Wednesday, September 14, 2005

How the work's going...

thought I might give an update from work on how we're settling in.

One of the biggest things I've noticed here is how thankful I am for going from a big Post where everything ran right, to here. Even after two weeks on the job, I still get daily heart attacks when I notice how things are done (or not done), or how long it's been since a database was updated, why the wall next to me is sticky...
Yes, it's an old Embassy. But it's also run-down, humid, musty and just generally unpleasant. This is, not surprisingly, the worst part of the building. It's like a cave down here. I keep reminding myself that the new Embassy opens in a year.
It's also suffered from untold years of brand-shiny-new Consular Officers fresh out of Washington who are here for all of one year, then move on to allow another newbie step in. Sure, the Post may be relatively sleepy, but I can't stand the lack of order. That's how I'm spending my days, bringing order from chaos. Since I'm only doing about 30 visas a day instead of the 100 or so in Manila, at least I have some free time for that.
I'm also not sleeping well, although everyone here also thinks it has to do with the Mefloquine. They say it gets better, but it's never quite good. But I just can't fathom having the whole family down a pill every day, which would be the alternative to taking Mefloquine.
I think things will improve. I certainly hope they will. This transition has already been many times more difficult than it was to Manila. We figured it would be harder, but I don't think we anticipated this. Yet again, I don't know how we could have made it better, since the basics (no stuff, no car, little infrastructure, lack of sleep) are out of our control. We'll see how it goes.

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