Inside of two months left for me, but actually I’m talking about Theresa, fellow Cotonou blogger who is heading for home and A-100 class. Theresa was a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin. Stayed. Got married. Started a successful business. Went to work at the Embassy. Was one of the first group of folks I proctored in the FSOT. Made it through the whole process. We held a final going away brunch for her and our departing CLO and Peace Corps program director at my place yesterday morning. Last night she took the big white bird back to the land of 24 hour supermarkets and Starbucks pumpkin lattes.
Good luck, Theresa. See you in September!
Meanwhile, my planning for heading home continues. This week, I officially requested dates for my pack out and let them know I’d be requesting an apartment for my time in training. I wrote another 10 pages of my “Cotonou Consular Work for Dummies” manual for my successor (not that he’s a dummy…nor is that really its title).
Last week, I promised some photos of the softball game, but I only have one so far. I had them take this one because I was wearing my Loudoun Hounds cap. The Hounds are a new (so new they won’t start playing until next summer) team in the Class A independent Atlantic League. Their field will be walking distance from my house in Ashburn, though it will be easier to bicycle. I posted the photo on their Facebook page just to show them how far afield you can find fans.
One of the major events (some think THE major event) at an Embassy overseas is the July 4th celebration, which may or may not be held on July 4th. This year we held ours Friday night July 1st, so we have the weekend to kick back and relax. Well, that’s not really the reason it was scheduled on the 1st, but it happily turned out that way. You see, if you’re a Foreign Service Officer, you don’t attend the party, you WORK the party. So, honestly, they’re seldom a lot of fun for the FSOs. A hot evening in a suit and tie isn’t my idea of how to celebrate the 4th. But, ours went well with plenty to eat and drink and those who weren’t working seemed to enjoy it enough. But it doesn’t show them how Americans celebrate our Independence Day, which I think it should. Not my call.
I woke up to rain this morning, so some tentative plans to go to the beach went away. Instead, in addition to cleaning up from the brunch and doing laundry, I decided to do a bit of baking. After all, I have to do something with the cake mix in my pantry. So, I added some chocolate chips (have those too) to the yellow cake, and while it was baking considered what I’d do this time for frosting. I had some pudding mix, and I figured out there had to be a way to make frosting from it. Here was my recipe:
- One box pumpkin pudding mix
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter (softened)
- walnut pieces
Use the electric mixer to mix everything together, dumping in the walnuts late. These measurements are approximate, I was making it up as I went along. Make a double batch if you want to do a two layer cake and frost the outside edges. After frosting, put some more pieces of walnut on top to decorate (and because they taste good!).
Absent rain, beach tomorrow.
I’ll bring cake!