Archive for September, 2021

Breezy evenings

Sunday, September 26th, 2021
Gorgeous sunsets this week

John and I enjoyed several evenings on the balcony after work, watching the pretty sunsets over the Atlantic and enjoying a nice breeze. I dread the return of dry season when it seems hotter and the sky isn’t as pretty.

Bidding season opened officially on Monday and it’s about all John and I talk about — and will talk about for weeks to come! He had a couple of interviews this week, and we both have more next week. There aren’t a lot of attractive options for both of us, so we’ll just have to see what the bidding gods have in store for us.

We had a nice vendor fair on Friday afternoon. I bought a little doll (made by the woman in the photo) to send as a gift to an expecting friend, along with a handmade dress made by a women’s coop here.

The Marines had a talent show last night, and John performed a couple of fun illusions – and made a lot of kids happy afterward with his balloon animals!

John working his magic

Cats in stores

Sunday, September 19th, 2021

I was pleasantly surprised today to see three cats in a local grocery store – it’s one I had never been to before. Our neighbor told me they have a good Lebanese bakery there, so I took advantage of available street parking today to pop inside to check it out. It’s not a big store but has the basics – and cats! I saw three wandering around. They were quite content to let customers scratch their heads. While we see street dogs, we don’t see a lot of cats here (although we spy kittens on occasion on the Embassy compound). I came home with some groceries and a box of Lebanese cookies.

I had nice chats with two girlfriends this week: Pam in DC and Tammy in Florida. It’s always fun to catch up. I had dinner with a colleague from one of the Ministries on Wednesday which was nice.

A relatively new colleague and self-proclaimed Anglophile had us and another person to his house yesterday afternoon for high tea. Sadly I didn’t have a fascinator to wear, but we enjoyed some champagne (The Widow, our favorite), then tea, scones, cucumber sandwiches, etc. It was quite fancy and fun.

Afterward, I went to the Old Embassy Compound to join a walking tour of the grounds with our outgoing Facilities’ manager. He’s a huge history buff and knows so much about the history of the U.S. mission here – it was fun to hear some stories and hear the history of the compound.

Let there be light

Monday, September 13th, 2021

In almost every house or apartment we’ve had in the Foreign Service, the sink has been under the cabinets and it always drives me crazy because it’s just dark and your body blocks any light coming from the overhead. I finally repeated what I did in Guadalajara: ask the landlord to install a light under the cabinets! It always takes me a while to complain about it and then remember that there is actually a solution to this – a really simple one, at that. It makes me appreciate U.S. houses that seem to always have a window over the sink – not only can you look outside and daydream while doing dishes, but you can actually see if the dishes are clean.

John had a small group of folks over for gaming on Labor Day which was fun. I ordered Lebanese food from a local place, then went over to Rebekah’s to meet her financial planner to see if we might want to hire him.

Tuesday I attended a women’s networking event at the DCM’s house, with dinner upstairs on the balcony.

Friday night we met two other diplomats from other missions for dinner at a local restaurant. It was nice to meet some new folks in a pleasant setting!

Hail and farewell

Sunday, September 5th, 2021
Neighborhood goats

These three goats wander freely around the neighborhood. I’m not sure who they belong to, but they just mosey around eating bits of grass and just generally patrolling. The other day I made a quick run down the hill to the grocery store and they were walking down the main road four or five blocks away on a rather busy street. They really crack me up. In case you’re wondering, I think the Luxury Laundry Lounge is out of business. I’ve never seen it open in almost two years here.

This week our fabulous entry-level officer Pablo departed post, back to DC to prepare for his next assignment. In return, we received Mike and his lovely wife Carolyn. Mike came to us by way of Montenegro where he worked for my cousin Chris – I like keeping good officers all in the family! Goodbyes are always hard, but the hellos are fun!

I had a good video chat with Cousin David on Saturday – I’m glad to see him feeling much better after giving us a scare last week! I also had my bi-weekly chat with Ann, Pam, and Jackie last weekend.