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Other recent 'Life' pieces in American Diplomacy:

Peter Bridges wrote of learning the ropes in Embassy Panama, 1959-1961, in Beginning a Diplomatic Career; "Our orientation class had been told a little about protocol and how to prepare travel vouchers ... but no one had impressed on us that the President and Secretary of State needed succinct reporting and effective representation of American views and policies." [Summer 1999]

Kelly Midura described A Trip Back in Time to the ancient town of Copacabana perched high in the Andes on the shores of crystal-clear Lake Titicaca: "Wrapped up against the chilly wind coming off the lake we watched an enormous sun setting over a timeless scene of traditional totora reed boats tying up for the night." [Summer 1999]

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Commentary on Current Issues

“Ms. X told me bluntly that she would never have considered even coming near the consulate, which represented everything she despised about America (this is the 1960s, remember), but she needed something badly. She had accompanied her Algerian boyfriend to Oran and they now had two small children. Everything was on hand for their civil marriage except an American certificate that she was not already married. It was for that paper alone that she had broken her vow never to deal with people like me, this said with deep feeling, and she wanted it right now.” [FULL TEXT]

“My tour complete, I sat in a shelter waiting for a bus that would take me home. Soon, two elderly women joined me. One of the women asked, ‘Where do you live?’ I said I lived in Bebek. ‘Ah, Bebek,’ the woman said knowingly, her words falling like a black shutter. I felt like saying ‘I don’t even have a tablecloth; we just live there.“ But I stopped myself.” [FULL TEXT]


For yet another slant on Foreign Service life, be sure to read Linda Killen's review of The Accidental Diplomat in this issue's Reviews of Books and Sites department.

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