Monday, July 28, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Dear Everyone,
Below is an email that I sent to my OMS classmates. Quick test: what does OMS stand for? "Office Management Specialist." Very good. DCM stands for Deputy Chief of Mission; and that is the title of my boss. My old boss left the embassy and my new boss arrives on Wednesday. Anyway, instead of re-writing the whole email, here is a copy. Enjoy! Becky

Just a quick hello. My HHE arrived on Friday and it is still sitting in the warehouse here. I went and saw it and I think they send my whole house from Texas! I sure hope there is a LOT of packing material in there because I KNOW I did not send that much stuff! I have a bike I can't use; a desk I wish I didn't send because my old apartment had a crappy desk but my new one has an awesome desk. Oh well. Life in FS.

My car arrived a week ago, but it's still in "processing" for license and registration. I found out that no car insurance company will cover me here. That's reassuring. Luckily the car I brought is not that expensive and is not attached to a loan. I was informed that I can drive the car home tomorrow. Now, if I can only find the car key and the radio....somewhere in my stuff from DC.

It's rainy season here now, so it rains about half of every day. It reminds me of my childhood summer days back in Minnesota. I have a wonderful balcony that I have already managed to fill with lots of plants. I eat most of my meals out there, to get fresh air after all that time at the a/c Embassy. So sterile! I was used to spending a lot of my day out and about in my old job, and being tied to the desk is an adjustment.

And Amy is right....being the OMS for the DCM involves a lot of scheduling. I never even used Outlook before I got this job! I'm practically a pro now. I even use the colored flags and bars for reminders and task lists. The hardest part about my job is trying to coordinate the DCM schedule with the AMB. It's a small post so they go to a lot of things together and if the AMB OMS does not inform me of appointments, then things go awry. Being in the front office has it's advantages....last week I got invited to the National Day at the Egyptian Embassy. At 5:30, the Ambassador walked by my desk and handed me HER invitation to the party. She said she couldn't go, and asked if I would like to go in her place. (wow, only been on the job for two months and already I'm a stand-in for the AMB!) Well, of course! Me? Miss a social occasion? The party was that same night at 6:30. I dashed home with the duty driver and took a quick shower and changed. I went alone, but there were several people at the party that I had met at other occasions; which was a welcome relief. Near the end of the evening when most of the people had left, I met the Egyptian Ambassador. He was really nice. He was "holding court" with his friends and he included me in their traditional wine drink - hibiscus. Here I am drinking hibiscus wine with 5 dashing Egyptians and I'm thinking I chose the right post after all! (and for anyone who's counting...yes one of them did ask me out!)

So that's the news from Sierra Leone. And me? Write a short email? I guess you know me better than that!


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