Monday, August 19, 2013


I've left Kabul and am enjoying several weeks of Home Leave before starting my new job in DC. There are several layers of transitions I'm working through. Strange as it may seem, it was a bit difficult leaving Kabul behind. Ok, not really leaving Kabul behind, but leaving behind good people and unfinished work. I suppose there's a little guilt as well. Anne Smedinghoff came home in a box and I came home in business class. How is that fair?

Transitioning to the real world is not as traumatic as some might expect (I've done this before, so I was ready to face the abundance of choices available in the real world instead of selecting from two brands of men's deodorant available at the ISAF PX). It only took me a few days to get used to having to pay for things. I've been enjoying the Home Leave version of real life - doing household projects, preparing my own meals with fresh ingredients, and catching up on the latest American TV shows I've never seen (and a few classic reruns as well).

My next transition will be moving to DC. In the 8 years that I've been in the Foreign Service, all but 2 years were spent overseas and those 2 years were in Arlington for training. This will be my first time working and living in DC. Do I need to buy pantyhose, or can I get by at Main State with bare legs in the summer? How do I find an apartment and where's the best place to live? Will I be able to find a good Zumba class nearby?

Is there a Washington DC area studies class at FSI that I can sign up for?