Welcome back to the FS blog roundup! This week's edition is free-style (no set theme for posting), which is good, because if I had to pick a theme after the fact, I'd say "disaster" would be the overriding sentiment from the field. It's been a rough week everywhere - so let's start our weekend off with a collective "oy vey" and hope for improvements next week.
First up! Requests from the peanut gallery. 3rdculturechildren offers us a view of Carnaval in Recife, Brazil. Stephanie offers us some cute and not-so-cute bugs, and Nomads by Nature has her own set of bug problems. The Ogles are frankly having too much fun on the beach in Brazil, making me long for the official end of winter this weekend. Sadie's missing lacrosse in Saudi, Spectrummy Mummy's a daring escape artist, Shannon needs a vacation STAT, Ed describes the growing pains of a village becoming a city, and Connie has a very colorful St. Patty's Day celebration with her family! (Her Guinness bread recipe is here.)
Now, those are all fine and well... but having had the first time in months to read through ALL of my accumulated posts, I want to highlight some of the other things I've read while I've been on sweet, glorious, relaxing vacation for the last two weeks.
Heeeyy, we just had a flag day and a new A-100 class starting! Diplochick is, I suspect, working on her routine for the Follies. Caitlin's cat has predicted a first assignment in Africa, and the Maguires are going to Lesotho for their first assignment. Going Global has the bad news that there will be no May A-100 class. The Career Diplomat has that moment of realization about the mystique of a black passport. The Traveling Texan has BIG news... Mrs. Texan just became an American citizen! Cheers and applause to her, y'all.
A few community notices - State's opened up hiring for OMS positions, and the FLO's unaccompanied tour support blog Foggy Bottom Rambles is having a get-together next Thursday - click through for the full story. Foreign Obsession would like you to know the appropriate way to wear hose to work. And Short Term Memory is giving away a gift card for best caption - entries due by the 22nd! In case you missed the cable, Diplopundit has covered the FSN of the year awards for 2010. The global winner, no surprise, was a woman who helped keep Port-au-Prince's consular operations going after the earthquake. Do note, however, that one FSN's name could not be revealed for safety considerations. Think about that for a minute - this is one of the best employees we have in the world, quite literally, and we can't reveal his or her name for fear of reprisals against the nominee.
There's a lot of stuff going on in Washington involving us, and there's no shortage of posts about it. The Crab Family notes that we aren't getting enough training, and Dead Men Working and Diplopundit both have good run-downs of PJ Crowley's departure earlier in the week. Moving overseas, Nomads by Nature summarizes what we do in times of crisis... such as Bahrain, from which Here, There, and Everywhere has just departed. (And because it's my blog, I'll put in another plug for my own post about Bahrain.) Life in the Land of the Long White Cloud writes movingly about the memorial service in Christchurch for the victims of the February earthquake, and Diplopundit covers the departure of official Americans in Japan as well as the ongoing nuclear crisis. While they don't count as crises per se (one hopes), we're also kept busy overseas by VIP visits, such as the Guatemala Holla's recounting of the Ambassador's experience with Mt. Dew in the field, or Elise and Paul's preparations for POTUS!
After the last few weeks we've had, we need a mental break. We should remind ourselves to have fun, to go to silly concerts like Aaron and TJ did (sorry, guys - I exercise editorial control here!), to revel in the spring air by cavorting over Roman ruins like Donna & Co did, to research grimy younger brothers like the Hawkes Family is doing, and finally, we should never forget to draw out a diagram detailing all of the ways we will NOT become the ambassador, like Diplochick has helpfully done. I'm posting the tag line from this on my desk: "Face it honey, you'll never be an ambassador."
That's it for this week! Connie's hosting next week, and you can sign up for your own hosting shift here. Have a good weekend, everyone!
PS: Ack, how could I forget! First, here's an updated RSS feed for you all - 398 blogs so far, with a prize of some pocket lint and a hug to whoever is the 400th blog I find. And more importantly, my girl Rebecca just passed the FS oral exams! If you heard someone shrieking in Chinatown, DC last week... yeah that was me. What can I say... I'm proud for her!