The time has come…to talk of many things. Of manioc and Wikileaks, of what the future brings…

Happy Channukah.  I’m finally going to try to make some latkes this weekend.  I’ve been meaning to try that since I got the food processor.  Also churros, even though it’s not Cinco de Mayo!

I thought I’d pass on some photos of the opening I attended of the manioc processing facility.  This was funded by a self-help grant, one of the really good things we do.

First, my favorite picture of me at the ceremony:

Take that Chris :).  Okay, here’s another…

Between speeches, we were entertained by the folks in the village singing and dancing.  They used plates drilled with rings threaded though them as “tambourines” and in many cases, danced with their children on their backs.

And a few photos of the facility, the gasoline powered manioc crushers and the clay ovens for drying.


I’m still waiting for something about Benin.  According to the graphs showing percentages of the cables dealing with different countries, there are some which at least mention Benin, but so far, all we’ve seen (in the less than 1000 released) is one cable which talks about how it doesn’t talk about Benin.

Remember a few posts back I was saying how eveybody chants “support the troops” but nobody says “support the Foreign Service”.  Someone did.  In this op-ed in the NYT, Roger Cohen starts “Let’s hear it for the men and women of the U.S. Foreign Service!” and goes on to say how one of the things he’s learned from Wikileaks is, we’re smart, dedicated people doing a good job.

Thanks Roger!

As the Maple Leaf flag to the right indicates, I’m headed to Ottawa, Canada (home of the Senators) for my next post.  Even though I don’t leave Cotonou until next summer, and don’t arrive in Ottawa until next winter, the bureaucratic wheels are turning.  I’ve been asked to put together a plan to get me from here to there.  There is roughly six months between my departure from here, and my due date there, which turns out to be a crucial number.  You see, less than six months and you are TDY, more than that, and you have the option of being asigned to Washington PCS.  What’s the difference?  There are many, but in my case it’s all about my house, the one in Ashburn and the one in Ottawa.  If I’m TDY, they’ll put me up in an efficiency apartment while I’m in training and won’t deliver and unpack what I have in storage.  If I’m PCS, I can move back into my house, get everything delivered.  Live in comfort for the six months, and more importantly sort through what I want to bring to Ottawa and what goes back into storage.

Why would this be different from Cotonou?  Well, for one thing, today in Cotonou it’s 90 degrees and in Ottawa its 40 :). For another, in Cotonou the State Department provides housing and furnishings, in Ottawa I have to find a place to rent and furnish, so I’ll need furnishings.  If I’m TDY, they’ll take the stuff out of storage and ship it for me to Ottawa, but I’ll have to play “one from Column A, one from Column B” with my packing list from when I left for Cotonou.

Ah, the challenges of Foreign Service life :).

And because, you can never go wrong with a cute puppy picture, here’s a picture of a cute puppy.

This is Molly.  She lives with Matt and Carolyn, and you can learn all about her here.


1 Comment

Filed under Foreign Service Stuff

One response to “The time has come…to talk of many things. Of manioc and Wikileaks, of what the future brings…

  1. Carolyn

    Right now, I’d love to be in Ottawa!! It’s hot here and I’m not enjoying it. Thanks for the Molly introduction. She feels special.

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