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.