working the system
One of the perks of serving abroad is that in addition to American holidays, D also gets local holidays off, up to a total of 20 days. With Labor Day falling on Monday, we had already determined to take advantage of the upcoming long weekend to travel. Then late last week we got a pleasant surprise. With Ramadan coming to a close, the Embassy gets closed for Eid. The exact date of the holiday is determined by visual sightings or astronomical calculations of the start of the new moon, so there was some uncertainty whether this year Eid would fall on Tuesday or Wednesday. Late last week, the Grand Mufti declared Wednesday to be the day of celebration. D asked for Thursday and Friday off and because Fridays are half-days, he only had to burn a day and a half of comp time to get a six-day weekend. D’s predecessor told us that she didn’t take any vacation during the year she worked in this job, so we appreciate the opportunity to take a week off to explore the country a little.