Elementary school children often celebrate one hundred days of school with lots of fun counting activities. And although I’m far from elementary school in every way, I thought I’d steal their idea and celebrate my One Hundredth Day with you.
One Hundred Days in Burundi. Fourteen weeks. Sixty-five work days. Countless new friends, co-workers and fellow international adventurers. Seven crates of home-sweet-stuff. Six jars of precious salsa already devoured. Five great upcountry adventures. Four wonderful visitors. Three co-workers with their heads’ a-spinning: what in the world is this tornado that has arrived?
Conventional state department advice says that you shouldn’t make changes your first ninety days. (The locally employed staff, many of whom have worked in the embassy for years, have to endure an every-two-year changing of the guard as new Americans move in with fresh, exciting, brilliant new ideas. They say that one foreign service officer will come in and change things all up, and the next will come in and change them back to the way they were before, all because of fresh, exciting, brilliant new ideas.) I’ve been teasing my locally employed staff (one Burundian nurse; one Rwandan lab scientist; and one US-trained Cameroonian part-time nurse) that now that we’ve hit this fabled milestone, I’m free to institute some changes. But like a good American with fresh, exciting, brilliant new ideas, I’ve been making changes since the day I arrived, so they just shake their heads, grin and bear it, and hold on tight for the wild ride that working with me has proven to be. 🙂
Now back to the counting: two beers (Amstel and Primus), and one formerly reluctant EFM spouse who has been a pretty darn good sport through it all, considering he’d be happy as a clam, fun-employed in Denver, fading off into oblivion, all Africa-adventure-less.
Oh, yeah, and one really good sport of a dog who not only enjoys an adventure like the best of us, but who attracts a crowd everywhere he goes.
(Photo cred goes out to Britta Erickson, our fourth visitor!)