My time in Honduras is now a thing of the past. It'sa good past, full of wonderful memories, lessons learned and so many people I'm glad to call my friends. I wouldn't trade my 2 years in Tegucigalpa for anything. As a 'first post' I couldn't have asked for anything more. Under the guidance of my great boss, Ted, I learned so much about security in an embassy. Whether he knows it or not, I learned much more from him, things you just don't learn in a book or from a class at FSI. I will miss his leadership and can only hope he is an example of what most RSOs are like. The difficulties we faced in Honduras were many but in dealing with each one, Ted went about it with confidence, calm and the knowledge that he was doing the right thing. I'll miss you Ted, and feel so fortunate to have worked with you.
Right now, I'm in Phase 1 of my Home Leave. As I sit here, I can hear the ocean and smell the salty breezes. The island of Kauai is indeed a bit of Paradise. My son lives here and visiting with him, Nicole, his wife, and my amazing 3 grandsons, Gavin and the twins, Micah and Makana, makes for the perfect Rest and Relaxation. Yesterday was Gavin's first day of preschool. He loved it and was looking forward to returning today. I stayed with Micah and Makana yesterday while my son and Nicole worked and we had a great time. I now know who Thomas, Percy and Emily are but can't figure out why the boys fight over who gets Percy. For those of you with no exposure to Thomas the Train, this will mean nothing to you, as it did to me before coming here. My son bought a huge box of miscellaneous cars, engines and tracks on Ebay and the boys sit and build tracks for hours on end. At just 2 years old, this is huge! I wonder what they did before to occupy their time? For more pictures of my stay on Kauai, go to my Facebook page.
Phase 2 begins Monday when I fly to Fort Worth, Texas for 3 weeks. My father lives there and I will spend lots of time with him. I'll also see many of my friends and catch up on what's been going on with them for the past 2 years. I'll also spend some times with other good friends, like Mr. Macy, Mr. Dillard's and Mr. Williams Sonoma! I'll be buying another car to ship to Oman and clothes for some very hot weather. And I already have a list of the places I want to eat...I can't wait for a good Mexican meal!
Phase 3 starts with my flight to Washington DC on June 28th. While there, I will take some classes in SharePoint and Excel. I'll meet with some of the people in Diplomatic Security that I may speak with while I'm in Oman, as well as some of the Directors for Western Hemisphere who I have dealt with over the past 2 years. Just putting a face on the name will be a good thing. I'll also be in DC for the July 4th celebration, which should be lots of fun.
Finally, on July 18th, I fly out of JFK headed for Muscat, Oman. The first stop is in Zurich, Switzerland where I will spend the night and most of the next day. I hope I have time to wander around and see something pretty enough to photograph. Then I fly into Dubai, which should be a sight to see with all the unusual buildings and man-made islands. After a 2 hour layover, I fly to Oman, landing at 10:45 PM, when it will most likely be 100 degrees. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I can only hope that over the next 2 years, I will be able to sweat off a few pounds!
So, farewell to a wonderful stay in Honduras and looking forward to an amazing 2 years in Oman. What a life!