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….approve visas?

Today I picked up our shiny, new, black diplomatic passports.  As I was looking over the information and checking for errors it hit me in a big way that I am really going to do this thing.  This move-to-a-new-country-every-two-years-thing.  Immediately, my first thought was OHMYGODWHATHAVEIDONE?!? But after I took some deep breaths, I remembered why I’m doing this and why it’s important: because I believe in this country.  Because I believe in public service.  Because I believe that the long term goals of our country are more important than my desire for comfort.  Because no matter what douchy politicians (and even some of my own “friends”) say about State Department employees, I know that what we do is vital to our country’s prosperity and to its security.

I’ve been writing this blog for about 6 months now and I still haven’t written about why I chose to call it “Cupcake Diplomacy.”  First of all, anyone who knows me knows that baking is my (not so) secret joy.  But more than that, I have personally experienced the power of food as a tool for cultural exchange and, yes, diplomacy.  And while I regularly joke about using cupcakes to create world peace, I’m only kind of kidding.  I really do think that cultural exchanges, including foods, are some of the best ways to forge alliances between nations–between peoples–and I cannot-freaking-wait to learn about Mexican pastries and candies from a tiny, adorable Mexican abuela and to share with her my family’s pancake recipe, my favorite chocolate cake recipe, and my secret frosting technique.

This is going to be awesome.

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