…I don’t know. Maybe to start cooking? I’ve just been busy settling in and re-learning French and didn’t find the time to post. But, with a three day weekend ahead of me, and a crockpot of veggies from local farms making the house smell good, it’s time.
First observation, and I know I’ve said this before, but home is home. Most of my furniture (make that ALL of my furniture) is either en-route to Ottawa or in storage in Hagerstown, so to move into my townhouse in Ashburn I have to track down enough furniture to live with for five months or so. My first plan had been to rent, but have you ever priced rental furniture? It’s crazy expensive. It’s cheaper to buy basic furniture at Ikea, supplement it from yard sales, Craig’s list and friends, and sell it all when you leave. Well, not all. For my kitchen I bought a couple of “stadium” chairs and tailgating table, which will all roll up and follow me to Ottawa. Some of the other Ikea will get broken down and come up with me as well, but a lot will get resold. It works, so long as I don’t invite anyone over.
Returning to French studies has been interesting. My French is more facile but much sloppier, and interestingly sloppy in the same places it was before! It’s almost all not what I am saying but how I am saying it. Getting the tenses right, the articles, the prepositions, gender… Le, la, les. Ce, Cette, Cet. À vs. de. J’ai travaillé but Je suis monté (or is it monti? montu?)
Change of subject. There were plenty of vegetable markets in Benin, and I still miss the pineapple, but I also really like the farmers’ markets here. Ashburn’s close enough to the country that in-season you can get all the locally grown veggies and fruit you want, which is why I’m making a crock pot of my favorite vegetable stew tonight. Nothing magical. Just zucchini, tomatoes and onions in layers with a little salt and pepper, but it’s my favorite summer combo, and it says “home” to me.
It’s three years since I was in A-100. Abut this time three years ago I was at The Woods, directing our “follies”.
More than 20 classes have passed since then, but that may not last. With the budget issues across the government, I don’t know how many new FSOs will get hired next year. I know we need them. We are still understaffed, and so long as we’re going to put hundreds in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan, that will continue. We’re ready to do the job, wherever we are needed, but we have to have the resources to do so. Otherwise, change the mission. But “We’ve been doing so much for so long with so little that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing” is a joke, not a policy.