseeing, then we went to Harry’s for dinner. It was so wonderful to see them!

Mary and Ander at the Spy Museum (Mary’s talking into her lapel)

Mary and Ander visit!

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Time out for a drink at Clyde’s

We’re so happy to have Mary and Alexander visiting us this weekend! On Friday, Mary flew in from Little Rock and Ander drove up from southern Virginia (where he’s been working on a state senate campaign). Saturday we drove through the Foreign Service campus, went to eat a great brunch at Kramerbooks, then hit the Eastern Market. We also walked past the State Department building in Foggy Bottom, and visited the Einstein statute, the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial - lots and lots of walking! We were pooped at the end of the day, but mustered the energy to have a great meal at Huong Viet.

The rest of the week has been pretty low-key – mostly just studying Spanish (John’s still in his HR classes). I found a great Vietnamese restaurant that just serves soup - perfect for the chilly nights we’ve been having here.

Mary and Ander are at the Spy Museum this morning – we’ll hook up with them later in the day.

Happy Birthday, John!

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

Monday the 5th was John’s birthday! He got lots and lots of nice e-mails and phone calls, and really enjoyed his day. We didn’t go out that night, but waited and celebrated last night at a Moroccan restaurant with our friend Richard.

We also had a nice visit this week from our friend Donny, who was in from Memphis to work. It was the first time we’ve seen anyone from home since John’s parents were out here in June, so it was great to see a familiar face!

Thursday we went to a fun happy hour for our friends who are leaving for Guatemala. Friday we went to a Lisa Lampanelli comedy show at the Warner Theatre (Warning: This is not for the faint-hearted – she is very offensive and very funny). The Warner Theatre is a beautiful old theatre built in the 1920s.

Meanwhile, I continue to study Spanish. I’m in a good class with four other people; we have class four hours a day. John’s in the last few weeks of his human resources classes.

¿Habla espanol?

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

In costume at ConGen graduation on Halloween, with Kristin (Liberia, usually a blonde) and Leslie (Guatemala)

This was a busy week. School-wise, I finished ConGen (no purple robe for me, whaaa) and went on to begin Spanish classes on Thursday. At ConGen graduation, your class is expected to do a skit of some kind, so our class sang “Monster Mash” with the words re-written for consular work – very cute, since we were graduating on Halloween!

I thoroughly enjoyed my day and a half of Spanish class – I really like the teacher and the 3 other students. We have class for 4 hours each day – my schedule is 10-12 and 2-4. I think I’m going to enjoy it.

On Thursday night, the gentleman who’ll be our boss in Ciudad Juarez was in town, so John and I threw a party for him. It was a good opportunity for him to meet or re-acquaint himself with most of the new entry-level officers going to CJ. 

Friday night, we visited with John’s former co-worker Lucien at a happy hour downtown. Lucien worked in Lima with ALLTEL and came to see us several times in Costa Rica; he, his wife and baby live here now.

Saturday afternoon we were back in hosting mode – John did a coffee roasting/tasting demo for several folks from our A-100 class. Last night, we went to a going-away party for our friends Leslie and Trey who are heading off to Guatemala soon.

Some of you may have heard about the announcement of directed assignments for foreign service officers to Iraq. John and I are not affected; it’s really geared toward more upper-level officers.

The biggest news of the week is that it looks like Mom will be moving into a garden home in Hot Springs. I’m thrilled because it means a nice, level lot on a quiet street – I really think she’ll be happy there, and she is very excited about it (believe it or not!). If all goes well, she’ll move later this month.

John talking about coffee with Richard, Marcy, Jimmi and Joe