Celebration

Mea culpa.  It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything.  I could say I’ve been busy, but that hasn’t really delayed prior posts.  Fact is, I’ve just been kinda lazy about the blog.  I will endeavor to get back on the horse.  Until I get lazy again.

One of the nice perks of life in the foreign service is a few extra holidays.  We continue to celebrate U.S. holidays, but we also observe local holidays.  Thus, I have back-to-back 4-day weeks:  last Monday was Victoria Day while this Monday is Memorial Day.  It happens again with Canada Day and Independence Day both coming in early July.

Last week-end, I was able to take advantage of the Queen’s birthday to catch up with family and friends in Washington for a double celebration.  E and I marked 25 years together (I find myself staring at that after typing it) with a nice hotel, a great bottle of champagne, and a couple of excellent meals.  We had a really fun evening catching up with some A-100 friends over a few pitchers of margaritas at Lauriol Plaza,  one of our favs.

We were in town principally, however, to attend M’s graduation from the University of Maryland.  He chose to forgo the pomp and circumstance (and long boring speeches) at the Comcast Center in favor of a much smaller, more casual Lavender Graduation ceremony.  While I was initially disappointed not to get to see him in robes walking down the aisle in a big ceremony, this was undoubtedly a better experience for all of us.  The speeches and awards were moving, and M will remember graduation as a celebration with some of his closest friends.

I got a little choked up watching Dr. Cordell Black react with a huge smile and a bigger hug when M walked up to receive his diploma.  As an activist leader on campus over the last three years, M has taken a lot of fire from the administration, some of his fellow students, and even a state senator.  As a result, the formality of a big ceremony would not have fit.  This was a much more appropriate send-off.  Needless to say, I couldn’t be prouder of his accomplishments there (not to mention two degrees, both with honors, completed in three years).

At the end of the week-end, M came up to Ottawa with me for a few days to decompress and to catch up.  It was great having him here, although for not nearly enough time.  While I worked, he explored Ottawa, read a couple of books, and got back on the writing horse himself.  We met up for lunch and dinner each day and mostly just hung out.  It was a good week.

Work-wise, it has been incredibly busy.  In addition to the regular consular duties, I am coordinating a huge Embassy-wide project, putting together an outreach presentation for prospective H1B temporary workers, and preparing for a role as a site officer for the upcoming G8 summit.  Things should calm down by the next double 4-day week.

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2 thoughts on “Celebration

  1. One of the nice perks of life in the foreign service is a few extra holidays. We continue to celebrate U.S. holidays, but we also observe local holidays.

    When you publicize that little fact, it’s important to also air the flipside; that FSOs will also find themselves working on days and at times other Americans take for granted, whether those be weekends or nights when codels and stafdels come calling, hosting the Independence Day receptions each embassy puts on, or handling duty officer issues into the wee hours. Remember: After completing probation, FSOs are no longer eligible for overtime pay.

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