Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.
Mar 20th 2013 2:30AM I had a great meal at the Smithsonian's National Museum for Natural History a couple years ago. It was really hot and one of the cleaning staff pointed out where I should refill my water bottle before going outside, when it looked like i didn't know where i was going she took my bottle, filled it and gave it back. what a sweetheart.
Mar 7th 2013 1:21AM My grandmother passed away while I was at my first assignment, I had just been to see her because we knew she was near the end and I prefered to talk to her one last time versus going home for the funeral. The USG doesn't pay you to go home for grandparents and as it was my first post and I didn't have much money I couldn't go home again that soon. The head of USIS was trying to be sympathetic I suppose, told me he couldn't go home for his father's funeral. I just shook my head that he thought that was sympathetic, it's not like he was in the middle of a war zone, just in the middle of a SecState visit.
Nov 21st 2012 2:34AM So true, Dave. So true. But when I go back home to family for a holiday like Thanksgiving, it just means so much more to me. The stuff that usually drives me crazy when we all get together doesn't seem so bad.
Oct 22nd 2012 2:25AM I agree with Liz that no one back at Main State will read a long Field Trip cable, but I think what Dave is getting at is that it will give the traveling FSO the opportunity to better understand the country and people, so that when the officer writes their three "key bullet points" cable, it will be a better informed and more valuable short cable.
The other reality is that the funds for such travel in these economic times is shrinking and in some posts with a high-cost of living, shrinking quite rapidly.
Apr 5th 2012 3:17AM What Amy said about the transition and moving is so true. Anticipation of a new post used to be the best part for me, but after seven overseas tours it gets harder and the last two have been tough slog. But it's also the best job I've ever had and I'm loving my new post. It's something you have to weigh when making the decision to join the Foreign Service.
Feb 14th 2012 1:25AM For home leave the USG pays for the flights, but the employee pays for everything else. It is great for me, I'm single and my family lives pretty much in the same area and I can stay with my parents or sisters interchangeably. However those who are married with kids (and pets) have it more difficult and often end up paying for accommodation, if they don't have anyone to stay with or end up moving from house to house so they won't overburden family and friends. And you have to take 20 working days of home leave, so counting weekends it can get rather expensive.
I was posted to Israel and one year the lunar calendar fell where the holidays were on weekdays pretty much all year. My mom asked if I was EVER at work! The next year the holidays pretty much fell on weekends...
CODELs, don't get me started, though in 16 years of FS life I have yet to meet a senator or congressperson from my home state and I've served in some pretty high traffic posts.
Mar 22nd 2009 6:16PM I went to the Dead Sea on a whim, just after I had shaved my legs - ouch. But what stands out is my friend and I trying to take photos of each other "in the water" and have such trouble because of the bouyancy. Plus watching all the people spreading some sort of mud on themselves and having a heck of a time getting it off.
Mar 18th 2009 6:16PM Happened to me every trip to/from Israel -- for 3-1/2 years. And that was just in the U.S., it was much more "fun" in Israel.
Mar 18th 2009 6:14PM Did you check out the bathrooms at Rheinfels? It's rather cool -- for a bathroom. It's too bad about the ice wine, the main street in St. Goar seems to have wine shops that sell it but for all the times I've been there they were only open on my first trip. Enjoy Amsterdam and the Netherlands and beware of trains that split, where one part goes to your destination but the other stays at the station. Happened to me more than once.
Mar 5th 2009 4:22PM Our guide also showed us all the spots where you can take great pictures of the Taj. Only problem was he wanted to shoo away even the most random passers-by out of our shots and I actually like having a person in the photos.