Remembering 9/11

Last Sunday, John and I went to a 9/11 ceremony in Jerusalem where our Ambassador was among the dignitaries who spoke. It was a respectful, solemn affair, held at a beautiful memorial site on a hill. Five Israelis were killed in the 9/11 attacks; the widow of one man spoke. They also had a choir made up of elderly gentlemen, all of whom had lost sons in attacks or combat in Israel.

We attended another official event on Thursday night – the Ambassador’s official welcome reception, held on the lawn of his residence. It is such a beautiful venue, watching the sunset over the ocean. There were several hundred people there, and John and I enjoyed mingling.

We’ve had several other fun events this week. Last Sunday, we went down the hall to Bill and Diane’s, where they had a big cookout on the balcony.

Tuesday night, we went to the DCM’s house to hear a reporter from the Financial Times speak and answer questions. His main point was that, given the current birth rates of Israeli Arabs and ultra Orthodox Jews, by 2040, those two groups will make up 78% of Israel’s population. Interesting, with lots of political and economic implications.

Friday we had a happy hour at work to say goodbye to Solange, our TDYer from DC. She, Juan and I went to Hotel Montefiore afterwards for drinks. She has really been a big help and I’ll miss her!

Last night, we went upstairs to Rob’s apartment for an open house. We met a lot of people from USAID and had a good time.

We watched a great movie this week, Temple Grandin. I really enjoyed the story (based on a true story) – Temple grew up in the 50s, is autistic, got advanced degrees, and went on to design humane cattle feed lots and slaughter houses. Fascinating. Here’s a link to a great TED talk of hers.

We had to say goodbye to our great TDYer Solange – she is a great person and was a huge help in ACS for the past six weeks.

Saying bye to TDYer Solange

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