Foreign Affairs Day

What is Foreign Affairs Day? ‘Each year on the first Friday of May, the Department of State observes Foreign Affairs Day, the annual homecoming for our Foreign Service and Civil Service retirees. This day also commemorates the members of the Foreign Service who made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives serving the United States…

Hello from Asia

I have to admit that I have never had to stay in one building, apartment or house for two straight weeks but I guess this is just another weird part of 2020. We made it to post last last Thursday night and have been in our apartment since. Our beloved Frenchie did not make it……

Summer study

Summer rolls on and so does the studying. Language continues to take up most of my time but I do get a 3 week break because of public diplomacy training. I am still studying language for one hour in the AM and on the weekends. People often ask me what I will be doing in…

Social Menace

Been traveling around the country with my new beautiful wife (wedding post coming soon) for almost a month now. The one thing that has hit me is that social media and the 24/7 news cycle is a complete menace on our psyche and society. We are not solving our problems by consistently knowing what is…

Pack Out

So we usually get two days to have our stuff packed up and moved out. It is neither a glamorous nor fun process but one very integral to the FSO way of life. I did a quick video to give you an idea of what it looks like. These were some of my finals days…

Veteran’s Day

“We want them to come home and be OK.” Gary Sinise with some powerful words about our veterans as we celebrate their service today. I must admit as both a current diplomat and veteran that I think the service of foreign service officers, peace corps members and those working in the field for USAID is…

Pittsburgh Proud

What was going to be a post about what a great rest and relaxation I had in my hometown of Pittsburgh, has now turned into a tribute of sorts. As many of you know, 11 people were killed in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last week. Words cannot put into reality how sad I…

Birthday blessings

Life just seams to be flying by. The time since I last posted has been AWESOME. Before I dig into all of the happenings I want to shout out to all the people in France who read this blog!  Rien que de l’amour pour tous les Français et surtout pour les parisiens qui lisent ce…

Solitude

The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind. – Albert Einstein #reflection is important and boy has #brazil provided the places for it. #earth is too beautiful and diverse for there not to be an infinite #energy beyond the fleeting things we know as our day to day lives. #motherearth #canyons…

Road trip!

Been meaning to write but life happens as you know. Been taking a lot of weekend trips but not this weekend so here are some pics of recent trips. Three Amigos. We essentially drove around the big lake here in the south of Rio Grande do Sol (the state I live in). Ya know just…

Con Gen

So it seems my Portuguese could use a little more work. Unlike some of my rock star classmates, I did not get what I needed on my language test.  6 more weeks for me. Not ideal, but not the end of the world either.  I am working hard to make sure I speak the language…

Portuguese test

I test next week.  Not much else to say other than that’s all I been doing is studying. Need a 3/3.  What does that mean? ILR Level 3 – Professional working proficiency Professional working proficiency is rated 3 on the scale. Level 3 is what is usually used to measure how many people in the…

What a time to be alive

Where do I begin with this smorgasbord of a post.  I think my Pittsburgh Penguins going back to back as Stanley Cup Champions is as good as any to start! Mario Lemieux jumping into Sidney Crosby’s pool fully clothed. Let the summer of Stanley Cup celebrations begin. Mario Lemieux jumping into Sidney Crosby’s pool fully…

Swearing in, area studies, and meeting a legend

Time is flying by and I am not doing a great job of updating this blog.  But in the last month I was sworn in as a Foreign Service Officer by Ambassador Tom Shannon (who was the acting Secretary of State while Sec. Tillerson was awaiting Senate confirmation), done area studies to include Brazilian studies…

Where could I go?

People ask me all the time:  Where do you want to go?  My pre-A 100 answer is anywhere!  I am literally worldwide qualified and approaching it that way.  Here is a Map of where I could go! (This is a map of worldwide U.S. Diplomatic Posts, Missions, and Department of State Facilities. To be able…

My FSO timeline

Many people trying to become a U.S. Diplomat, often like to know how long it takes.  Below is my chronological path to becoming a Foreign Service Officer (FSO).  Keep in mind that many people go through this process several times, stalling at any certain point.  I consider myself fortunate to have gone completely through on…