Thursday, July 27, 2017

Messages From Myanmar #28

Messages From Myanmar #28
27 July 2017

Hello there, Rodger French here.

Well, I didn’t intend to wait until the last minute, but wait I did. So, for your consideration, here is my last posting from Myanmar. We leave tonight on the 23:15 flight to Seoul, where we connect to the flight interminable to Washington Dulles Interdimensional Airport, thus concluding a two-year assignment here on the other side of the planet. It will be a bittersweet journey.

Saying goodbye to the Americans we have served with is one thing; it’s a pretty good bet one will bump into some of them further on up the road. But it is with sadness and a surprisingly high emotional intensity that we bid farewell to the people we have met and/or worked with who actually, you know, live here. They have all been so sweet and welcoming to us, and we are most fortunate and grateful. We will miss them.

Once we arrive, we spend a week in DC attending a seminar and generally navigating the DoS bureaucracy. After that, we hit the road, with stops in KY, NC, the ATL, and, finally, Fairhope, AL. In mid-September, we load up our gear and jet off to Rome for our next - and last - posting. I think it fair to say that we’re looking forward to that. Our assigned housing is a nice apartment in Parioli, un quartiere elegante, walking distance from the Embassy.

And, until/unless the idiotic Federal Hiring Freeze is finally lifted, I will be officially retired, (although my position as A.J.’s wingman seems secure). I plan to spend my copious free time (a) pursuing musical opportunities and, since everyone we’ve ever met is making noises about coming to visit us, (b) managing guest arrangements. Nessun problema; I do not fear spreadsheets.

Incidentally, I’m considering a title for my next - and last - series of postings, and suggestions are most welcome. Alliteration (with “Rome” or “Italy”) is a must. Ciao.