Thursday, February 24, 2011

Small World

I read a lot of blogs. Mostly foreign service blogs, it seems, when I look at my reader. Which is why I have friends, some of whom I've never met, in half of the countries around the world.

And so it happens that one of my blogging buddies was in Christchurch, standing right in front of the cathedral that collapsed, just at the moment that the earthquake struck on February 22nd. She's written a frightening, goosebump-raising account of what happened.

Another friend, currently in Chinese classes at FSI, has just written an excellent post about what it's going to mean if Congress moves forward on their plan to cut locality pay for State employees. For my family, it will mean an immediate 15% pay cut. That's no small amount when you're a one-income family living in an expensive city. To hear the rhetoric, it seems our politicians think State Department employees aren't regular, middle-class Americans, and we are somehow leaching off the American public by collecting our pay. I guess they don't know that my husband regularly puts in 12-hour days (in fact, by law, he's required to work at least 10 hours per day). I guess they don't know he works weekends. I guess they don't know that he has literally put his life on the line to keep other Americans safe. I guess they don't care that our whole family works for the government, every day, merely by putting ourselves out there, presenting an American face to a foreign public, even in countries where it might be dangerous to do so.

Anyway, these are just two of the posts I read recently that made me think.

6 comments:

Noble Glomads said... [Reply]

Thanks for the shout out. We are one big cyber family. Perhaps one day, our paths will cross.
Amy

Fairevergreen said... [Reply]

Donna,

You need to fix the link for the locality pay. It also links to the Christ Church posting.

Donna said... [Reply]

Thanks Fairevergreen. It's fixed!

MeAndYou said... [Reply]
This comment has been removed by the author.
MeAndYou said... [Reply]

I'm an FSO-hopeful, and I am appalled at the bill on pay cuts. I can only assume the representatives knew as little as I did about the challenges, expectations, and efforts put forth by FSOs around the world each day. Prior to applying with the state department, I was blissfully unaware that diplomats routinely work 12-hour days, live in situations more like military camps than embassies, and face daily threats to life and limb in some countries (be they terrorist or mother nature). I wrote both my senators to get educated and revise or remove this amendment to the budget bill and I encourage everyone else to do the same.

Consul-At-Arms said... [Reply]

I've quoted you and linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms2.blogspot.com/2011/02/re-small-world.html

Please. Write your own stuff.