Saturday, October 15, 2005

Visits, Haircuts, Gardening

It's been a busy week, and I'll tomorrow I'll usher in my second weekend of overtime-collection in a row. The theoretical good news is that doing urgent work on the weekends earns either overtime pay or comp time for those of us who are still "Junior Officers." I'm a huge fan of comp time, and as such the bad news is that in reality I might not get administrative clearance to use all my vacation time as it is, let alone extra comp time.

Anyway, the hurricane caused all sorts of havok on the Pacific side of the country, and there are still people stranded and without water. Given our role as the American Embassy, we're relieved that no Americans were injured or killed (to our knowledge), but in my estimation that's sort of a hollow distinction. That's about all I can say about that on a website that Diplomatic Security is probably reading right now. Hi, DS guys!

The rest of the overload on work at the moment comes from numerous VIP visits. I got the glamorous 5:00 AM to 10:00 AM shift in the "control room" for the recent deputy secretary's visit. I think I can mention without a DS reprimand that my role in the "control room" was sitting around and waiting for something interesting/terrible/unplanned to happen. I also translated some of the Guatemalan papers' stories about the visit so the Deputy Secretary could see what they were saying about him. It was kinda cool, but kinda boring.

In more quotidian events, some readers may be familiar with my M.O. of waiting anywhere from eight weeks to eight months between haircuts. I recently reached the "unbearably shaggy" point, and called a recommended barber who, bizarre as it sounds, does house calls. He cut my hair right there in our kitchen, including the always-thrilling straight razor to shave the back of my neck, and the completely unexpected nostril-hair trim. That is the kind of service you just don't get at Great Clips back home.

Last item of minor import, we're getting our balcony all set up as a little slice of paradise. We bought some snazzy teak furniture and a bunch of plants. We went to a nursery in Antigua and could not resist buying all the cool plants that had either cool names or would theoretically produce useful consumables. So now we have an orange tree, a coffee plant, a papyrus, and a plant called "pepperonia" on our balcony. Plus more. We'll give them a little time to develop before we start promising visitors home-grown oranges, coffee, paper, or pepperonis.


EEK! said...

Next time, haircut on the balcony, nosetrim in the shade of the papaya plant.

Matt said...

I wanted to, but it was too windy! The papaya plant still sways too easily in the gentlest of Guatemalan breezes.