Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stepping Up

By the third day of work I'm mostly done with the check-in paperwork, so I got to do some actual diplomacy for a change. The embassy got a last-minute invitation to a ceremony in a protected forest for World Environment Day, which seemed like an ideal first outing for a wet-behind-the-ears econ officer.

I expected a nice little event where I would listen to some speeches, clap appreciatively, shake hands with the minister and be done, no problem. I traipsed off into the forest in my kitten heels (must find some office-worthy flats, pronto!)and was more-or-less comfortably seated in the diplomat section when the presidential security forces started showing up. Apparently this was a bigger event than we had anticipated.

I did listen to some speeches. I did clap appreciatively. I did shake hands with the minister. I shook hands with a bunch of ministers. I also shook hands with the prime minister and the president. And after the speeches President Conde, the prime minister, and all the various ambassadors in attendance planted trees. And since I was the closest thing to an ambassador the U.S. had on the scene I planted a tree too. I hope the picture came out okay.

So I survived my first representational event, though I'm afraid my shoes will never be the same.


  1. That is awesome! Planting trees is hard work, I couldn't imagine it in heels!

  2. It was symbolic tree-planting. The hole was already dug, I just had to squat down and pat dome dirt around it while being photographed. Thank god I had pants on! I swear, only pants from now on, and flats as soon as I can get some.

  3. *phew* Meredith managed to not start a war!