Taking it to the streets

This week, Pakistan joined the list of countries that were protesting the anti-Islam film, and the Embassy and Consulates were targets here. Luckily in Islamabad, the protests remained peaceful for the most part. They started on Thursday afternoon and continued through Saturday. The office shut down early Thursday and most staff left. A few of us had to stay a while longer because the roads to our neighborhood were blocked; when there was a window to get us off the Embassy compound, we jumped in the motorpool SUV and made a beeline for home, where we stayed put!

Friday we were closed; John and I spent the day reading and monitoring emails and news. Saturday we ventured back into the office for a short time, then came home when we heard there was a new protest starting near our neighborhood. We stayed in the rest of the day, reading and watching our new favorite series, “Breaking Bad.”

The Embassy was also closed on Monday and semi-closed on Tuesday due to the possibility of protests in the aftermath of Libya. We were up at midnight on Sunday when we got word of Monday’s closure, scrambling to get the word out to staff and to hundreds of visa applicants.

We are hopeful that things will quiet down from here on out!

The week leading up to the protests was busy for me, as we continued to get last-minute travelers to meetings in Washington and New York. I stayed at work until midnight Monday night, and had another late night on Wednesday to get VIP visas done. A lot of my work is dependent on Washington, and a nine-hour time makes that difficult.

We did have a nice brunch at the Serena Hotel last Sunday with our friend Konstantin, who recently arrived – good to see another familiar face!

On an up note, Flavia really seems to be happy here! She loves her climbing tree at the top of the stairs; she rolls around on the Costa Rican rugs that Joan’s housekeeper made many years ago; she runs up and down the stairs; and watches birds out the front window. Her hair has pretty much all grown back, although it’s still shorter in the problem areas, but not that noticeable. It’s great to see her so content!

Flavia on the stairs

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