Hello again everyone. I'm glad there are still a few of you looking on, thank you for taking the time to say so. As I keep saying, it is a bit harder to post updates nowadays because of the environment I'm in. But, that's not going to stop me from doing so when I get the opportunity and have something significant to say. In any case, I'm glad you are reading and I hope that those of you who are just hitting DLI are surviving well.
I would like to throw a shout out to FAO Web. I believe it is a valuable resource for anyone who is a FAO or thinking of becoming one. Please check it out when you have the chance.
So news from here... well, as usual everything that I consider 'news' is sensitive and I have to be boring and just tell you things are fine, we are all working hard, the days are very long, and I'm doing more PT than ever in my life because there is simply nothing else to do with any free time we get. I am officially sick of the chow hall, my CHU neighbor's alarm clock sounds like an air raid siren, and I saw it rain mud in Erbil the other day.
So there you have it.
I continue to travel around with my boss. I am usually taking notes on what is going on (see picture below) and writing reports. I also work to prep him for things on his calendar that fall into "my lane". I know that doesn't sound very exciting to read about, but it's a big responsibility, and often a stressful one. Keeping up with other people's work and knowing when things change can be a real challenge when you are not part of their processes.
My Arabic is not getting the exercise that I wish it would. There are a number of reasons for that, but primarily it's because I'm just not around enough Arabs, and even when I am, our excellent interpreters are usually the ones doing all the speaking. So, I have to endeavor to read and listen to Arabic whenever possible, which is a challenge.
Taking notes. This is what I'm usually doing when I'm out with the boss.
I'm probably thinking about what this place looked like 1000 years ago as the scenes pass by.
Talking about some of my ideas with someone from the U.S. Embassy over an Iraqi lunch.