Archive for September, 2019

RCO Workshop

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

All 10 of the regional consular officers came to D.C. this week for the annual workshop. John and I hosted everyone at our apartment Sunday night for an informal get-together before the week of meetings started. It was great to see everyone – RCOs are posted in Africa, Germany, Bangkok, and D.C., so it’s a rare chance for everyone to get together.

I did most of the planning for the workshop again this year, and was happy that it was an overall success with only minor glitches. I didn’t attend, but called in to a few of the sessions to listen. Otherwise, I stayed busy answering the email inquiries from consular sections around the world so the RCOs could focus on the workshop.

My boss from Germany stopped by to visit one night after work. I had a good phone call with my friend Cathy in Ecuador one afternoon, and we finished the week by hosting our friend Elise (who we worked with in Juarez) for brunch yesterday. It was fun to see Elise; I had seen her on my trips to Paraguay, but John hadn’t seen her in years, so it was fun to catch up over coffee and good food.

Last night we celebrated Rick’s birthday with him and Claire at an incredible Afghan restaurant – I especially loved the pumpkin dumplings, and my eggplant dish was delish!

Another busy week

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

The week was filled with co-workers coming either for work or a social visit (or both), starting with last Sunday morning. One of my favorite junior officers from Georgetown came for coffee.

Monday afternoon, the new officer going to Grenada came for a long briefing (an oxymoron?) on consular operations there, and my replacement Beth joined us (her first day on the job). She stayed a couple of hours after he left, and I started training her on some aspects of the job.

Tuesday, another new regional consular officer came for coffee – we worked together in Israel. Wednesday, my boss from Germany brought lunch and we worked for a couple of hours, going over logistics of next week’s workshop that I’ve been planning. Finally, Thursday, one of the desk officers who works on cases involving U.S. citizens came for a glass of wine.

Throughout the week I had PT as usual, plus the gym regimen. I overdid it one day and ended up with a very swollen knee, something I’m fighting more and more. I actually did some cooking yesterday, in preparation of having all of the regional consular officers over tonight (they’re all in town for the workshop next week).

We watched “Unbelievable,” a mini-series with Toni Collette that was really good. John went to the Kennedy Center yesterday to see “Cats” – he laughed, he cried!


Flying solo

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

I started walking the two blocks to physical therapy alone this week – it’s such an exhilarating feeling! I said goodbye to Nataly on Monday – she’s the woman who’s been taking me one day a week, and has been so dependable. I really appreciate her help. I also went to the gym a couple of days this week to try to get back in shape. I’m able to ride the bike, do some upper body weights, and then my PT exercises (including leg presses!). Progress!

Friday night, I met John, Tammy, and Scott for dinner at an Italian restaurant a couple of blocks away. Such a fun way to end the week. Marcus came for a while yesterday to play a board game with John.

We watched an interesting mini-series this week, “The Spy,” based on the true story of an Israeli spy in Syria in the 60s – quite good and an amazing story.

We also tried a pizza with cauliflower crust – who knew?! It was good!

Being social

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

We had a friend-filled week! Last Sunday, our friends from Pakistan, Joseph and Sunera, came for brunch and an afternoon of playing Viticulture (finally a board game I can relate to).

We had a mini family reunion on Labor Day. My cousin Chris (who’s also in the Foreign Service), came for coffee along with his wife Ayoung and daughter Annabel – and lo and behold, his mom Donna and her husband Jeff. Donna and I have been trying to see each other the entire time we’ve been in DC, and it finally happened (she lives here, too). We had a wonderful visit.

Later in the week, my friend Stacie came over – she is just back from a year in Pakistan. We talked for hours getting caught up. On Friday, my work friend Chris brought lunch and we had great time catching up. Later in the afternoon, Tammy came for a mini happy hour – she always is up to something and makes me laugh!

Saturday, Marcus, Joseph, and Sunera returned for board gaming with John. We ordered Thai food from across the street, and I watched while they played. I had a fun outing to the salon downstairs – finally! I feel like I’m slowly returning to normal. I also made it downstairs to the gym for a couple of light workouts and some bike riding!

John and I watched a very pretty and interesting movie last week, “The Biggest Little Farm” – about a couple who started a sustainable small farm in California – beautiful photography and baby animals. We also watched a fun but silly movie, “The Hustle,” as well as the very interesting “Frost-Nixon” (John’s been reading a lot about Nixon and Watergate). We also watched a pretty good movie with Emma Thompson called “Late Night.”

Nice, busy week!


Car ride!

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

John and I took a huge step yesterday – we drove about an hour to Frederick, Maryland, to have lunch at Volt. It was the first time I’ve been in a car in months. We had a great lunch, then took a scenic route home.

Last Sunday, Rick and Claire came for brunch. That evening, we saw Edward and Barbara, who were in town briefly from Chad. We went to nearby Ris for a yummy dinner.

The rest of the week was uneventful. I’ve been watching “Orange is the New Black,” and John and I binged on “Mindhunter” (thanks to Muffy for that recommendation).

Physical therapy is very different now that I can put weight on my leg again. We’re focused on strength and balance. I’m learning to use a cane, and although walking is slow and awkward, it’s progress!