Life Unparalleled

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

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 →

October 21, 2018
by Dy
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Utah Summer 2018

The last leg of our time in the US in 2018 was a trip to Utah. We flew into Salt Lake then left right away to drive down to St. George to pick up Harrison from Boy Scout Camp. We had a lovely visit and I took not enough pictures. Especially photos of friends. We had multiple get togethers and spent some one on one time with different people. It was so nice to see them after 18 months. We enjoyed the desert weather.

 

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September 2, 2018
by Dy
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Monterey Bay Area

The Monterey Bay area, I had never been there prior to meeting Ben. It is the home base for his mothers side of the family having lived there for generations. He spent many Winter and Summer vacations there while he was growing up in Arizona. 9 years ago his mom and step dad moved back. It is a beautiful area with so much to do and nature to enjoy. Fresh produce grown in the fields just out of town that help supply much of the US with delicious cravable things like artichokes and strawberries. That pretty much sums up our lovely two weeks here. Nature and good fresh food. Although we enjoy our jetsetting it was nice to just sleep in the same bed for a while. Thanks to generous grandparents the kids were lucky enough to enjoy some special excursions and camps.

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August 17, 2018
by Dy
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Saratoga, Seattle, and Whidbey Island- 17th Wedding Anniversary

We were excited to continue our R and R (Rest and Relaxation) trip onward to the US. We started in Saratoga California where we visited with Ben’s grandparents. It was so great to see them. It had been a couple of years for the kids and I and the kids had grown so much. I adore his grandparents. Really good people all around and I try to live my life by his grandmothers philosophy. ” Every person on the earth is either a plus or a negative. Just be a plus.”

The most simple and concise life goal I know. They have lived in this house for over 50 years and just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Relationship goals right there. The kids played with old toys, and we watched old movies of Ben as a baby. His grandmother looks exactly the same with the same hair and even the same clothes. A special moment was watching Dannica play piano with her great grandfather. He used to play and teach piano lessons. The kids got to listen to stories shared by their great grandmother of their grandfather and great aunts and uncles growing up in Chicago, great grandpa talking about working as an engineer for NASA, and Aunt Joanna sharing the work she did on her recently completed phd. It was a special couple of days for us and I relished in the fact that the kids managed to get along the whole time we were all together so they think we are awesome parents. Ben’s sister and dad were also there and I somehow managed to get zero pictures. Oh well.

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August 14, 2018
by Dy
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Denmark and a Tiny Bit of Sweeden

This is a LONG post, with a lot of photos.  You’ve been warned.

June 20 –

We depart for the Lagos airport after work, to enjoy one of the perks of serving in a hardship post, R&R travel. When they wanted to widen the road on the way to the airport they didn’t tear down the whole building, that would be a waste, so they just took out a wall or two.

 

June 21 –

We arrive after our redeye flight and get settled in to our first home away from home away from home. We went to Copenhagen, to stay with friends we made back in A-100.  They were very generous to open their home to us, and it was really great to see them again. Continue Reading →