Monday, June 10, 2013

This Place I Call Home

Today, as I was walking back to my office carrying my lunch in a take-out box because, hello? sometimes my life just sucks that way, a guy I've never seen before, some TDYer, probably, smiled at me and said "Can you believe this weather? It's perfect today. Sooo much nicer than Baghdad!"

Which struck me as funny on several levels, and so I answered, in all seriousness, "well, don't get used to it or anything. It's only like this every day until October."

It's true! Every day in the summer here is blue-sky perfect and just the right temperature. Except for last Saturday, of course, because we had a baseball pool party planned and someone in the neighboring field decided it was a beautiful day to burn an entire field full of trash. That day was not so blue-sky perfect. It was more, I don't know, dirty-brown-but-still-a-good-air-quality-in-Beijing day. Other than that, though. Blue skies. Lovely warm weather. Today's high temperature, for example, was just 80 degrees. The low was 62. In Baghdad today, by way of contrast, it was "just" 100 degrees for the high. My husband is going to be hating life in mid-July.

We're just a little over 100 miles away from Damascus, Syria, and the problems from that side of the border are spilling over into Jordan, for certain. So many refugees coming across the border, looking for safety, and the Jordanians are straining under the effort of supporting them all. Syria, Syria, Syria, is the drumbeat behind every conversation, both here at the Embassy and out on the streets. Jordanians are worried, fearful, afraid of what may come their way. And the Americans at the Embassy are all focused on the problem, trying to find the way forward along with their Jordanian counterparts.

It makes me proud of my colleagues, both local and American, to see the effort they put into the cause. A losing cause? Nobody knows. But everyone, to a person, is doing something to try to fix it.

So yes. The sky is blue. The weather is perfect. But there is an underlying current of fear, and nerves, and worry and anger, that is impossible to ignore. All of Jordan looks north toward the border, and we at the Embassy focus in that direction, too. We're enjoying the sunshine for now. And we're hoping the sky above stays cloudless and blue awhile longer.


Lindsey said... [Reply]

Glad you can focus on the positive...even in a sea of doubt and fear. Nobody ever said it'd be easy right? Thank you for what you do and hang in there.

Please. Write your own stuff.