Life Unparalleled

Loving Life as a Foreign Service Family – Current Parallel 6° 27' North- Lagos, Nigeria

February 10, 2019
by Ben
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Bratislavia Slovokia 2018

The day after Christmas, Dy and I gave in to the temptations of (1) willing grandparent agreeing to provide child care (2) a cheap train fare and a 1 hour train trip and (3) the desire to scratch off another country on our scratch-off map of the world, and we took a train from Vienna to Bratislava, Slovakia, for the day.  It was fantastic to explore this beautiful capital city with no real itinerary, just spending some quality us time.  We had heard about Bratislava from a few friends, and they all loved it.  We quickly came to see why.

 The view out the window of the 1 hour train ride from Vienna to Bratislava, Slovakia. Go clean energy! Continue Reading →

February 5, 2019
by Dy
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November and December 2018 in Lagos

November and December were a whirl wind of school activities and the holidays. We hosted Thanksgiving dinner and invited some lovely friends of ours. They are from Romania and had never experienced an “American Style Thanksgiving”. I assured them they had eaten all the food before but we had a great time.

Just a note all those wine bottles are not even close to full. I had attended a ladies wine tasting a couple of days previous and my friend sent me home with some extras.

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January 29, 2019
by Dy
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Munich 2018

The ride to the airport was eventful. We will never fly out on a Friday again, and definitely not the Friday that school releases for Winter Holiday. It was crazy and took us about 4 hours to make the 10 mile trip. There were so many people traveling that all the airport lounges were essentially out of food. Our credit cards included airport lounge access which saves us from having to buy meals for our family of 6 when we travel. It saves us so much money. Our overnight flight was uneventful. It is so nice that the kids are old enough and have enough travel experience to be really amazing and self efficient when we travel now. What a difference 18 months makes!

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January 28, 2019
by Ben
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Life in the News

When I worked as a lawyer, occasionally I would read in a national newspaper about a Supreme Court case which I knew would have an impact on my life, or something about Utah’s National parks.  This was only an occasional occurrence.  Since starting to work for the federal government, reading about policies which have a direct bearing on what I do from day to day has become a much more frequent event.  In the current administration, immigration is a hot button issue.  As a consular officer, I have been on the front lines of implementing the several iterations of travel ban by executive order.  More recently, I’ve been obsessively reading about the partial government shutdown.  The Department of State was one of the executive branch agencies which underwent a lapse in appropriations. Continue Reading →

January 22, 2019
by Dy
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Hanukkah 2018

We were lucky enough to host a great Hanukkah celebration again this year. We had made so many friends in the 18 months we had been here and we didn’t want to leave anyone out so we ended up with about 80 guests. A friends and colleague were gracious enough to co host with us in their great apartment. They have one of the top floor units which means almost double the floor space plus a on the roof patio that is fabulous. Ben ordered chairs and tables from the consulate warehouse. I did lots of shopping and prepared what I could ahead of time. On the day of I employed two other stewards(maids/cooks) plus Margaret to help with frying 400 latkes and 100’s of doughnuts Nigerian style called puffpuff. Guests also brought food. It was a wonderful evening. The kids ran wild and played driedle and the adults ate and ate. We felt very pensive when it was over knowing we are moving soon. 

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November 7, 2018
by Ben
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A Day in the Life of a Consular Officer

Ok, so I guess we haven’t been so great about this whole “consistency” thing in updating this blog.  Life has been busy, getting everyone home from R&R, starting a new year of school, starting up scouts, play rehearsals, violin lessons, fencing, and all of the other activities that 4 amazing kids are interested in, oh, and doing the job that brought us here in the first place.  Two family members also got a bonus trip in, which I’m sure will be a future post.

For the sake of diving back in, and covering some of the cool things I’ve done in the last few months, lets talk about a day in the life of a consular officer. Continue Reading →