In the past week, I’ve had a couple of Foreign Service firsts! On November 6th, the embassy hosted an election returns watching party and it was really neat. There was a great turn out and people were really excited to see the results, especially since the race was so close and polling had the candidates neck and neck. I ended up going home before they finally called the election, but it was still a ton of fun.
On Saturday, I attended my first Marine Corps Birthday Ball and it was really, really, really fun! It was at a big, fancy hotel and was sold out, so plenty of people to talk to. It was neat to see the traditions and hear the speeches and messages from the Marines and the Ambassador.
I dilly dallied a bit on getting my ticket since I wasn’t sure if I’d go, and picked a table where I knew a couple of people but the rest of the table was vacant at that time. They ended up putting a few Canadian military contacts at my table and they were really fun. Also, since I’d dilly dallied on deciding to go, I didn’t have too long to organize a dress, so I ordered a couple of dresses from a store where I shop a lot, and fortunately both dresses fit and I picked one to wear. Had they not fit, I’m not sure what exactly I would have done, but fortunately it all worked out.
I know that a lot of people assume that there are Marines at every embassy and consulate, but there actually aren’t. Most embassies have Marines and most consulates do not, though there are exceptions both ways. Whether or not there are Marines at a post depends on a few factors and I honestly don’t know that much about how that decision is made. So, long story short, without Marines in Ciudad Juarez, there’s no Marine ball in Ciudad Juarez and I didn’t make it down to Mexico City for the ball either year I was in Mexico.
So, that’s been my week. Pretty good way to start November! 🙂