For those serving abroad, the passing of our nation’s Independence Day usually comes with a mixture of jubilation and relief. On the one hand, nothing says summer like a 4th of July BBQ. On the other hand, as the holiday approaches embassies become frantic with preparation for hosting what is easily the biggest representational event of the year.
Posts tagged ‘Embassy’
D’s co-workers had been clamoring to meet him, so today S brought Munchkin into the Embassy and then to the Hail & Farewell – the first of what promises to be a busy transfer season. Along with all the new staff that joined the Mission recently, Munchkin also received an official welcome from the Ambassador, though he was too busy slurping down milk to appreciate the warm reception his arrival occasioned.
Our latest move, coming less than half a year after we last packed up our belongings, was the shortest of our Foreign Service career to date. Leaving the apartment we have occupied since arriving in Chisinau in August, we moved to a house that is less than a ten-minute walk down the street. Even so, no matter how many times we relocate, or how often, moving always stresses S out, and this time proved a bit more adventurous than we had anticipated.
While we were busy reliving last month’s travels, winter has quietly crept up on us. Not only has the cold set in again after a pleasantly mild October, but also the days have gotten much shorter — a phenomenon we had happily forgotten in two years of living on the equator. And now that we’ve set the clocks back for winter, nightfall begins well before 5pm. By the time D leaves work, pitch-black darkness has already engulfed Moldova’s unevenly illuminated capital, significantly raising the bar for what makes going out worthwhile.
Months before moving to Moldova, D had his heart set on playing in the Ukranian Open Ultimate Frisbee Championship, which was held over Labor Day weekend in Ivano-Frankivsk in Western Ukraine. This summer, we had an open invitation to play at Wildwood — the massive beach frisbee tournament on the Jersey coast — but had to back out because it fell right before our departure from the United States and we had too many loose ends to tie up before moving abroad.
One of D’s favorite conversations to have in Russian, which already he has had with dozens of Moldovans who are not associated with the Embassy, goes something like this:
M: Oh, you’re not from Chisinau. Where did you come from?
M: What? WHY?!?!?! Why would you come back here?