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Echo’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 19 Aug 2007

Location: Gambia

MapI have just been here a week and yet I have so many little stories to share with everyone. Last night was yet again another adventure as I was invited to attend a function at the American Embassy house with Dianne (my boss). The function was a casual one so I did not have to dress up, apparently though the previous Ambassador (and most of them I hear) like to have formal events and parties. Not that I know what an Embassy house party is like since this was my first but it was casual.

The house is great, not magnificent but the yard and the lot itself is gorgeous. It overlooks the ocean and has many different tiers of land and a pool. The house itself is decorated okay but a little tacky for me but hey it depends on the former Ambassador's taste and they get to select what they want. The only thing that I think that has to stay in the house is a picture of the President and Condileeza, which is unfortunate (sorry Lisa).

We started the party off by the pool and the server came down and took our drink orders. I met the new DCM, who is the acting Ambassador for the US until the new one arrives, and his wife and kids, one of which is in my class. The DCM also sits on the board for the school so good first impressions had to be established. There were tons of other people there as well but this guy was the reason for the party.

After cocktails down by the pool, we watched the sunset and then headed up to the house for dinner. It was a very nice but simple buffet style dinner but man the plates and the silverware were fancy. Gold rimmed plates and real silver!!! We sat at tables overlooking the ocean and I was able to meet several other Americans that work in the area. Overall, not too exciting but I am getting out and networking but this leads in to an important thing that I am learning here, which is to watch who you associate with.

Dianne and I were out for dinner the other night and the Board Director of our school came and met us for a beer with some of his friends or acquaintances. Man oh man, they were not nice people to have around. As soon as they sat down they introduced themselves and then started bitching about how bad it was to live in Gambia. They had nothing nice to say and kept going on and on. Now granted, they both have very difficult jobs, one is a Canadian working for the UN on the food program here and the other is Dutch working with UN on community health. Both of them have to deal heavily with the Gambian government and if any of you know anything about the government here you would understand that it would be tough. So I can understand their resentment to work and maybe the country but I can tell you this, it will be the last time that I hang out with them. I really think that you have to be careful with who you choose to keep as friends and I don't need any poison in my life right now.

I have so much more to write and tell you all but I don't want to bore you with my stories so tomorrow I am going to fill you all in on my new house...yep I sign the contract tomorrow and stories about my new class...I think you will all get a kick out of what I have to tell you. And hopefully to be added!!!!