On Friday, I officially graduated from the FSI Economic Studies Course! Woot! It was a lot of work, made somewhat harder by missing two weeks when Dad passed away and then not being 100% when I came back, but I made it through. Though, I’m not entirely sure that it counts since we didn’t actually get to see the gold at the Federal Reserve when we went to New York. 😉 Our last week of class had the excitement of a snow day, and cramming all 20 of our capstone presentations in to one day instead of the two they’d had scheduled. It was hectic, especially since I had to go a day earlier than planned, but at the same time, there wasn’t as much time for tough questions. Fortunately, though, all’s well that ends well and the snow is now melting and the next week or so should be warmer.
On Monday, I will start German classes at FSI. I’m looking forward to using my brain a bit differently and I think that getting in to German classes will also help make my assignment to Frankfurt feel a bit more real. I’ve been so focused on getting through the Econ Studies Course that I haven’t had too much time to focus on the excitement that will be my move to Frankfurt in June. I need to sit down with the departure checklist, an arrival checklist for Frankfurt, etc. and start making a list of what I need to do and deadlines for things that have them, like getting the Diplocat’s paperwork in order, etc.
So, that’s the news here. I hope all is well out in the blogosphere! I’ll leave you with this video from Carly Rae Jepsen (I saw her perform on Canada Day in Ottawa in 2013, btw) that cracks me up. I mean, Tom Hanks lip syncing to a pop song. What’s not to like?
Filed under Canada, Canada Day, Diplocat, Frankfurt, FSI, Funeral, Funny, Germany, New York, New York City, Ottawa, Snow, Spring, Washington DC, Winter
Well, packout has come and gone. Three strangers came and took 98% of my stuff and I was actually happy about it. It all seemed to go smoothly enough and my preparation of putting a lot of things in to bags and totes seems to have speeded things along. We’ll see how everything fares and how things turn up when I get my stuff in DC. Whenever I start worrying about that, though, I repeat to myself “It’s just stuff and you got the good insurance.”
I didn’t do anything super-exciting for Canada Day, since I was in full-on packout prep mode, but a friend did invite me over and it was nice to relax for a bit and spend a couple hours with her and a few of her friends.
The 4th of July party went really well, as far as I could tell. There was a great turnout and the weather was wonderful. People seemed to have a really good time and I got to see a lot of the people I wanted to see, though it was such a big party, it was hard to find everyone.
I also neglected to mention in my previous entry that my friends L & S visited a couple of weeks ago. We were all in Ciudad Juarez together, and now they’re posted in Northern Africa and were on an R&R trip to the U.S. and Canada. It was really great to catch up with them and we did some fun things like see the actual RCMP Musical Ride performance and go to the Museum of Civilization. Mostly though, it was just really great to catch up with them. Going through an experience like CDJ forges some pretty close bonds and then it’s hard when your really good friends are spread out around the world and you see them so infrequently. Fortunately, modern communication technologies make it easier to stay in touch than in the past, but they still don’t replace the face to face time. So, anyhoo, it was great to see them.
And, since my apartment is now empty, I’ve moved in to a hotel for the rest of my time in Ottawa and will spend the next while sorting out things at work and getting everything ready to make the transition to my successor as easy as possible. Then, I start the epic trip back to the Austin-area for home leave followed by another trek back to Washington, DC to start the econ course at FSI. The Diplocat has handled the transition to the hotel well but little does she know about the epic road trip that awaits her. 😉
Hope all’s well in the blogosphere. 🙂
Filed under 4th of July, Austin, Canada, Canada Day, Diplocat, Friends, FSI, Home, Home Leave, Moving, Ottawa, RCMP, Texas, Transfer, Washington DC
I have officially reached the “burn all the belongings and start over again” phase of packout preparation. The hassle of organizing all my stuff, the prospect of unpacking and reorganizing all of it in Washington, and the worry about something getting damaged or going missing en route has reached a point where I just want to burn it or toss it all out and start over. Of course, I won’t do that. It’d be too expensive for one thing. And, it’d be hard to burn the stuff without setting the whole apartment on fire. Still. I’m ready for this whole move thing to be done. I’m a little bummed that I’ll probably miss out on the fun Canada Day festivities since I’ll be busy with packing prep, but so it goes.
Other than that, things are going well. I’ve gotten a bunch of giant ziploc bags and ziploc totes and they’re making the organization part of packing a bit easier. Hopefully, they’ll both protect my stuff from dust and moisture, and also keep the things I want to stay together, together. So, for example, the fitted sheet doesn’t end up in one box and the flat sheet and pillow cases in another. We shall see.
And, there are plenty of things at work to sort out, too. Lots of loose ends to tie up and lots of administrative hoops to jump through before I can make it out of here. And preparations for the 4th of July party. But, it’s moving along.
So, that’s what’s new here. I think the next stage of packout preparation is the “wine” phase. 😉
Hola! Sorry for the lack of updates. It’s been busy! First, the parental units came for a visit. They were here for about a week and we got to do a lot of sightseeing. We went to Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall, The War Museum, The Aviation and Space Museum, the RCMP Musical Ride Training Centre, the Diefenbunker, and of course I took them in to see the embassy!
Then I was back in the office for a day before going to Montreal to help with some visitors at the Conference of Montreal. It was a great visit and a great event, and I even got to catch up with J, a friend from Ciudad Juarez, who’s now posted in Montreal.
Now, I’ve been back in the office for about a week, trying to wrap up loose ends, get things ready for my successor, organize things for my move, etc. Oh yeah, and new things keep popping up! So, it’s been a busy few weeks.
However, things keep moving along. My packout is scheduled. I’m where I should be with the checkout list. I’ve made arrangements for most of the things I need to do with my apartment since this is an LQA post, like scheduling my electric and internet account for cancellation when I move out, etc. And, yesterday, I officially got paneled for the job in Frankfurt. It’s a long story, but a series of hiccups pushed the paneling this long, but all’s well that ends well. 🙂 I’ve also made hotel reservations for my trip down to Texas for home leave.
So, I now have less than a month left here in Ottawa. It’s a shame I’m leaving in the middle of the summer, when Ottawa’s so nice. Summer and fall in Ottawa ALMOST make up for the winters. Almost. 😉
So, that’s the news here. Next up, packout, Canada Day, and the 4th of July!
Filed under 4th of July, Austin, Canada, Canada Day, Family, Frankfurt, Friends, Germany, Home, Home Leave, LQA, Montreal, Moving, Ottawa, Paperwork, Quebec, RCMP, Texas, Travel
So, I realize that I’m posting this entry about Canada Day on U.S. Independence Day, but what can you do? Sometimes life just gets in the way of timely blogging.
July 1st is Canada Day and since this was my first Canada Day in Canada and I was in the capital of Canada, I figured I had to celebrate somehow. So, I joined a few (thousand) people on Parliament Hill for the Changing of the Guard, the Carillon, a flyover by the Snowbirds, and the Noon Show. The Noon Show featured performances by several Canadian musicians including Terri Clark (who had a spiffy Canadian flag guitar), Marie-Mai, Carly Rae Jepson, and my favorite performance, Colonel Chris Hadfield, who sang his song, I.S.S. – Is Somebody Singing! It was super-fun and I’m really glad that I got to experience a Canada Day in Ottawa.
Here are a few pictures from the day. 🙂
Raising the Canadian Flag
Canadian paratroopers with Canadian flag parachutes
The Governor General arrives by carriage, accompanied by lots of Mounties
The Snowbirds fly over
Terri Clark and her Canadian flag guitar
The Prime Minister gives his address
Commander Hadfield performs!
The Governor General gives his address
Carly Rae Jepson performs!
Edited to add: Here’s a video of Commander Hadfield and Ed Robertson performing “I.S.S. – Is Somebody Singing” at the evening show. Not exactly what I saw at the Noon Show, but pretty cool!