Back in the USA

After an uneventful stopover in Scranton, PA, for the night, I’m now settled in to my temporary digs back in Arlington, Virginia.  Hitting the beltway was a rude awakening. I realized that it’s been over a year since I’ve driven in bumper-to-bumper traffic. This will no doubt be the first of many under-appreciated facets of life in Ottawa I will miss.

It was a pleasure, however, to have my iPhone become magically fully functional after crossing the border. I got along just fine without 3G, email, and outbound text messaging 24/7 in Canada (I used it for phone service and incoming texts while out and about, and for everything else only when accessible to wifi), but I sure like having it work as intended now.  I’ll be in Arlington/DC for some follow-on training, and then off to Lahore on April 21st.

I still can’t believe how fast that first year plus passed. I had an embarrassment of riches in terms of going away parties and dinners, culminating in an Embassy-wide event hosted by my former consular section with a really big turnout (although, to be fair, most afternoon events at the Embassy with copious amounts of wine and food tend to get a good turnout). I felt honored to serve with both the US and local staff in Ottawa. As I told them all, my introduction to life in the foreign service could not have been better.

Monday morning, I’ll be back to school at the Foreign Service Institute.  Time to start reading my homework.


2 thoughts on “Back in the USA

  1. …sounds like a Chuck Berry lyric. Glad to have you back “home” for a little while, although I agree that Ottawa was wonderful.

  2. I can’t believe the year has gone by that quickly, either. I started reading you somewhere around the time you landed there, back when I was still waiting to get into the FS. And now, here I am at my first post, and here you are moving on to Lahore.

    You’ve got your work cut out for you there. It’s an incredibly hard but important time to be there. Stay safe, and do us proud. I’ll be following you.

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