Amidst the social events, I've been busy planning Ambassador Crocker's departure. He gave final farewell remarks to a captive audience: all Embassy employees. There was good food, cake and a photo line.
The lady in the blue jacket is the Deputy Chief of Mission, now the Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Patricia Butenis. My Protocol responsibilities include logistics for her meetings and events as well.
A view from the roof of the Palace. This was an old game club where Saddam and his cronies would get-away. The lakes are all man-made. There are Palaces all around these lakes.
Inside the Palace, this is a gift to Saddam that turned into a photo op.
Saddam built a type of playground park that has now been coined Bed Rock, because it's reminiscent of the Flinstones. We visited and hiked around.
We had a cin-a-bon picnic at bedrock. You can see we're rebuilding the destroyed Palace.
Hopped a helo in the afternoon back to the IZ. It was too dark to take photos on the way out, so here are some views of Baghdad from the sky.
That's the update for now. I'm just in preparation mode waiting for Senate confirmation on the new Ambassador. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement.