Lots of eating going on

Our housekeeper Saleem

Since I arrived, it’s been Ramadan here in Pakistan. There’s a lot more to it, but in a nutshell, Muslims can only eat or drink before sunrise and after sunset. Their evening meal is a big deal, as you can imagine and is called iftar. So Thursday night I went to an iftar at one of the big hotels in town, hosted by one of the U.S. agencies here. I met some of the folks from the Pakistani government who I will be working with.

Friday night, the Consular section hosted an iftar at the home of one of the section chiefs. It was primarily a party to “hail and farewell” the myriad of folks coming and going. Our whole management staff is turning over with old bosses leaving and new ones arriving. It was a lot of fun, and all of the food was cooked on the premises – when we arrived there was a huge metal disk over a fire filled with fattening, yummy goodies cooking in oil. It was a fun party because it was both officers and the local staff, so I had a chance to get to know some of the local employees better. We also had two welcome lunches this week for the new folks.

This week was definitely fun and busy, with lots of good food. Tuesday night, we went to Paul and Derek’s house for a lovely dinner. I’ve been friends with Derek on Facebook but had never met him in person, so it was fun to get to meet him. Both really nice guys.

Last night, we went to a party hosted by John’s boss Doug. There were about a dozen of us there – most all from the GSO section where John works. They are a really fun group of folks, always joking and laughing. After dinner we sat on the upstairs balcony and enjoyed the cooler weather.

I finally met our housekeeper Saleem, who also works for Doug. He cooked last night’s meal for us, including kabobs and chicken over a coal fire. He’s a very sweet man and his cooking was good, too!

Yesterday afternoon, our friend Richard came over to visit – we sat out on the terrace and yakked for a few hours. Richard is working down in Karachi at the Consulate there, and had come up to Islamabad to meet his counterparts here. (Richard spent a couple of weeks with us in Tel Aviv.) Always good to visit with him. His life in Karachi is very different from ours: they have to live on a compound and can’t get off the compound unless they have tight security with them. He was pretty amazed at the amount of freedom we have here.

John’s been out on the terrace this morning roasting coffee, and he spotted a new bird in the fig tree, some sort of a barbet that’s really cute.

Here are a few photos from the party last night.

John and Rick









Monica, Rick, Doug, Val and John










John doing a card trick for Robert

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