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…I sort of forgot about this blog the last month.  I guess “forgot” is probably the wrong word, more like “neglected out of sheer exhaustion,” but that’s more or less the same idea, right?  I should just warn you all right now though that this post is going to be a bit…eclectic.  There are so many things going on here that I want to tell you about but I just know that if I try to write individual posts about each thing it will never get done.  So just brace yourselves.

Hopefully the handful of you still reading this blog will be excited to hear that our HHE comes tomorrow!  I am both excited and terrified about it which has led to a near-total-body-mind-shutdown.  Currently I am working through it by sipping a glass of Oban 14-year scotch, neat.  So far it seems to be helping.

In other news, our social life outside of work is finally starting to pick up. We’ve started getting out and about in the community a little more which has been really great. A couple of weekends ago we got the chance to march (and by march I mean drive in a car) in the Juarez equivalent of a Pride parade.  We decorated the cars and wore pride flags wrapped around us like capes.  It was truly amazing to see how many people were in the parade and to see how many people brought their families out to sit in the 110 degree heat to watch the parade and to show their support: one little girl I saw had curly pigtails that had been spray-dyed rainbow colors.  She could not have been older than about 3 and she was sitting with her fairly old, obviously straight grandparents who were proudly waving homemade posters and flags.  All-in-all I think the tally was about 6,000 attendees, which is a pretty good chunk of people.  I have some pictures on my iPhone, but I haven’t had time to load them to my computer yet; I’ll try to post them soon.

Tonight, we went to a part of the city neither of us had ever been to in order to attend the gala opening of a photography exhibit at one of the universities in town.  A colleague who works in the same section as my husband had several photos on display in the exhibit.  It was a really interesting event.  The theme of the exhibit was fashion, specifically how fashion photography in the early 1940s changed the field of photography forever.  The photos were gorgeous, very inventive, and some of them were so incredibly well posed, shot, lit and printed that I was tempted to ask if they were going to be for sale any time soon.  We got a tiny bit lost on our way home, but we managed to make it back ok once we figured out where the road we were on ended up.

I’m definitely still adjusting to life here and to the job.  I still find the work exhausting but I’m getting more and more comfortable with my Spanish every day and I’ve been able to work on some pretty interesting cases.  The number of applicants in the non-immigrant-visa section is starting to pick up so it looks like we’re going to be having some pretty long days coming up the next couple of months.  Luckily, I have the most awesome set of coworkers ever put on this planet, so we have a lot of fun while we’re working.  It makes the days seem a lot shorter and a lot less intense when you know there are 12 other people who have your back.  Also, I’m pretty sure our section has the most talented bakers in the Foreign Service…pretty much everyone in the section could give Martha Stewart a run for her money in the kitchen which means that we constantly have delicious baked goods floating around.

To combat the baked goods, I’ve started taking tennis lessons after work a couple of days a week.  Today was lesson 1 and it was much more difficult than I imagined it to be, but I liked it just the same.  We also joined the country club which makes us officially bougie diplomats but I can’t even bring myself to care because the club has a really awesome outdoor pool that almost makes the 110 degree heat bearable.  I’ll take some pictures when we’re up there this weekend.

I’ll try to post some pictures from the last month sometime later this week and just to leave you all with a cliffhanger, in my next post I will let you all know where we’re headed to in 2014.  (hint: it’s really, really hot there).

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