Thursday, January 5, 2017

Shalom from Jerusalem

Hi Friends,

Shalom from Jerusalem!!!

The perfect window seat near Lion Gate in the Old City

It’s been a while and I apologize for the long gap in blog posts. Hubby and I spent the last year in Baghdad working in the US Embassy. Yes, we both went, I was the CLO (Community Liaison Officer, aka Events Planner) and he worked as the OMS in ESC (Office Management Specialist in the Engineering Security Center, aka cameras and codes). It was a great year but it was also busy and we barely had enough time to go to work, work out at the free gym (that was Hubby’s favorite perk), eat at the free cafeteria (Hubby’s second favorite perk) and sleep. I also decided that due to the big emphasis on security I wanted to take a break from public blogging so I didn’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing or posting a photo of something that could put us in danger. The infuriatingly slow internet was the final nail in the coffin.

Hubs and I all suited up for our last helo ride out of Baghdad

Baghdad is usually an Unaccompanied Tour meaning no one can bring their family along, but they do have some jobs for spouses there so I got to go along with him since I got the CLO job. My favorite thing about Baghdad was working with my amazing Co-CLO, we’ll call her RoRo. RoRo is now in Tokyo. Hi RoRo, I miss ya! We were charged with keeping morale high on the Embassy Compound. It was one of the most challenging jobs I’ve ever had, but also one of the most rewarding. It was really fun getting to know everyone and coming up with ideas for ways to engage everyone’s diverse tastes. From a Golf Cart Christmas Parade to a Black and White New Year’s Eve Ball to Bingo Night, to 5k Fun Runs, to Tennis, Dodgeball and CrossFit Tournaments, we just about covered it all. RoRo and I were busy 7 days a week running these events, but that was ok by us since we weren’t able to leave the compound there was no where else to go on the weekends!

Would I do the CLO job again? Oh yes, in a heartbeat. Now that we’re here in in Jerusalem and settled in I’m looking forward to getting a job, any job, in the Consulate. But in the meantime, my days, nights and weekends are free because I’m back on the EFM Gravy Train, baby!

Hubster landed a 3-year assignment in Jerusalem for our third tour and we are super excited to be back in the Middle East in a place we can get out and enjoy the local culture, food, nature, people, history, museums, tours, beaches, mountains, wineries, cheese farms, forts, ruins and affordable flights to Europe...I could go on... So, needless to say, I’m gonna have some nice photos and stories to share with you all again, which means I am back on board the Blog Train!

10k Night Run in Tel Aviv

Some wines at Yaffo Winery on our first wine tasting excursion

Left to right: pita bread, fresh pressed pomegranate juice, hummus, pickles, falafel at a hummus joint in the Old City

Hiking at sunset in the Negev desert at Makhtesh Hakatan (Little Crater)

View of the Western Wall, Dome of the Rock, the Old City Wall and Mount of Olives


  1. Hi Jess! Good to read on your blog. Will follow your next issue then. ☺ Miss you!

  2. Good to see (and hear) you again after the only picture for a year was you in body armor! Continue to stay safe and enjoy the ride.