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.
D was not heavily involved with this year’s 4th of July preparations, but he did wind up doing a few things that week that do not fall into his everyday duties. The most notable — and one that will likely go down as one of the most indelible memories of our Moldova tour — was accompanying a visiting U.S. senator to services at the local synagogue the morning of our National Day celebration. There is a special memorial service that is performed on the anniversary of the death of a loved one and the senator’s visit coincided with the anniversary of the death of his father. The senator did not speak Russian, and D had the pleasure of helping him find a common language with the rabbi and the rest of the congregation. To say that D is not religious would be an understatement, but even he was moved by the service and how much it clearly meant both to the senator and the congregation that welcomed him.
Unlike in our last post, where the work pace continued unabated during the summer transition, Chisinau empties out during the summer. Many Moldovans travel to escape the heat, and the Embassy community follows suit. After the 4th of July event, many of D’s coworkers took their R&R trips. Not only was D left as the lone American officer in his section, but S also took Munchkin back to the States for a couple of weeks.
Before she left we had talked about hosting a BBQ to mark the start of summer, but between D catching a cold and S being overwhelmed with Munchkin and preparations for her trip, we had to postpone. We still hope to hold a big party before the end of the summer. In the meantime, D has been hosting smaller BBQs with our frisbee friends, ensuring that both our outdoor grill and our Kenyan cornhole boards get some much overdue use.