Vice President Biden valiantly made his way to the IZ last night. He was to arrive at 10AM, and half of the Embassy showed up to greet him and hear his remarks, but due to another dust storm (we've had an ongoing dust storm for 4 days now) he was grounded. So the meet and
greet was rescheduled for 1900, but the dust was still thick into the evening and on helos were flying. Finally Biden said, if the Ambassador could get through to the IZ, then I can. Let's take a convoy. So a little after 9pm he arrived to a group of about 150 Embassy and military.
Ambassador Hill introduced him and VPOTUS gave a 15 minute speech thanking all of us for our work in Iraq. And though many think Iraqis over, it's not, the work has just
begun....notably he "promised on behalf of President Obama to give us all everything and anything we need to succeed"
(At this point...all I can think of that we are lacking in our $billion compound is an outdoor pool. sigh.)
Biden also said that "with a little help from God and good neighbors we can turn Iraq around and the world around."
He was a pleasant guy and he posed for pictures and spoke with everyone who had come out to see him. I must admit at 10AM I had better things to do, but by 8:30 I was on my 3rd TV movie and decided I needed to get off the couch.
A few people passed me around the Embassy and said, "we miss you, Beth, in Protocol" the microphone support guy who has become a good acquaintance asked me if I missed doing all the set up for VIPs....I didn't.
One story I've forgotten to tell is that we get free beer here. And to think, I always thought heaven would be cooler.
hahaha. Just kidding....there are no streets of gold here--there are brick sidewalks that destroy your high heels. Anyway,
Free Beer. During the superbowl the military was allowed 2 beers. After the super bowl they didn't know what to do with all the unopened beer, so after months of deliberating, they gave it to the Embassy. I don't know exactly how much beer this is, but I can paint you a picture. There is a storage room, floor to ceiling stocked with beer, and an island in the middle that leaves only a path large enough for a dolly to move around the room. There is also a connex box, like the size of a railroad car, filled top to bottom with cases of beer.
Now that it's summer, the beer was about to get skunked sitting out in the heat, so the Embassy has decided to give away the beer. And they can't give it away fast enough! Whenever you have an event, going away party or recognition ceremony, you can request up to 15 cases of beer, that they chill and deliver to your party. Cold beer delivered is real service, and it's all ABEA (American Embassy Baghdad Employee Association) volunteers.
On top of the free beer supply we currently have, the military also get 2 beers on the 4th of July, so we're expecting another mass supply of beer this month.
Everyone that came to see Biden had a "VP" put on their hands and got free beer at the Baghdaddis (The American Club Bar). So my boss, my friend and I stopped in for a beer on a way home from meeting VPOTUS. Such is a day in Baghdad, friends.