American Southwest Family Vacation

We followed historic Route 66 on our way to see the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, the Painted Desert, plus much more in New Mexico and Arizona.

End of Tour Summary: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Here are our stories from two and a half years of living in Saudi Arabia while exploring the region.

Excursions to Oman

On two different trips, we strolled Muscat, hiked Wadi Shab, and sailed a dhow through the fjords of Musandam.

Our Expedition to Jordan

Highlights included tracing the steps of Indiana Jones into Petra, following Lawrence of Arabia into Wadi Rum, and floating in the Dead Sea.

Our Adventures in Sri Lanka

Safaris to spot leopards and elephants, swimming in the Indian Ocean, sipping tea in the mountains, and several more!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The 2018 Federal Shutdown for FSCEs

The 2018 U.S. government shutdown began at midnight EST on January 20, 2018 because a bill failed to pass the Senate 50–49 on January 19, 2018. That set off a chain of furlough-related questions about who is working and how are they getting paid? This unofficial post examines the specific case for the Foreign Service Construction Engineers (FSCEs) working in the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO).

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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Return to Adana

During my assignment to Washington, D.C. two tours ago, I had managed a project in Adana, Turkey. As it turns out, corporate knowledge is a valuable thing, so I was called to support a new project there that would benefit from my awareness of the existing conditions. There's just one problem:
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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Adventures in Monotony

The process of traveling can become mundane and monotonous, but it doesn't have to. To change things up, I picked this trip to write from the third-person perspective. From your own travels, you're probably familiar with most of the elements, like the departure, the journey, and the exchange of paperwork to get visas to travel. But have you ever viewed these events like a scene from a movie?
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Friday, November 24, 2017

Plaza Mayor Christmas Market

We had no firm plans for our time in Madrid, so we made our way to Plaza Mayor and the La Latina barrio to experience some of the local vibes.
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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving in Madrid

Flying back to the US from Cyprus for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend wasn't practical, so we spent four days in Spain instead. But we didn't spend it alone: We met up with some friends to explore Madrid.
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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Start of Tour: Nicosia

Cyprus is our third tour with the State Department, and while we figured out most of the obstacles ahead of time, there were still a few more lessons to be learned.
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

American Southwest Family Vacation

We spent part of our time between overseas assignments exploring the American Southwest. We started in Albuquerque and headed west. We explored the lava fields in El Malpais, drove through the Pueblo of Zuni, visited the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, discovered the National Monuments at Sunset Crater and Walnut Canyon, and spent a day in the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert.
Grand Canyon viewed from Desert View Station on the South Rim
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert

There is no shade in the Petrified Forest, and the Painted Desert lives up to its colorful name. It's an amazing display of color that really has to be seen to be believed.
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End Of Tour Summary: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

We spent two and a half years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on our second tour in the Foreign Service with the US Department of State. As you migh...

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