|Protesters at U.S. Embassy Sana'a, Yemen|
Most of that has been on purpose. Once I was assigned to Yemen, I needed to keep a lower profile. Yemen is a critical threat assignment Unfortunately there are bad people who want to blow up people like me. For a variety of reasons, the details of what I do and where I do should really be left off the public internet.
The other reason is that I have had so much go in a short amount of time. I had a ton of extra training and preparation before I left for Yemen. Sana'a is an unaccompanied post which means you can't bring family members with you and friends can't visit. On top of that, the situation here isn't normal and I had to plan my life around having basically all my effects stored for two years. I am living with what I could bring in suitcases. In a lot of ways, this assignment is very similar to being sent to Iraq or Afghanistan. The security situation has much to be desired but our mission here is absolutely important to keeping Americans safe.
I want readers to know that this isn't normal for the Foreign Service. If you are interested in this as a career, these types of assignments are far from the norm and you basically have to volunteer for them. My situation is something I more or less choose. Then again, it wasn't my first choice. Joining the Foreign Service is about being flexible. You can end up in fabulous places. You can also end up in places where you get on the news for the wrong reasons. It's about going abroad to serve your country. Service isn't always easy.
In other news, I have been learning Arabic. While I still wanted to pursue Chinese, the situation has changed obviously. So I am going to try to learn as much Arabic as I can while I am here. Maybe I can get back on Chinese my next Assignment. I'll find out my next assignment this summer... so I have time.