I found the Spa

On Friday morning I went the spa with a girlfriend. We shook the dirt off our feet from the off road walk into the single wide trailer known as Dojos Doughnut Shop and apparently they also offer salon services. I got a deep tissue massage and a manicure. Total money spent $70 with extravagant tip$ compared to what the services cost. $40 for an hour and a half massage where a Filipino lady jumped up on my back and basically beat the stress out of me.

When I felt toes curl under my butt I lifted my head to see what was going on my back and she pushed my face back into the pillow and says, "Carry me!" When I felt her toes curl under my butt cheeks in a massaging fashion any chance of relaxation was over. You know how I feel about feet. The last thing I would ever want is to have a strangers toes curl under the hand towel barely draped across my derrière as my 'sheet'.

I have decided I'm not a fan of the deep tissue, but the manicure was fabulous. I'm not sure the simple manicure tools have ever been cleaned, which caused pause for a moment, but then, I'm in Baghdad. If the worst thing I come home with is nail fungus, I'll survive. Luckily though, no fungus in sight!

New story
Flash back to my first year of work out of college on the hill. I knew then I wanted to go to Iraq and I had a meeting with the Director of the International Republican Institute (IRI). I sat down with her, told her I wanted to go to the Middle East and listened to her suggestions. This weekend I the amazing opportunity to host her to dinner at the Ambassador's house. When I greeted her at the gate, she reached her hand out to me and said, "Hi, I'm--" as I said, "It's nice to see you again," and she gasped as my face found it's way into her memory, "--yes, it's nice to see you too! When did you leave DC?!" I told her I'd been here 3 months, she asked, "How did you get to Baghdad?" We chatted about the supernatural resume that is being built through my life and she looked at me as I introduced her to the Ambassador, and she said, "It's great that you made it out here."

When I told the Amb that I had met Judy when she took the time to offer me advice on coming to Baghdad three years ago and it was such a treat to meet her again in the IZ, he chuckled as he said, "That is fantastic. That is really fantastic." His smile will forever be frozen in my mind realizing maybe for a second that there is no feasible explanation to how I am standing in his house, and yet there are a gazillion connections that put me here.

One note to self I mentally made and need to write so I don't forget in the future: When you meet someone who mentors you or offers advice on how to reach your goals, make sure you write to them and tell them when you achieve your goals. So then, when you run into them walking in the reality of your dreams, they will know to expect you.

Pretty cool!

In news of work, my good-for-barely-anything-Assistant resigned and before I was forced to start breathing into a paper bag being totally alone in Protocol, an angel from main state, who is the former Chief of Protocol in Baghdad, came TDY to help me plan the Independence Day/Election Party/Dedication Celebration Party/Extravaganza of the Century. She is amaaazing and I am learning so much! Though I have rescinded my title of Chief to her, TDY, I am actually learning to be a pro instead of doing my best and holding my breath.

Life's good again, and it's actually shaping up that after Nov 5 I could get a day off. Insha'allah (God Willing)