Hasta la vista, Michael and Rick!

With Scott and Michael

My first year here in Pakistan has been so much fun, and much of that is due to my two best friends at work, Michael and Scott. Unfortunately for us, Michael is heading out soon and he will be sorely missed. Not only is Michael a great consular officer, he’s just a boatload of fun. He and Scott love nothing better than to tease and torment me, but they are also there for me when I’ve had a bad day. Michael and I first met when we were both first tour offices in Juarez together – you never know when you’re going to see a Foreign Service friend again! We went out to dinner Saturday night to say bye to Michael – I’ll have Scott around a little longer.

We also had to say bye to our very good friend Rick this week. We went to eat sushi with him before motor pool came to take him to the airport. I’m really going to miss running around and hanging out with him – but, John and I are already planning a visit at his onward post!

On top of having to say bye to such good friends, the week was full of ups and downs for us on the job front. We tried to link to an onward post in Central America, only to find out one of our jobs is no longer available. We quickly regrouped and have started working on another spot. It’s an emotional roller coaster but I’m confident something will work out for us.

Before we went to dinner with Rick, the three of us stopped by a lovely art exhibit sponsored by NatGeo. A group of Pakistani photographers had several workshops in Pakistan, then went to Washington for the final part of the workshop and an exhibit there. I worked on a lot of the visas to try to get them all to the U.S. in time for the exhibit, so it was especially gratifying to see their art. Click to see a slideshow of some of the photographs.

Early yesterday, John and I drove about 20 minutes to the outskirts of town to visit Metro, a store that’s sort of like a Walmart or Sam’s Club (but not really). We wanted to get a couple of big fans to help circulate air in the house. It was fun to be in a big store – the grocery stores here are more like a slightly-larger 7-11. The most interesting part was the area around the store. The store is big and new, yet across the road is a huge group of mud hovels, with tons of children playing in the dirt, etc. Very depressing. And, on the road we saw probably 20 camels, lots of them very young, presumably for sale. Most days, I don’t feel like I’m in that much of a foreign country, then something hits me in the face (like a bunch of camels) and reminds me that I’m very far from home! I wish I had had my camera…



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