Country Team, for those of you who aren't foreign service types, is basically the senior leadership of the Embassy. So the head of each section was invited, along with spouses (that'd be me).
Do you know? I had a really good time. I wasn't sure what to expect, because I was basically surrounded by the brain trust of the Embassy, just trying to keep up. But I got to meet a few new people and talk to some old ones whom I don't see all that often. And we do have some really good people running the show at this Embassy, covering issues as diverse as the Syrian crisis, Internet piracy, middle east peace - you know, just the little stuff.
The only established rule was that we weren't allowed to sit at the same table as our spouses once dinner was served. So I found myself at a small table with one of my oldest Embassy friends to my right and one of my newest to my left, which made for very fun dinner chatter.
I spent a lot of time talking to a senior law enforcement official and the senior military guy at post, both of whom happened to sit at the same table. Good guys both, but normally when I pass them in the hallway, they are serious and all-business, so I just toss out a wave and scoot quickly past. It was interesting to see them in a different atmosphere. Both are seriously funny and not quite-so-scary as you'd imagine.
All in all, a nice evening, and one that made me look at my colleagues in a slightly different light. Which is, I imagine, what the Ambassador was hoping would happen when he called us all together.
After the dinner, I stopped by the Marine House with a couple of girlfriends. They were having a party of an entirely different sort there, making for an interesting contrast. I'm pretty sure I was the oldest person there. I stayed up waaay past my bedtime, so I'm going to pay for that today. When it was time to leave, I ended up getting accidentally locked inside the Embassy with the friend who was driving me home. Seriously. Does this kind of thing happen to other people? Because I've never heard anyone else utter the phrase "So there I was locked out by the mag door, trying to call the Marines to come rescue me" in the course of a normal conversation. Looking back, though, it was actually pretty funny - and made for an interesting end to an interesting night.
On the list for today: shopping and cooking for the week ahead. Not as interesting, perhaps, as yesterday. But necessary nonetheless.