Re-entry week

Our first week back was set aside for consultations and administrative tasks. It was great not having to dive into a class right off the bat.

Last Sunday, I started the long quest to buy a car. Wow, way harder than I thought. After countless emails and telephone calls with car salesmen, I finally ended up with a great Honda CRV yesterday. I had originally thought I would buy a Toyota, but couldn’t seem to find a fair deal without a lot of game-playing. (Example – when I told them I wanted to title and tag it in Arkansas, they insisted they had to do it for me. One dealership told me tags for Arkansas would be $594; another said $395. In reality, the title costs $10 and tags $27.) Anyway, I drove off the Honda lot happy.

It’s been such fun seeing old friends this week!

Tuesday night we got together with some of our Islamabad friends: Joseph, Sunera, Barb, Edward, Brett and his girlfriend Lara. We started out at our apartment for drinks, then walked to a nearby Italian restaurant for dinner.

Wednesday night we walked over the Key Bridge into Georgetown to have dinner with our “rabbi” Dean at a lovely French restaurant. He’s retired from the Foreign Service now, and always fun to gossip with and get advice.

Thursday night we walked back over to Georgetown and met our former neighbors from Juarez, TFran, Miguel, Meghan, and Neal. We had a great time drinking Margaritas and eating Mexican food. Everyone was just the same as always! Here’s the obligatory selfie:

Las Nieves Gang

Las Nieves Gang











Friday night we met our good A-100 friends Jim and Cathy for dinner at Smith and Wollensky’s, one of our favorite steak houses. They are both doing wonderful and we picked up the conversation where we left off a few years ago.

The rest of the week was spent talking to our DC colleagues who have responsibility for the Mexico portfolio. For example, I talked to the folks who deal with international child abductions and the person who helps the Mexico posts who have fraud issues. It’s just a way to put a face with a name and get a head start on some of the issues you’ll see when you get to your post.

We also did a mandatory high stress outbrief – anyone coming out of countries like Pakistan, Iraq, or Afghanistan get a briefing on resources that are available if you think you may suffer from PSTD or other stress-related maladies. And I did a half-day class with Consular Affairs on some cool management tools like process mapping, etc.

After our car-buying trip (which dragged on forever), we went to Brett and Lara’s for an afternoon of Settlers of Catan (I won, finally!). Afterward, we drove to Georgetown to see a fun 3-D movie, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” a silly sci-fi movie with a great 1970s soundtrack. Fun!

On the luggage front, John and I each received one bag late Tuesday night, but the other two are still MIA. One of the pieces we got had a Bangkok security sticker on it – um, but we didn’t fly through Bangkok. We’re still keeping our fingers crossed that the other two will show up soon!

Comments are closed.