Number of People with Nothing Better to Do

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mr. Ambassador

Today the US Ambassador to Peru dropped by our training center to have lunch and say a few words to our training class. I was lucky enough to sit at the lunch table with him. We talked for a bit about how he came to be the Ambassador. He’s a lifer in the State Department and didn’t have to shell out the six figures to some bullshit political party to get the position. He earned it. Turns out he also grew up in Caracas and then moved to Houston. He spoke highly of Caracas and especially of Houston (which no ever does except for the folks who know Houston intimately).

After, he gave a little chat to our group. He was very well spoken and had a ton of good things to say about the Peace Corps and its mission around the world and in Peru. It was pretty close to being a life changing event for me except that I’ve had enough of those the past couple of months to tide me over for a bit. The ambassador spoke of his work at a country desk in Africa helping people get US visas, brokering peace agreements between Somalia and Eritrea, and aiding refugees displaced by natural and manmade atrocities.

I’m not sure what my future holds on a daily basis, two months from now or two years from now. I did receive a letter from the Chairman and CEO of my old company, the 10th largest insurance brokerage firm in the world, saying he appreciated my good work and that the door is always open for me to come back. I’m very grateful for his kind words and generous offer. It’s nice to have a safety net like that. Although I’ve enjoyed my career as an Environmental, Health and Safety Consultant and feel like my work has had purpose and meaning, the type of work the Ambassador spoke of just sounded bigger.

But that’s a couple of years down the road. Now I need to find some anti-itch cream for these fucking mosquito bites (Note to self: neither the government-issued insect repellant nor the anti-itch cream work worth a damn).

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