Turning point

John started his Staff Aide position this week in the Front Office. He is really enjoying it – this job is the reason we bid high on coming to Tel Aviv. Right now, we are in between ambassadors. The down time has given John time to settle in to his new routine and get organized, which is good.

I’m continuing in American Citizen Services, which I really enjoy. The American staff currently in place will be leaving over the next few weeks, so we had a going away lunch in the section this week for them.

Last Sunday, I made my first foray to the duty-free store and placed an order. It will take a couple of weeks to get processed. The selection is pretty limited, but I ordered some frozen meat and other things – the best thing is that they deliver and I don’t have to lug it home.

Tuesday night, we went to the DCM’s residence to hear a great speaker. She works for an NGO that works to help folks in Gaza. Very interesting.

Friday night we went to a fun going away party for our friend Stephanie, who is leaving post early to go to Baghdad – we’ll miss her. The party was on a rooftop deck with a pretty view of the marina.

Our big news is that we are going to Islamabad, Pakistan, for our next post! We are still working out the timing details, but we volunteered for two year assignments there. There are lots of reasons to go (and lots of reasons not to go) – mostly we just felt it was a good time for us to do it and we were able to get good jobs. (It’s surprisingly competitive.) We broke the news to the parents – luckily they are understanding and supportive! Two big pluses of the assignments are that we can take Flavia and we have eight other good friends who will be there with us! We have our built-in dinner party already, which makes us very happy.

Already having our onward assignment feels like a turning point in our time here. We will probably have to leave here in the spring, earlier than we originally anticipated leaving here – it just makes us want to enjoy Israel even more, knowing that we don’t have that much longer here!

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