We learned a lot from the first time we did a charter flight. So when we did the second one yesterday (after many days of preparation), it went a lot smoother. Many problems, headaches, and much heartburn. But in the end we got
321 322 people out.
Again, everyone from the Embassy came down to the Consular section to help out. Once again, we spent days calling people, building a passenger list.
We partnered with an airline, and on Game Day, we worked side-by-side to get people checked in and on the plane.
At literally the last hour, one of our General Services guys drove to a lady’s house, picked her up, and delivered her to the airport. That boosted our total passenger list from 321 people to 322.
We always say that American citizens are our #1 priority. We proved that again this week. Every Foreign Service officer has to do a Consular tour for two years, regardless of their chosen area of specialization (political, economic, management, public diplomacy). So everyone has Consular experience. I’m so grateful to my colleagues in the other sections of the Embassy who gave us a week of their time to work on this effort. When an emergency happens, we’re all Consular officers.