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America

Book of Condolences

So there’s a protocol for this, too, I learned this week.

We set up a table in the American Center, where members of the public can sign the book of condolence.

As we received the news of John McCain’s death, we began preparing for condolences.  It’s human nature for people to want to pay their respects, and we were not surprised that so many Vietnamese people were saddened by Senator McCain’s death.  He is remembered here in Vietnam as a soldier turned statesman, who worked hard to normalize relations with the United States.  They are especially impressed by the fact that he was treated so harshly as a POW here, and yet put aside his personal pain in the interest of a greater good.  He was the embodiment of their country’s resolve to overcome the painful past and work toward a better future.

There is a specific State Department protocol for a book of condolences.  We set up a signing station in our American Center, and publicized times for the public to come in and sign.

 

Local government officials also came in to sign, and that was covered by the local press.

The pages of the condolence book will be sent to Washington, D.C. and added to the international collection from our embassies and consulates around the world.

Flowers have been coming in all week.

Flowers are from private citizens as well as the government.

Regardless of whether one agrees with his political party’s policies and agenda, his reputation as a man who put country first is universally admirable.  The Vietnamese people held him in great regard.  All the press coverage here, and social media, wrote moving eulogies.  Even the social media trolls on our Facebook page were silent.  It seems that Vietnam is unified in its respect for John McCain.

Time change, but not for everyone.

Not everyone in the world just lost an hour of sleep.

Onward and upward

We just enjoyed a week at home in Michigan, before leaving for post. We’ll fly out of Dulles Airport in DC for our “Permanent Change of Station” trip to Vietnam. (The trip is neither to a station, nor is it permanent. Just another quirky term in the State Department.)

Summer in Michigan is great. Warm but not hot weather, cool evenings, low Midwest prices, no traffic, laid-back people. And my house.

I love my house, neighborhood and home town.  

We spent time with our kids and family, got together with some old friends, did some last minute shopping, and enjoyed the chance to relax before the madness starts again.

And now vacation is over, and the crazy resumes. Goodbye for now, East Lansing, thanks for a nice time. Next stop: Ho Chi Minh City, aka Saigon, Vietnam.

Oh, crap…

…I’m one of “those people.”

The Gathering Storm

Time lapse of the storm that rolled through tonight.

Moon

There was a terrific view of the moon from my apartment this morning. By adjusting the ISO of my camera, I was able to capture details of the face. 

This is a case for digital cameras. I don’t think that it’s possible to acquire this level of detail with a phone’s camera. 

Adjusted the white balance.

Happiness is…

…food trucks. 

More snow pictures

Because it is so pretty this morning.




Good morning!

Snow in Falls Church. 

Intimidating

Walking under him was the scariest thing I did all day. 

The scary hawk patrolling the grounds of FSI.