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dispatches from the road

D spent the last three weeks on a temporary assignment in Tbilisi, helping backstop a vacant position and taking advantage of the travel opportunity to see a little bit of Georgia. 

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TDYs (the State Department’s nonsensical abbreviation for a tour of temporary duty) can be as short as a couple of days or as long as several months. D’s three weeks hit the Goldilocks sweet spot. The trip was long enough to allow D to get a good feel for Georgia; enjoy a wide sampling of its amazing cuisine and revisit a few favorite hangouts; and get out of the capital to see a bit of the countryside. But it was also short enough that the separation from family did not grow overly oppressive.

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We debated whether it made sense for S and Munchkin to join D in Tbilisi, and ultimately decided that the hassle was not worth it. Tbilisi is worth seeing for a couple of days, but the downsides of living out of a suitcase in the same hotel room with a young child for three weeks outweighed S’s desire to share in D’s travels. And while single-parenting is tough, at least in Moldova we have a nanny whom Munchkin adores to help lighten the parenting load.

All the same, the grass always has a tendency to seem greener on the other side. D had been looking forward to some alone time, to catching up on sleep without being woken by Munchkin at odd hours every night and enjoying some quiet evenings with a book in hand. To his chagrin he found that sleep sometimes proved elusive in the unfamiliar quiet of a faraway hotel room. And though he did finish a couple of books, there are only so many nights one can eat dinner alone with just a book for company. Fortunately, D’s officemate in Tbilisi proved very welcoming and included him in many of her social outings.

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D’s home away from home. The Embassy in Tbilisi is located on the edge of the city, but D was fortunate to be lodged at a hotel downtown, right on Freedom Square.

Even so, when the end of the third week came around, D was ready to come home. More than anything, he missed Munchkin. D wasn’t sure whether the little man would notice his absence, as he is still quite young, or how he would respond to his return. Munchkin’s huge smile, which threatened to burst his face, and the long snuggle he gave D left no doubt that he had definitely noticed and was happy to have his papa home.

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