Category: Foreign Service

1

America is still great, or, thoughts on elections

I don’t write about politics on here because I can’t.  I work for the American government, and  I serve at the pleasure of the president no matter who he or she might be and no matter what his or her politics might be. I have spent my adult life learning from those who have less than I do.  From teaching basic computer skills as a Peace Corps Volunteer, fighting to get...

Equatorial Guinea 4

Next stop, Equatorial Guinea!

I am damn pleased to announce that I’ve accepted a handshake to be the Management Officer at Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. We’ll leave Jerusalem next April, spend several months in DC, then arrive in Malabo in January 2018. This is a bit insider baseball to those not familiar with the Foreign Service, but very briefly, just because we get jobs as diplomats doesn’t guarantee awesome postings for the rest of our...

2

I passed my Arabic test

There have been a couple of excellent retrospectives on language training over the last couple of months. Now that I’m finished with Arabic, I have a only one thing to add: it’s very easy to forget that, while individual teachers employed by FSI may care about me as an individual, FSI-the-institution does not. This goes double for EFMs. The good news is that I am done language training! Hurray! I’ve...

2

Malaria Meds and the Foreign Service

Malaria.  Yikes.  Scary.  Especially when you have kids.  And for whatever reason, easy to understand information on the options for prophalxis for FS families can be hard to to find.  I got an email a few weeks ago asking my opinion, and since, as my loyal readers know, I am a woman of STRONG opinions, I thought I’d turn the email exchange into a blog post (with my interlocutor’s permission,...

4

Arabic is Arabic (or, why I have purple bags under my eyes)

Arabic Training, aka, Theresa has 26(ish) weeks left to achieve basic proficiency in Arabic, and is staying home today to take care of a sick baby and AARRGGHHH!!! Like many things that the State Department does, the language program at FSI is both awesome and horrific at the same time. Awesome, because really, who can complain about being paid to learn a language for nine months? Horrific, because bureaucracies gonna...

2

On election night parties.

Election night indeed. When informed that the Ambassador would be throwing an election night party at his house from 10:30 at night to 3:00 in the morning, I cheerfully told the CLO exactly what I thought of that idea. Boy was I wrong. My “job” during the party was to explain the electoral college. I had a blast explaining to Sierra Leoneans, Brits, Kiwis, and yes, even Americans, exactly how...

4

Rants and raves about raising a baby in Freetown

Every eight weeks or so, I get a barrage of emails about raising small children in Freetown. I suspect that it’s closely linked to how often Freetown shows up on A-100 bid lists. In any case, I brought Freetown’s youngest baby since kids were allowed to come back in 2010. Jasmine came over at 10 weeks, and we haven’t regretted it for a moment. Just remember that I write this...