Monday, July 14
The weekend here is Friday and Saturday and Sunday begins the work week. So…I’ve already started into high gear and the weeks events are rolling along. My job description is written as the days go by, but I am the Deputy Chief of Protocol for The Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission (like the Chief of Staff). Our staff is 3 people: the Chief of Protocol, the Deputy (yours truly) and our assistant. (Praise the Lord I’ve climbed the rung on the ladder to have an assistant. It is fabulous! Last week, the copier was jammed and it was someone else’s job to crawl around looking for the mis-fed sheet)
I coordinate the logistics of the Ambassador and DCM’s meetings and events. I handle the arrival and departure of foreign Ambassadors, ensuring they have access to the compound, food and refreshments at meetings and lunches, invitations to events, smiling a lot and anything else that could be included in the planning and execution of an event or anything and everything that could make the Ambassador and DCM’s personal lives more comfortable for representational purposes. (you got that? Yeah….I’m still figuring it out too, but I have the smiling a lot part down to a T :)
The weekend is Thursday night to Saturday, but most civilians here work 7 days a week, we just get to sleep in on Fridays and Saturdays. I enjoyed sleeping in, but then when I got into work this weekend, and had 2 less hours to work and I couldn’t get everything done, so it’s a double edged sword. It would be very easy to become a work-a-holic here, which may be why I am so comfortable. The pace is reminiscent of DC and I’ve met a few former hill staffers and one WHO veteran. There are also a lot of Americans from Texas, Florida and Western Maryland!
So, let me tell you about the Palace. It’s beautiful! I can barely imagine having this whole place to myself! But actually, I can imagine it; it would be the life of a Queen. I feel like the princess who pretends to be the Queen whenever she’s not around, parading the Ambassador and leaders through the palace like the hostess of the millennia.
There are a lot of amenities here, I will tell you about them as I get try them out. I have been to the gym and indoor swimming pool. The food is never ending so I never have to cook, which I really like, though one day my future husband and children will wish their mother had learned to cook more than 20 min microwaveable meals…for now it’s me and the DFAC followed by the gym.
In training one of the pearls of wisdom imparted to us was that civilians that come here either return to the states a hunk, a chunk, a monk, a skunk or a drunk.
I’m aiming for balance.