The Heartbreak of Foreign Service

I love my life here, every single day. Riding shotgun on the morning commute, I love to watch the long lines of monks (sorted oldest to youngest) as they make their rounds with yawning alms bowls, or watch the young men try to grab hold of a latch on the ludicrously overloaded public truck-cum-buses, hoisting their lunch tins on the roof, or watch the elegant ladies sauntering in their conservative but snug-in-all-the-right-places longyis.

I love my friends here – Americans, other expats, and Myanmar alike. I love my work here – at the Embassy, consulting with an international non-profit, and volunteering at the kids’ school. I love my life here, every single day.

What I don’t love is a new thought creeping in – “but you will have to leave”.

Granted, that’s not for several months, but its still an ever-encroaching reality. And it’s a reality of diplomatic life. The transition to Myanmar was blissfully smooth. “Oh I can do this”, I thought during month one. “New school, new friends, new house, new job – easy peezy”.

“But wait, I have to do it again? And again? And again?” I realize during month fourteen, ruminating on our successive two-year-long upcoming tours. This is the heartbreak of the Foreign Service. You got something good going but you’ve got to detach. Move on.

I hope I won’t have a “favorite” Post in life but rather favorites about each Post.

“Myanmar was great but we loved Albania for all the weekend hiking”
“Myanmar was great but we loved Madrid for the all the art museums”
“Myanmar was great but we loved Chile for all its wineries”

But I haven’t had to detach yet. For now, Myanmar is just great.

Buddy monks

Buddy monks


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