Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Weekly State Department Round Up

with 12 comments

You know what you don’t do, if you’re insanely busy?  You don’t volunteer to do the weekly State Department Round Up two days before it is due.  You know what else you don’t do?  Volunteer the week after the most epic Round Up ever.  The Small Bits Round Up was an incredible love letter, and my first time follows it?  More like a hastily scrawled note.  Oh dear.  I loved last week’s Round-Up, and finally finished reading every blog linked.  It occurred to me that the FS community is an eclectic bunch, we all bring something different.  And so to the theme of this week’s Round Up: Being Different.

This future OMS is delighted to be starting her class in March.  As a “military brat” she finds that the peripatetic life, so different and scary for some people, is her normal.  To her differences are beautiful, and the reason why people are complex and wonderful.  I couldn’t agree more.  Over at Small Bits, Becky’s daughter has already come to this conclusion in this delightful post.  She’d get on very well with my daughter!  Next Midlife Diplomatic Crisis tells us what happened to him as a child 50 years ago that led him to embrace such a different lifestyle, and end up in Benin.

The joy of a much anticipated snow day ended up quite differently for Kolbi and family: that really was a daring adventure.  Glad to hear he wasn’t hurt too badly.  At Simmons Says they also heard some screaming.  As a native, I’d say it was a fox, but their little one has a very different idea…

Email from the Embassy and I tackled the same subject this week, as someone who lived in China and saw some Chua-style parenting, she has a very interesting take on the subject.  I love the term “traffic-cop parent.”  Living overseas means you view the world through a lens of cultural sensitivity, she won’t use the term Chinese mother having seen this parenting style in action.

Some things are just exhausting no matter where in the world you are, as Just Us can vouch for with their trips to the grocery store in Israel.  Here is a very different form of transportation they got to enjoy.  Looks like fun!

When you live all over the world, it is hard to answer the simple question of where you come from.  This blogger has a different answer for everybody.

One of the awesome things about Foreign Service life is that we get to experience the local holidays and festivals.  Here Stephanie from Where in the World am I? shares her experience of the Hindu solstice-harvest-new-year festival (sounds like it should be three separate ones!) Makar Sankranti.  I love the pictures.  Tu Bishvat is another holiday I’d never heard about.  Of course, when I hear the word “holiday”, I understand vacation, which is what The Broad Abroad just took.  My son would love that first photo.

We all know that the Foreign Service life is not all fun and games.  Some places can quickly turn volatile.  We’re thinking of those in Tunis and Niger, and all the other very dangerous posts that are a little too different right now.

Over at The Perlman Update, they are celebrating a new home, of course, a different one to the one they originally planned on.  Not to mention one little girl who is incredibly proud of her daddy’s different job.

The song of the week at 110to220 is a different way of blogging.  This week he takes on a song that has to be the Foreign Service anthem.  Over at Novakistan, a different theme tune was required for 2011.  You guys have got me singing, much to my family’s disgust!

Wordless Wednesdays can picture up something different altogether when you’re exploring pond-life in Malawi.  That just creeped me out, Cyberbones, am I really moving to Africa this year?  Not sure I’m ready for it when I think about your photos.  The latest post from Ecuador by Destination: Diplomacy was a photographic one, looks like you’re getting thoroughly immersed in a different culture over there.

I had to laugh at Diplopundit’s reporting about the hasty departure of the U.S. Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.  Luxembourg was our last post, and I may have heard different reasons to the official one given for her departure, but you won’t get it out of me!  I will confirm, however, that it doesn’t take long to “travel extensively throughout The Grand Duchy”.  20 minutes and you’re in Belgium, France, or Germany.

Elise had to rely on a different person to take the picture of her husband’s swearing in ceremony, which must be particularly frustrating to a photographer.  Congratulations and welcome, by the way.  Adam is still new enough to the foreign service that he thought he’d only need half a day to unpack their HHE.  Now you know different!

Over at For lack of Tacos they understand the importance of adopting a different attitude to get through living out of your comfort zone.  If not, the differences between the wealth of nations will really wake you up.  Poor as it is, at least Madagascar looks stunning!

Kitty Non Grata got SCUBA-certified and gets to see the world a different way, though temples really shouldn’t be underwater.  Sigh.  Speaking of hobbies, Lindsey in Manila has got a different attitude to gardening these days.  An Embassy community garden is an inspired idea!  At Whale Ears they’re trying to get things done, but the cats have other ideas.

Jen had more surgery this week.  Once again, I know we’re all rooting for her.  This one will help her feel a little more normal for the next 12 months, because sometimes feeling different sucks.

At Life after Jerusalem, it sounds like someone could use a different Area Studies instructor.  She also claims she is selfish, but she just wants to be surrounded by good people.  Something that reminds me of Lees on the Go, where they are pondering the difference between the words minor and major when it comes to health issues.  I couldn’t agree more with your concept of community, something that we need at every post.  We can’t do it without each other, we need to be surrounded by those good people in times of crisis.

So that is my take on being different in the foreign service community.  I’m an former local hire foreign-born spouse and mother to a class 2 clearance kid, so I’m different to most of you.  When we get overseas though, we’re all the same.  Our different perspectives enrich the community as a whole, and I really enjoy reading different takes on this crazy life.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

January 21, 2011 at 7:58 am

12 Responses

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  1. Thanks so much for an awesome Round Up! (And thanks for including us.) You did an incredible job. I am still impressed that you pulled this off with such short notice and while dealing with transfer stuff. Best of luck figuring out everything.

    Becky

    January 21, 2011 at 10:03 am

  2. Nicely done!

    Donna

    January 21, 2011 at 10:41 am

  3. Great job! Thanks for the mention!

    Stephanie

    January 21, 2011 at 10:59 am

  4. Last minute? No worries! You did an awesome job :) I have been so distracted this week that I’ve barely blogged at all… and I can only blame so much on the cats! Thank you for hosting, now I’m off to read some blogs.

    connie

    January 21, 2011 at 11:03 am

  5. Good job!!! = ) I enjoyed it.

    Heidi

    January 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm

  6. Thanks all. I enjoyed it- may even do it again when I have a little more time!

    Spectrummy Mummy

    January 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm

  7. Amazing! And, I learned a new word! No, seriously, I had to google it :)

    Lindsay

    January 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm

  8. Thank you so much for adding the Round Up to your overflowing plate. It was fantastic and I can’t wait to explore all the links!

    Nomads By Nature

    January 21, 2011 at 6:32 pm

  9. Thanks for including me. I really loved reading your round-up and think you did a fabulous job!

    Melissa

    January 22, 2011 at 12:14 am

  10. I thought your round up was awesome – and it flowed from blog to blog just beautifully.

    And you did this in only two days? I nod my head to you a second time!

    Jill

    January 22, 2011 at 1:08 am

  11. Thank you so much for including me…meant a lot as it was a rough couple of days :-).

    Jen

    January 24, 2011 at 12:39 pm


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